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Michelle Stafford CONFIRMS Exit From The Young and the Restless!

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After the news broke yesterday from a report from E! Online that two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford was leaving her role as Phyllis Summers Newman on The Young and the Restless, today the actress herself confirmed the exit with Soap Opera Digest!

Michelle related in her statement to SOD:  “I would like to personally confirm to the fans that yes, I have decided to leave The Young and the Restless.  It has been a glorious 16 years and one of the greatest rides of my life. The constant support and love from the fans is not lost on me. I think I’ll miss you the most.”

CBS Entertainment SR. VP Daytime, Angelica McDaniel tweeted this morning on Stafford’s decision: “@TheRealStafford has been a huge part of the #YR family. Respect her decision to move on but will miss her. Wish her the very best always.”

According to SOD, Stafford will wrap up her illustrious run on Y&R in mid-June! 

So soap fans, what do you think of the confirmed exit? Will you miss Michelle?  What do you think Y&R should do now? kill the character of Phyllis, write her off  the canvas in case Michelle decides to return later down the line, or recast?  Weigh-in!

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A huge loss for the Y&R!!!!


I can’t blame her for wanting to leave. They have not used our classic vets like Sharon Case enough and they did not bring back Drucilla. They make the show that Y&R Avery and Chelsea braff hour and the Leslie story and Tyler boring and really the new Kyle is sickening!


I feel the same way. It would be great if jack is the father of Phyllis daughter. Phyllis will be missed, she is great .


I will truly miss Michelle Stafford. She is a brilliant actress and is such a big part of the show. I wish her well and hope they don’t kill her off just in case she decides to return one day.

maria liarelis

noooo!!!! michelle stafford makes me watch the show! this is upsetting! u will truely be missed and i dont think i can follow the show anymore..its the same as when victoria left! devistating!


I’m so sad, I love Michelle and Phyllis, but it was her decision to leave, so have to support that. I think Y&R should leave it open for her if she chooses to come back.. I don’t want a recast either.


I’m so upset. The Stafford is one of the big reasons I watch the show. She is so dynamic; she can make me howl with laughter, cry on a dime, and everything in between. She’s a force of nature and I will miss what she brings to the show…. TREMENDOUSLY. I wish her luck with her next endeavor, but it just won’t be the same without her. It’s going to leave a huge void… wishes to her always.


I agree but the best times were when she called Christine/Cricket the bug fun times I never cared for the Nick pairing the Phyllis I knew would never fall for a wet behind the ears school boy. Will miss her.


Dont kill her off…..hopefully she will return in the future. And Yes and very big loss for Y&R. You will be missed.


I agree


Oh No I am devastated. The only reason I watch is for Billy Abbot and Phyliss Newman – she is exotic, real and funny….please don’t kill her leave it open she may come back……I hope she does.


Michelle Stafford cannot be replaced!!!!! Y&R are STUPID to let her go! She is the reason I watch. The new powers to be need to be taken down a few pegs!!! Stupid story lines – not entertaining!!!

Mary SF

Yes she can and was- read the article- she left the show before and was recast. They didn’t LET her go- she WANTED to go. If she was the only reason you watched well you should be happy she is leaving, so now you have no reason to watch the stupid story lines that are not entertaining. Leave the show for the fans that actually enjoy it, with or without any particular character.

Mary Sue

This is NOT good news… She will be greatly missed…
How do you replace Phyllis??? I can’t imagine anyone else playing the role. I would rather they kill her than put someone else in her place…


i agree with you it wont be the same if someone else plays her she is one and a million and no one would be able to fill her shoes

Connie Williams

While I do agree Michelle Stafford will be hard to replace, I really hope they don’t kill off her character, or send her off to live with Daniel. Her character is needed on the show right now. Hopefully they do recast with a truly gifted actress who can do justice to the part. There are other exceptionally talented actors out there.

marion gawron

they the diva get killed off here she is going to genrerl hopital guess young and restless did not put enough some people are just diva and she is one of them byb by phyllis will not miss you at allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.Or did ot get along with the writer and the new owners we are not stupid…..

