Fans of The Young and Restless probably know that Eric Braeden almost left the show. In fact, there was a lot of drama over his role of Victor Newman — at one point he took a 5-week leave from The Young and Restless, making viewers wonder if he'll ever return (he did). The soap opera star took a break so he could star in the indie film The Man Who Came Back in 2008. But that's not where the drama ends. So, what's Eric's deal now?
Is Eric Braeden leaving 'Young and Restless'?
As of now, Eric Braeden, who's been in the soap opera since 1980 has no intentions to leave The Young and Restless after an initial tumultuous back and forth with producers. “No — categorically, no!” he replied to the rumors. “I love this job! I love doing it. I love who I’m working with. Why in the world would I want to leave now? No, I will never leave!”
He also recently celebrated Year 41 on the show with this magnificent bottle of liquor.
He went on, saying, "Can you believe it? How lucky am I! For 40 years, I have been doing what I love doing! In this business, you have 90 to 95 percent of actors who can’t make a living full-time. But I’ve been employed, more or less, since 1962. That was on [primetime]. But as an actor, you never really feel safe that this job is going to last. I don’t have any personal pictures in my dressing room because of that! It’s almost 40 years later, and I still don’t trust it. It’s the nature of this business!”
But this wasn't always the case. Eric did almost leave The Young and Restless back in 2009. In a tell-all interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2009, he says he got into a "nasty" negotiation process with Sony (they wanted the actor to take a pay cut, so Eric decided to leave instead).
When asked by EW if he considered Sony's offering (at the time), Eric replied, "No. There is no appreciation of the fact that I’ve been an important part of the show for nearly 30 years that has been no. 1 in the ratings. That’s extraordinary. So to be dealt with in a perfunctory matter as if you had just known these people for a few months is what is most offensive. This is a certain corporate culture now that is very deleterious."
Eric went on, describing Sony's practices as questionable after being asked how his character would be written off:
"It was rushed. It was obviously meant to intimidate. It was obviously done with enormous forethought to coincide with the end of the 26-week cycle. Essentially that is what the business is doing now and has been doing for a while. And quite frankly, it’s outrageous. When I sign a three-year deal, I’m obligated to fulfill that deal. The producers, however, can come to me after a half-year and say, 'We’ve changed our minds.' Where in the world of business does this kind of contract exist? Do I blame the people for wanting to squeeze as much out of us as they can? I do not. The question is, when do you squeeze too much?"
People are wondering if Eric Braeden died.
In short, no. Eric is very much alive and well. And it doesn't look like the 79-year-old going anywhere anytime soon.
Watch The Young and Restless every Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. EST on CBS.