Phyllis Summers

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Phyllis Summers
Michelle Stafford as Phyllis.png
Michelle Stafford as Phyllis Summers
The Young and the Restless character
Portrayed byMichelle Stafford (1994–97, 2000–13)
Sandra Nelson (1997–98)
Duration1994–98, 2000–13
First appearanceOctober 17, 1994
Last appearanceAugust 2, 2013 (2013-08-02)
Introduced byWilliam J. Bell
ClassificationFormer, regular
Profile
OccupationBusinesswoman
HomeGeorgia, United States
Sandra Nelson as Phyllis.jpg
Sandra Nelson as Phyllis Summers
 
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Phyllis Summers
Michelle Stafford as Phyllis.png
Michelle Stafford as Phyllis Summers
The Young and the Restless character
Portrayed byMichelle Stafford (1994–97, 2000–13)
Sandra Nelson (1997–98)
Duration1994–98, 2000–13
First appearanceOctober 17, 1994
Last appearanceAugust 2, 2013 (2013-08-02)
Introduced byWilliam J. Bell
ClassificationFormer, regular
Profile
OccupationBusinesswoman
HomeGeorgia, United States
Sandra Nelson as Phyllis.jpg
Sandra Nelson as Phyllis Summers

Phyllis Summers Newman[1] (formerly Romalotti and Abbott) is a fictional character from the American CBS Daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. Created and introduced by William J. Bell, the character made her debut on the episode airing on October 17, 1994, portrayed by Michelle Stafford. Phyllis was introduced as a groupie of rock singer Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) who claimed to have given birth to his child, Daniel Romalotti (Michael Graziadei). Danny married Phyllis out of obligation to his son, sparking a rivalry between Phyllis and his ex-wife Christine Blair (Lauralee Bell) that continues to present time.

The character is known for scheming to get what she wants. In 1997, Stafford exited the soap opera and the role was recast with Sandra Nelson, who portrayed the role for a year. In 2000, Stafford was brought back by former head writer Kay Alden. Phyllis has also been involved with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Nicholas Newman (Joshua Morrow); both relationships have garnered fan followings. Stafford has been praised for her portrayal, for which she has won two Daytime Emmy Awards. Stafford made the decision to leave The Young and the Restless after nearly sixteen years, with the character being written into a coma, last airing on August 2, 2013. Phyllis has since been appearing while her loved ones were visiting her at the hospital in Georgia, but her face is never seen. She has also been seen in Sharon's flashbacks, her latest appearance being in January 2014 when Sharon found Summer at the bottom of a flight of stairs after a photo shoot because Summer took energy pills that Esmeralda, a longtime model that interacts with Summer, gave her. Sharon then flashes back to seeing Phyllis falling down the stairs and then sees Summer as Phyllis and rushes to help Summer.

Casting[edit]

Stafford made her debut on October 17, 1994. Her stint on the soap opera was initially a short term role, however, her work impressed the producers and she was placed on contract.[2][3][4] In 1997, Stafford left the soap opera to pursue other career opportunities, and the role was recast with Sandra Nelson.[5][6] She portrayed the role from March 21, 1997 until 1998.[7] In July 2000, Stafford was brought back to the soap opera by former head writer Kay Alden.[8] Speaking of her return, Stafford stated:[9]

[The show] had approached me before, and then when this [opportunity] came up it wasn't through agents or anything like that. It was through Jerry Birn, one of the writers, who's still a really good friend of mine. He plays golf with my stepfather, so it came that way. We met for a drink, Jerry and I, and we just talked loosely because I wasn't sure that I wanted to come back on the show. [I saw] how excited he was about the character and what he wanted to do with the character was really cool. That's rare to find as an actress...that people are really excited and willing to work [and] write for you. Then I talked to Kay [Alden]. Everybody [that I spoke with] really had a strong opinion of the character and of where she would be in the show.