Lisa J.

I think someone needs a few English writing classes. Commas, periods, correct spelling and complete sentences please! That way the rest of us can understand what you are trying to say. Perhaps she is just tired of playing the same roll and as an actress she wants to branch out before it’s too late. No need to slam her as a Diva.


Boy, that’s the pot calling the kettle black. Role is spelled with an “e” on the end.

Eileen Hargis

. She wants to do other things, its not about money and EVERYBODY at Y and R loves Michelle. If u cant say something nice, stay off of here, u dont know what u r talking about and it SHOWS!


All right, let’s all play nice, it’s only a soap OPERA where real people get to play fake people. It doesn’t matter if she chose to leave because she felt upstaged by other actors or she received a better offer elsewhere. Actors come and go, and I’m sure Y&R will leave the door open for her to return.


I wonder how big a part JFP and that hack writer played a part in all this. I hate to say be careful for what we all wished for, Maria Arena Bell isnt looking so bad anymore.

This show is tanking storywise, the acting is sub-par at best and Michelle Stafford leaving combined with the death of Jeanne Cooper is a HUGE loss. CBS and Sony need to reign in the Hollywood Heights casting and Friend of Jill casting. Just change the name to Restless Heights and be done with it.

Eileen Hargis

Oh, Rob, how I agree with u!


Me too!


I have to agree with you. I’ve only watched Y&R since OLTL went off the air but the stories seem so incomplete. Things just end. Who was sending the mysterious notes and gifts to Cane? That just stopped when JFP fired Genie Francis. Cane and Lily are still around. The bullying story line just stopped when Jamie left town. Neither Fen nor Summer paid for what they did. The congressman killer story was a dud. I was expecting some desperate attempt to save himself or a shoot out or him trying to escape. No. He was just arrested and made some vain remark about the police not making the charges stick and that was it. Gus gets out of prison and is reunited with his family. There are still major tensions between them and suddenly he drops dead. That’s the end of that. The detective’s sister, Noah’s girlfriend, just left. What became of Christine who came back to become the DA and to have a relationship with Paul? Now there Lauren’s affair with the bartender. There is no excuse for her behavior. If Michael just takes her back, he’s a bigger fool than I’ve ever seen.

Connie Williams

You are right on the money there. We just get left hanging, over and over. It is ridiculous! I love most of the actors, but the writing, is just awful.


Yes, I agree. There are no stories anymore. There are obviously some big changes behind the scenes (i.e. new writers) that are slowly ruining the show and could eventually cause it to be cancelled. My mom and I have watched the show for over 20 years and we can’t seem to follow it anymore. The show is like a revolving door – new people are coming in constantly and old ones going out – slowly being fired, forced out, etc… I understand there are ratings issues and cost constraints, but why can’t the show just do what Days of Our Lives is doing and stick to a few actors and have continuing story lines from day to day. It is a shame. The Y&R was once such a great Soap, but in the last year, it has changed completely. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, it really has become “a show about nothing!”


And let us not forget- Daisy. Where or where has Daisy gone and who signed her out of the nut house? Then there is the mysterous shadow in the alley after the knife was found. Could that be Isabelle and if so, where has she been all this time? What about the dead girl’s body found in Genave’s hotel suite? And for crying out loud, why has Adam not ask for a DNA test especially knowing what Nick did?


I agree 100%.


what?? why? Phyllis is one and a million you cant replace someone like her she is amazing it will be sad to see her go what ever young and the restless decides it will be a good choice but please dont replace her no one can take her place thank you



Lisa J.

I wish her well in all that she does. The show will go on without her, but she will be missed.


I hope that one day she will come back to the show. Please don’t replace her.


I’ll miss her and Phyllis. Maybe Y&R should recast.


