Don Diamont sat down with Soap Opera Digest to look back on his 35 years on CBS soaps. In part, he reflected on his unceremonious firing from The Young and the Restless; he died on-screen in 2009 after being let go from his long-running role as pool-boy-turned-executive Brad Carlton.
I have to admit that was challenging. When [head honcho] Bill [Bell], Sr. was alive, I have a handwritten note from him that I have to this day about how Y&R would always be there for me and appreciating my contribution to the show. It’s a lovely note. He had passed away by Kaplan. The character was being so compromised over that year [by rewriting Brad as a former Navy SEAL whose family tangled with Nazis] that I wasn’t entirely surprised by the move, yet I was still somewhat shocked when it actually came down. Yeah, it was scary. It was difficult to take because it seemed unwarranted. It just came out of nowhere after 23 years.
That last day was particularly tough. He remembered:
Well, I was fired the day before Thanksgiving, and my last shooting day was the day before the Christmas hiatus. It was hard. Peter Bergman [Jack] and some of the other actors, along with my wife, Cindy, put together a going-away party, which was very poignant. I was very touched by it. It was emotional. Michelle Stafford [Phyllis] helped me clear out my room. It was a tough day. But in hindsight, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Of course, he went on to originate the role of Bill Spencer Jr. on The Bold and the Beautiful, which he's played with aplomb for over a decade.