In 2009, Stafford signed a new contract with The Young and the Restless which would ensure her portrayal of Phyllis for an unspecified period of time.[10] In May 2013, it was announced that Stafford would be exiting the soap opera after sixteen years in the role.[11] Stafford later confirmed that her final scenes would air sometime that August.[12]

In July 2013, Stafford appeared on the cover of Soap Opera Digest which was dubbed "Her Final Interview". In the interview with editor Stephanie Sloane, she confessed that she was completely done with the soap opera, though wouldn't mind if the role of Phyllis was recast, stating: "They may, as a courtesy, ask if I wanted to come back; I don't know, they may not. It's okay with me. It doesn't matter because I am done. I'm completely done. And I'm not upset if they recast, I totally would understand."[13][14] Stafford also stated she had some ideas for a recast, but would not detail the specifics of those ideas.[13]

Stafford also opened up as to her reasons for departing the series, stating, "There were other things that I really wanted to do. And the way that the show runs right now, the climate of daytime, the producers, the company, isn’t so apt to be as accommodating with other projects. I don’t say that as a criticism; as a producer, I’d do the same. And recently, probably at the end of last year, I was considering it seriously. I think it coincided with my sister getting sick in September, and being a mother, and really thinking about life, the future and other things that I wanted to create,” says Stafford on why she decided to leave the show. “There were a lot of personal reasons that I just think are not important to share with the world. Only my good friends should know."[14] Stafford exited the series on August 2, 2013.[14]

Development[edit]

When she debuted, Phyllis was known to scheme to get what she wanted. The Record said she is "usually scheming and she wouldn't have her any other way".[4] Of her "damaged" familial background, Stafford stated: "I think Phyllis is looking for something she decided must exist in life that maybe doesn’t. She is looking for something she never had, which is a family unit and real love. She is looking for that and she is thinking that it should be a certain way, because it is not what she had. In truth, that thing that she is looking for might not even exist. But she is trying to find it."[15]

Phyllis' first romance on the soap opera was with Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian), whom she conned into believing he had fathered a child with her. During their loveless marriage, Stafford stated: "Phyllis is trying to figure out how to hold on to (her husband) Danny. Her shrink tells her, 'Don't exaggerate your sexuality.' But she doesn't get it. Danny isn't even the father of the baby. That's something that might come up later. But in the meantime, this woman is going to get him." When he discovered her deception, a vicious divorce battle ensued.[16] They later briefly remarried before Danny obtained custody of Phyllis' son, Daniel, and left town with him. Upon her return in 2000, Phyllis began dating Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and they were later married. Of their romance, Bergman stated: "These two were perfectly wrong for each other. These two people cared about each other and wanted this to work in the worst possible way, but just couldn’t make it work. That is not normal for soaps. It was fun to play and for the audience to watch, because these two people were desperately loving each other and they are destructive of each other, and someone is going to hurt someone here. These are two type “A” personalities."[17] After being told more children weren't possible, Phyllis and Jack attempted to gain custody of Jack's son, Kyle Jenkins, from Diane Jenkins (Susan Walters), which failed and they eventually divorce in 2004.

In 2005, Phyllis and Jack reunited, just before she began an affair with Nicholas Newman (Joshua Morrow). Nick used the affair to numb his emotions after his daughter's tragic death,[18] having been married to Sharon Newman (Sharon Case). A love triangle forms between the three characters, and while Nick initially returns to Sharon, Phyllis becomes pregnant and in unsure if Nick or Jack is the father. A paternity test supposedly revealed Nick as the father, and their daughter, Summer Newman (Hunter King), is born in December 2006,[19] and they are married in May 2007. Their three-year marriage eventually succumbs to Nick's ongoing feelings for Sharon, which resulted in an affair and the birth of their daughter, Faith. Nick divorces Phyllis in 2010. They briefly reunite and remarry in 2012, although it ends due to Phyllis' adultery and lies.[20][21][22] Morrow stated that "not many husbands would put up with he has" in his marriages to Phyllis.[23] For the years following Summer's birth, speculation arose that Jack was in fact Summer's father, not Nick. In 2013, it was revealed that the paternity test conducted in 2006 was inconclusive.[24] A second paternity test was run by Nick and the results show that Jack is Summer's father. However, Sharon now wants Nick back, and tampers with the test results, allowing everyone to believe Jack is now the father of Summer. Phyllis ultimately hears Sharon confessing to this at Cassie's grave, resulting in an altercation between the two and ending with Phyllis falling down a flight of stairs.