I hope that they do not kill Phyllis off as one would hope that the door was left open should she ever want to return in the future.


Actors need some time off !! Maybe see what else is out there for them..
If recast is done well then the “show will go on”. I am more concerned about the writing rather than who is coming or going.. if story lines don’t improve we all will stop watching.
Re-casting person is doing an awful job as well.. Can’t they look at a monitor and say he/she is not working..
Let’s hope things turn around for the fans!!
Good luck to MS…


Disappointed to hear the confirmation. Wonder what this will mean for the Summer paternity storyline. Maybe it will play out resulting in Phyllis’s exit. I hope Miss Stafford will return one day. And her character is not killed off (as I hate resurrections). Y&R will go on as daytime dramas are successful because of comings/goings and strong ensemble. But Miss Stafford brought a lot to Genoa City. She is a treasure.


My personal feeling is that Phyllis will find out that Nick is not Summer’s biological father and that coupled with what Nick did (by withholding the inconclusive paternity test and lying about it), will rock her world. She will no longer have that connection to Nick. Nick most likely will get back with Sharon because a lot of people will be upset with him and she will be there for him.

Jack will probably be at odds because he never got to raise his own daughter and all the time he lost with Phyllis.

Summer will probably stay in Genoa City getting to know Jack and her brother, Kyle.

Phyllis will most likely go to be with Daniel and Lucy.

I don’t see them killing off Phyllis, I really don’t. I see her leaving to find herself or maybe she gets a job offer somewhere. I also do not see them recasting … at least not for now.


I def. like this part –

Jack will probably be at odds because he never got to raise his own daughter and all the time he lost with Phyllis.

for all intent and purpose… Jack the bachelor – probably wouldn’t have been the same Jack… but… he has all the emotions to have been a family man…. especially, IMO… with Phyllis. and seeing him raise his own child.

for what it’s worth… this is more meaty material that Jack can real.

gosh, How i miss ALL the Abbotts. to me… they were Y&R.


Have to add…. it would be so Phyllis – just like you said…

that this will unspool… Phyllis’ LIFE. to NOT HAVE that connection to Nick….

even tho… she should know… she really belongs with Jack.

now we may never know…. the one Woman who coulda tamed that Jack.


Patrick, I think we also kind of saw the writing on the wall this past week with Phyllis doing a 180 and moving out of Jack’s place after they moved so fast. Michelle Stafford announcing she is leaving makes sense.

Maybe Jack will be without a woman companion for a while and will spend the time getting to know Summer.

This also makes me see why they are dropping Sharon from Adam’s life and having Adam after Chelsea because IF it turns out that Summer is not a Newman, they will need another Newman heir (Adam and Chelsea’s child).


Maybe they will bring Kimberlin Brown back as Sheila to fill the void? Genoa needs a resident bad girl!

Mary SF

Personally, I was always hoping that Phyllis was really Sheila and that Lauren shot the real Phyllis. There were times like when Phyllis was being nice to Daisy that I thought maybe it was true- and there was the mysterious woman who got Daisy out of the hospital– If that was Phyllis aka Sheila- then they could have MS exit the show- then have KB come back with reverse plastic surgery to try to get Summer because in her mind she raised her, so she is her daughter. It would be cool- but Y&R hasn’t been that creative in a while–

Eileen Hargis

For my part, THATS a bit too creative!


Recast with Robin Christopher or Gina Tognoni.

And bring back Victoria Rowell as Drucilla!


No, to VR coming back.. she has said way to much about the show..
Recast Dru….some other actor can do a fine job..


two excellent choices – strong prescence, sexy, alluring, tigresses’.

Skye and Dinah.

and they have their OWN Vamp and don’t over the top it.


Robin would be perfect!

Eileen Hargis

No to Victoria Rowell, also. She burned all her bridges, let her stay stranded far, far away from soaps!

Eileen Hargis

Well, from the gitgo I said be careful what u wish for if u want MAB gone She is and look st the resilts and its not over yet.


