Diamont portrayed the role for 23 and a half years on the Tiffany Network. Viewers saw his alter ego grow from the pool boy to a corporate tycoon and member of Genoa City's elite society. Diamont was abruptly fired by the number-one daytime drama in 2009, but was quickly signed to sister show The Bold and the Beautiful, where he's portrayed publishing magnate and bad boy "Dollar" Bill Spencer ever since.
EW.com spoke with Diamont, who is currently practicing L.A.'s shelter-in place mandate due to the coronavirus pandemic. He discussed his long tenure with the Eye Network and gave his thoughts on why Brad took a dirt nap under a frozen lake.
So then why did they get rid of Brad 23 years later?
I guess there was some palace intrigue, but I don't really know. A new head writer was brought in and she just saw fit to get rid of Brad Carlton and Colleen Carlton, his daughter.
And you drowned in a frozen lake.
Yes, the Navy SEAL drowned in a frozen lake while rescuing a kid. Pretty good stuff. When head writer Lynn Latham came in, she created this huge storyline that Brad was really a man named George Kaplan, and his mother had been a Nazi prison camp survivor. She had all this information on this former commandant and the commandant's grandson. It was pretty prophetic, that storyline. Now you have Hunters with Al Pacino on Amazon. So in reality, Brad Carlton was George Kaplan, a Navy SEAL who was more adept at killing than anyone he knew. He was on the run and protecting his grandmother. He was an extremely good swimmer, which was why it was so stupid [that he died drowning]. If anybody was trained to handle that situation, it was him. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me, I can tell you that.
Indeed, then Y&R's writer and executive producer Maria Arena Bell's decision to get rid of Diamont was one of the dumbest and yet best decisions. B&B's showrunner, Bradley Bell, swooped in and hired him to play Bill Spencer. Diamont is grateful for those who went to bat for him.
You really weren't out of work for very long.
Thanks to Brad [son of Bill Bell], no. He created a character for me on The Bold and the Beautiful that would be the role of a lifetime. I was just so blessed. I always talk to my kids about this. It's a cliché, but I'm living proof that when one door closes, another door opens. Brad gave me the ball and let me run with it. He is an incredibly collaborative showrunner. I'm also grateful to Peter Bergman and Eric Braeden and Michelle Stafford and Eileen Davidson and Beth Maitland. [When I was first hired,] Brad told me I had a lot of friends on Y&R. They said, 'You've got to bring Don onto your show. You need him on your show. He deserves to be there and this shouldn't have happened.'
And the rest, as they say, is history. To find out why Diamont's Bill Spencer is successful in the boardroom but a mess outside of it, click here.