Storylines[edit]

Backstory[edit]

Phyllis was born on June 14, 1974[25] in Darien, Connecticut to parents George Summers and Lydia Callahan.[25] She then ran away from home as a teenager for undisclosed reasons, leaving behind a younger sister who was revealed to be Avery Bailey Clark in 2011. In 1993, Phyllis gave birth to a son, Daniel, who was fathered by Brian Hamilton who wanted nothing to do with Phyllis or her unborn child. Thus, she conned Danny Romalotti into believing Daniel was his son, and he married her out of obligation. In 1995, her parents came to Genoa City to visit her but Phyllis chased them out of town.

1994–[edit]

Phyllis arrived in Genoa City in 1994. She was a fan of rockstar Danny Romalotti, whom she drugged to get in bed with her. When she got pregnant, Phyllis altered the DNA results to show Danny as the father. Danny left his wife, Christine Blair, and married Phyllis, who gave birth to Daniel Romalotti Jr. Danny eventually left Phyllis. Intent on revenge, Phyllis ran down Christine and her fiancé, Paul Williams. They survived. Danny and Phyllis underwent therapy. Phyllis had an affair with her psychiatrist, Tim Reid; and taped them having sex to blackmail him into telling the courts that Danny and Phyllis should not divorce. They divorced anyway and Phyllis was briefly engaged to Tim before reuniting with Danny. Eventually, Brian Hamilton was revealed to be Daniel's biological father, however Danny fought for custody and won, leaving town with him. Phyllis later had relationships with Malcolm Winters, Michael Baldwin and Jack Abbott before leaving town. She returned as a web designer for Jabot Cosmetics, but was later fired and went to work for Newman Enterprises.

Phyllis married Jack and they learned she was unable to have anymore children. She and Jack tried to get custody of his son, Kyle Jenkins Abbott from Kyle's mother, Diane Jenkins, and Phyllis tried to get Diane out of their lives. Diane set Phyllis up to be jailed for arson and attempted murder, but Phyllis was released. She and Jack divorced. In 2004, Phyllis's son Daniel returned as a teenager and she eventually bonded with him as mother and son. Phyllis later reunited with Jack and began working with Nikki Newman on NVP, a new company funded by Newman Enterprises.

She then had an affair with Nick Newman while he was married to Sharon, and grieving the loss of their daughter Cassie. Phyllis became pregnant, and Nick divorced Sharon and then married Phyllis, who gave birth to Summer Newman. Phyllis blackmailed Brad Carlton over his own affair with Sharon, so he would vote for what she wanted on the Newman board. While on a business trip with Sharon and Drucilla Winters, the three women got into a fight, and Drucilla and Sharon fell off a cliff; Dru was never found. Phyllis went to jail for blackmailing Brad and Sharon. Nick was later involved in a plane crash and presumed dead. He showed up months later, with amnesia, believing he was still married to Sharon. He eventually regained his memory. Later, Phyllis, Nick, Jack and Sharon develop a Restless Style magazine, but Jack and Sharon eventually leave. After witnessing Nick and Sharon kissing in Paris, Phyllis tried to get Brad to keep Sharon away from Nick. This failed, and Nick and Sharon had sex at the Abbott cabin. Sharon wound up pregnant, giving birth to Faith Newman. Phyllis divorces Nick due to his connection with Sharon.

Nick and Phyllis eventually reconnected, despite their divorce. Phyllis got custody of Daniel's daughter Lucy, who had been illegally adopted by Billy and Victoria Abbott. In 2012, Phyllis became pregnant and Nick proposed. Phyllis lost the baby, but they still got married. Their marriage was strained when Phyllis finally faced charges for running down Paul and Christine in December 1994. Phyllis's former therapist, Tim Reid came to town, blackmailing Phyllis. When Tim dropped dead in Phyllis's apartment, she moved the body and then turned to Ronan Malloy for help. Her marriage to Nick ended when Phyllis slept with Ronan, also straining Phyllis's relationship with a teenaged Summer. Phyllis eventually regained a close relationship with her daughter, while also rekindling her romance with Jack.