I agree 100% with Eileen….


Very sad to see michelle stafford leaving. rumor is they will recast robin christopher. Ex skye general hospital and ex lorna another world


Wonder how they’ll write her out? Might have something to do with finding out Nick is not Summer’s father? She can’t be replaced and who knows, she might change her mind down the road.


This is very upsetting news, but I do not blame Michelle Stafford one bit! She is jumping off of a sinking ship. Y&R already lost a legend with Jeanne Cooper’s passing and Michelle is one of the superstars of this show. Those losses along with the horrendous, boring storylines and the influx of newbies prove why this show losing momentum and losing viewers. CBS made a huge mistake by hiring Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith to helm the legendary soap.

I will miss Michelle and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors, I hope her other, talented costars follow her lead and exit The Sad and the Hopeless.


I wish Michelle wasn’t leaving ,but I wish her only the best.
It is her decision – perhaps she wants to try her hand at nighttime or movies.
I just hope they don’t recast her role,but I think Robin Christopher could fill those shoes if they do recast.




Oh, how I hate that Michelle is leaving the show. Please, Please do not recast. Send her off on a long trip and she could possibly come back. It wont be the same.


I want to know why? Her explanation was vague and very politically correct. How much did Jill Farren Phelps have to do with this decision? JFP is a hack job and very arrogant.


Michelle stafford will be missed. recast her role with liz kiefer ex blake guiding light. oh and what about robin christopher ex sky or jamie luner ex liza colby amc.


What a loss. I stopped watching Y&R a couple months ago because the new stories seemed simplistic to me and because of the treatment of Phyliss’ character. Her son, grandchild, and lover were written off; her storyline was hastily scrapped; her place of business was (practically) closed; and her husband and sister were hustled into a front burner quadrangle without her while she was re-treading water in passionless city with old pal Jack. When a new regime start a show they will naturally go for the characters they like best and be overflowing with ideas for them; the rest of the space they will fill with new characters. They may not always be able to drop popular characters or actors but the pecking order becomes clear. I saw it and I’m sure Stafford did, too. The bottom line is that the ratings are up – and that was what JFP was brought in to do – so I am obviously in the minority. I prefer a different type of show so I just turned it off. I will note that the character I miss most since I stopped watching is…Phyliss. It’s worth noting that only 3 actresses on Y&R have multiple Emmys: Stafford, the late Jeanne Cooper and Jess Walton. I remain concerned for Walton’s future with the show since the passing of her on-screen partner in crime but losing some actors with the passage of time is inevitable. It’s the ones you could have saved that haunt you.


Interesting analysis. If you (and everyone else posting here) are right then good for her! She is too quality to deal with that nonsense. Hopefully we will see her again somewhere else! 🙂

Michelle Nakagawa

I think Phyllis should move away to be with Daniel and his daughter. That way, Michelle can always come back 🙂


Obviously Stafford was NOT getting along with that show killing witch Jill Farren Phelps. Good for her. She’ll make an excellent addition to the best soap on TV, “General Hospital.”


Darn! I wanted to see her and Kyle hook up!


Thats to funny I thought I was the only one to want Phyllis and Kyle to hook up:)


That’s where the storyline was going before the whole trip to Turkey with Jack! LOL!


lol , this show isn’t interesting anymore.Who is the next to exit?


I can’t blame her: the show is a total mess and she hasn’t been given anything to play except backseat to her EZ-Bake oven lovin’ sister and witness to Jack’s 20 minute detox “ordeal”.


Amen to that!


I am seriously grieving right now! The loss of two of the most powerful actresses in daytime TV to Young and the Restless will be – and is – immeasurable. Like her, or hate her, Stafford is an undeniable STAR of the first magnitude; she’s the female Victor Newman on the show! The protagonist that everyone loves to see go completely off the rails! ARGH! I can’t be mad at her for making a personal choice, I just am going to miss my Phyllis fix!! Please don’t insult the viewers with recast; it won’t work…. trust me.