In 2013, it was revealed that Nick had lied and claimed paternity over Summer (now 18 years old), despite the original paternity test taken years ago being corrupted. He takes a second test, which still proves that he is the father. However, Sharon now wants Nick back, and tampers with the test results, allowing everyone to believe Jack is now the father of Summer. Phyllis ultimately hears Sharon confessing to this at Cassie's grave, resulting in an altercation between the two and ending with Phyllis falling down a flight of stairs. After the fight Phyllis is transported to the hospital and is comatose. She is surrounded by her family, and her son, Daniel Romalotti, returns to see his mother. Phyllis briefly awakes with Jack at her side, and he proposes, but Phyllis is unresponsive. She then has a panic attack at the sight of Sharon in window of the door. This causes her to relapse into a coma and is diagnosed with a bruise on her brain. This causes Daniel to request that she be moved to an experimental facility off the coast of where he resides, in Georgia. This is much to the dismay of Jack, Summer, and, Avery, as they do not want her to be so far away. After much convincing the group decides to try everything possible to help Phyllis, and agree to send her to Georgia. In her final scene Jack is seen placing a ring on an unresponsive, comatose Phyllis to make their engagement official. Sharon is relieved when Nick's wedding to Avery is called off, though Noah discovers that she is off her medication, attributing to her continued odd behavior. Sharon, who is seeing and speaking to a ghost version of Cassie, is also neglecting therapy at this point. On September 17, 2013, Sharon had a dream that she was about to get married to Nick. In her dream, she was wearing a wedding dress and arguing with Noah about how she changed Summer's paternity results. She then turns around to see Phyllis, surprised that she has came out of her coma, and thinks that Phyllis is going to tell Nick the truth about Summer. Sharon then wakes up, relieved to find out that she was only dreaming. Phyllis has since been appearing while her loved ones were visiting her at the hospital in Georgia, but her face is never seen. She has also been seen in Sharon's flashbacks, her latest appearance being on January 15, 2014 when Sharon found Summer at the bottom of a flight of stairs after a photo shoot because Summer took energy pills that Esmeralda, a longtime model that interacts with Summer, gave her. Sharon then flashes back to seeing Phyllis falling down the stairs and then sees Summer as Phyllis and rushes to help Summer.

Reception[edit]

Stafford has been praised for her portrayal. In 1995, Lilana Novakovich of the Toronto Star stated: "Michelle Stafford is every bit as irrepressible as Phyllis Romalotti, her character on The Young and the Restless."[26] The Sharon/Nick/Phyllis love triangle, which took place from 2006 to 2010, was considered one of the genre's most titillating storylines. Jamaica Gleaner was enthralled by the twists and turns of the love triangle and published an interview with Stafford; the newspaper asked whether Nick would end his ten-year marriage to Sharon and rather enter into an official romance with her pregnant character Phyllis. Stafford replied, "In a perfect world, she'd wish [the baby was] Nick's. But he's married; he's not going to leave Sharon. And she doesn't want him to."[27] The love triangle was a prominent topic of soap opera debate during its run. Daniel R. Coleridge of TV Guide labeled it "A can't-miss week for the popular Sharon/Nick/Phyllis triangle" when Phyllis's OB-GYN is to inform her that she is expecting.[28] On-Air On-Soaps has noted that both Phyllis' pairings with both Jack and Nick have garnered fan followings; they recognized her pairing with Nick as the "Phick vs. Shick" fan-base war.[29]

Stafford has received a number of honors for her portrayal of Phyllis, including Soap Opera Digest Award wins for Outstanding Female Newcomer in 1996,[30] for Outstanding Villainess in 1997[31][32] and for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2003.,[33] earning another nomination in the same category in 2005.[34] Stafford also received a nomination for the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Female Scene Stealer in 2001.[35] She received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1996,[36] winning in 1997.[37] Stafford has also received eight nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2003,[38] 2005,[39] 2007,[40] 2008,[41] 2010,[42] 2011,[42] 2013,[43] winning only once in 2004.[44] At the 32nd Daytime Emmy Awards, Stafford and co-star Peter Bergman were nominated for the Special Fan Award for Irresistible Combination.[3][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ On September 26, 2013, Dr. Costner calls her Ms. Newman, suggesting that she still uses Newman as her last name
  2. ^ "About Michelle". Michellestafford.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Michelle Stafford Bio". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Novakovich, Lilana (November 16, 1996). "Stafford loves Y&R role". The Record. p. C.4. 
  5. ^ Goldstein, Toby (April 6, 1997). "'The Young and the Restless' Recasts Two Key Roles". The Buffalo News. Tribune Media Services. 
  6. ^ "Sandra Nelson Biography". MSN Movies. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ The Young and the Restless recap (February 18, 1999) - Soapcentral.com
  8. ^ The Young and the Restless recap (July 14, 2000) - Soapcentral.com
  9. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/6IlYbj8Qv
  10. ^ Kroll, Dan J. (2009-07-14). "Michelle Stafford inks a new contract, time off". SoapCentral. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  11. ^ Bricker, Tierney (May 20, 2013). "The Young and The Restless Shocker: Michelle Stafford Exiting After 16 Years". E!. NBCUniversal. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ Clifford, Kambra (June 19, 2013). "Michelle Stafford Tapes Final Episode of ‘Y&R’ Today". Soap Opera Network. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Giddens, Jamey (July 25, 2013). "Michelle Stafford on The Young and the Restless' Phyllis: "I'm Completely Done"". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c Lewis, Errol (July 26, 2013). "Michelle Stafford Talks Real Reason For ‘Y&R’ Exit". Soap Opera Network. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ Fairman, Michael (February 25, 2012). "The Michelle Stafford Interview - The Young and the Restless". On-Air On-Soaps. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ Hinsey, Carolyn (November 11, 1995). "Phyllis tries covering up". Toronto Star. Cox Enterprises. p. SW.90. 
  17. ^ Fairman, Michael (December 7, 2009). "The Peter Bergman Interview - The Young and the Restless". On-Air On-Soaps. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Catch Up on What You Missed: 2005". The Young and the Restless. Sony Entertainment Television. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Catch Up on What You Missed: 2006". The Young and the Restless. Sony Entertainment Television. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Scopin' the soaps (Detroit Free Dress News)". Detroit Free Press. (Gannett Company). 
  21. ^ "Soap Opera Review". telegram.com. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  22. ^ Bowe, Jillian (June 7, 2012). "The Young and the Restless Spoilers: Tragedy Strikes on Phick's Wedding Day!". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  23. ^ McElwain, Julie (September 10, 2012). "Saint Nick". CBS Soaps In Depth. pp. 55–57. 
  24. ^ Giddens, Jamey (May 17, 2013). "Young and Restless' Joshua Morrow Speaks Out on Nick's Game-Changing Deception!". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Who's Who in Genoa City: Phyllis Summers Newman". Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  26. ^ Novakovich, Lilana (November 24, 1995). "Y&R actress survived brush with death as teen". Toronto Star. Cox Enterprises. 
  27. ^ "'The Young And The Restless' - Phyllis has a secret ... will it affect Jack or Nick?". Jamaica Gleaner. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  28. ^ Coleridge, Daniel R. (2006-05-09). "Restless Redhead Spills Phyllis' Big Secret". TVGuide. 
  29. ^ "Y&R’s Joshua Morrow on if Summer is really Nick’s or Jack’s!". On-Air On-Soaps. Michael Fairman Soaps, Inc. May 26, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  30. ^ Associated Press (February 15, 1996). "'Soap Opera Digest' names daytime's hottest". McCook Daily Gazette. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  31. ^ "'General Hospital' wins Soap Opera awards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 1, 1997. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Readers just can't cope without scoop on soaps". Sun Journal. March 28, 1997. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  33. ^ "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 2003". Soap Opera Digest. soapoperadigest.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Event: Soap Opera Digest Awards (2005)". Internet Movie Database. February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 1993. 
  35. ^ "Event: Soap Opera Digest Awards (2001)". Internet Movie Database. February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 1993. 
  36. ^ Richmond, Ray (April 5, 1996). "'Y&R' leads Emmy nominations". Observer–Reporter (Washington, Pennsylvania: Observer Publishing Company). p. 11. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Award winners". The Victoria Advocate (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate Publishing). Associated Press. May 22, 1997. p. 13. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Nominees for Daytime Emmys". USA Today. Tysons Corner, Virginia: Gannett Company. Associated Press. March 12, 2003. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Daytime Emmy Award Nominations". TVWeek. Detroit, Michigan: Crain Communications. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013t. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  40. ^ Bonawitz, Amy (February 11, 2009). "34th Annual Daytime Emmy Winners". New York City: CBS News. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  41. ^ "The 35th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. New York: emmyonline.org. April 30, 2008. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  42. ^ a b "The 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". New York: emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. May 11, 2011. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  43. ^ "The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". New York: emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. May 1, 2013. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  44. ^ "DeGeneres wins Emmy for best talk show". MSNBC. New York City: NBCUniversal. Associated Press. May 28, 2004. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  45. ^ "Peter Bergman Bio". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved September 29, 2012.