I second everything you just said,Y&R will not be the same without Michelle Stafford(Phyllis).


Switching to Bold &the Beautiful!!!!Best wishes Michelle

Lew S

Sorry to hear the news. The Stafford will be missed and I hope they do not recast the role.


Everything in life comes to an end ..
In soaps nothing actually ends….
Phyllis will be cast, she is an important character and much that goes in GC is around Phyllis , so expect a redhead recast..
the Phyllis character will not end..


Poor Peter Bergman. He will be sad on the show…recast her with … Kate Walsh she looks just like Michelle, she tall and Skinny like Michelle, she looks like Michelle twin sister. Peter mite like her.
I wish Michelle all the luck in the world hope her life is full of happen hope she goes to General Hospital.. Good luck Michelle what ever you too. Shame on Y&R for letting her go. get ride of Peter I will know longer watch your show.


Wish you the best Ms. Stafford I really enjoyed you in the 90’s and before 2005 that is when they really wrote for you.

Eileen Hargis

She is terrific and will do well in whatever she chooses to do. They will recast because of the arrogance of the front office who believe they can do anything and the gullible soap fans will jyst take it.


Why is it when a vet leaves, the first person you guys blame is JFP???????
Maybe MS made the decision to leave the soap. Please quit!


why in the Hell is LLB not on the show. that maybe the only reason I stay with the show. JFP is the reason My Michelle leave.. I hope God does his Job for Michelle.
JFP your get your, what goes around comes around, when you dig a hold you will fall in it.
does anyone know when General Hospital putting Michelle under contract.


It’s hard to imagine Y&R with out Michelle Stafford(Phyllis) what and incredible actress and so much fun to watch. Hopfully one day she will return and what a happy day that will be.

Kim Mathenge

Nick was just about to get exposed as not summer’s dad. She would hAve married jack oh well.


I once read something that seemed a bit winky, but Michelle leaving kind of lends credence to the theory. It said something along the lines of her hating have to act with “older“ men playing her lovers. So as long as she was bedding down with younger hunks like Nick, and Ronan, etc, she was okay with it, but that she didn‘t like being paired with Peter Bergman. Now that the Phyllis/Nick debacle is dead, and Jack and Phyllis are restored to a power couple, and it is coming out that Summer is Jack‘s, that will leave an unbreakable bond between Jack and Phyllis. I dont know if it is true about Michelle preferring younger leading men, just something I heard. All that said, I do not feel she is irreplaceable. The role was woefully miscast with Sandra Nelson, but I feel there are many dynamic actresses, not even necessarily redheads, who could ably tackle this role. Michelle has given a lot to the show, I wish her all the best in the future. However, due to some writing choices with the character, I don‘t feel she is essential to the show. It would give fans a breather and allow a spotlight to be shone onto other characters.


Don’t kill her off, just in case she decides to come back, down the road…

David Evan Smith

It’s a damn shame and a HUGE loss for Y&R. But I do think she’d be a PERFECT Carly on GH. If she was free years ago, I would have preferred her to Laura Wright. Love Laura, but Stafford would set GH on FIRE.

Stacey King

Wow!!! Why is she leaving?? I loved her character…so bold and so brash…going to miss her so much….Team Phyllis…

Gh lover

I hope they recast with Robin Christopher. She would be perfect with Peter Bergman


The last recast was just not good, so send her away, recast later unless the perfect person is available to step in. Does JFP get along with any GREAT actors or does she wantto just have the show retitled THE YOUNG (Recasts) and the Rest.


Michelle Stafford is one of the finest actresses on television, regardless of the time of day. She’s phenomenal, and if she feels it’s time to leave then all of the best to her – can’t wait to see her next venture! I think it would be a mistake to recast Phyllis, and even a bigger mistake to kill her off. With a talent of this caliber, you always leave the door open for them.

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