Is Michelle Stafford Leaving 'The Young and the Restless'? Here's What We Know

Melissa Willets - Author
By

Mar. 23 2023, Published 2:40 p.m. ET

Michelle Stafford
Source: Getty Images

Michelle Stafford has been a regular on The Young and the Restless since — wait for it — 1994! The soap star counts over 2,100 episodes to her credit, playing Phyllis Summers.

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But now, Michelle's future in Genoa City is in question after all of these years. Yes, she has taken breaks from the role over the years, but is the actor leaving the show, and the role of Phyllis, for good?

Is Michelle Stafford leaving 'The Young and the Restless' after all of these years?

Michelle Stafford in 2001
Source: Getty Images

According to Soap Trend, Michelle told her Instagram followers that she does intend to leave The Young and the Restless. However, it seems this absence is only temporary and may be written into the soap's storyline.

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Consider that Michelle has acted in other projects over the years, notably appearing in the movie Double Jeopardy in 1999, and as a regular on General Hospital in the part of Nina Reeves from 2014–2019.

These commitments have taken her away from the role of Phyllis, with Gina Tognoni stepping in to play Phyllis in 2014.

Michelle came back to The Young and the Restless in 2019. Sandra Nelson also played Phyllis over the course of the soap opera's run.

Given the ebbs and flows of the role, it seems natural to assume that Michelle isn't going to leave Genoa City for good this time either.

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Multiple sources are reporting that she isn't done for good with the role, including Soap Dirt. In fact, as the show gears up to celebrate 50 years on air, Michelle took to Instagram to pay homage to the creator of the soap, and the role of Phyllis, indicating that she plans to stick around — at least for now.

Michelle Stafford feels lucky to have had the role of Phyllis in her life.

On March 6, 2023, Michelle honored William J. Bell, the late co-creator of The Young and the Restless in a touching Instagram post.

"I know that Bill is smiling down on us during this 50 year celebration," she said in part, adding, "I am still honored that the role I play was created by Bill himself. "

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"I am forever indebted to him and the entire Bell family," the actress continued. "They can never know exactly what they did for me. It’s profound. I’m giving so many kisses up to heaven today. I hope you think we did you proud these next few weeks as we celebrate 50 years of Y&R."

Michelle Stafford is a working, single mom.

Meanwhile, Michelle's career journey has also likely been impacted by her decision to have kids as a single woman.

The star has always been an open book when it comes to her personal life, and how challenging it was to become a parent. In 2020, Michelle wrote a blog for People magazine in which she revealed, "I was single and 40 and wanted to be a mother. Why did I have to wait?"

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After successfully conceiving a child via surrogate, she added, "I’ll be honest: It’s challenging doing it alone."

Clearly, the working mom has made it work! As for what the future holds for her as far as Young and the Restless is concerned, well, that remains to be seen, as there isn't a clear answer to that question at the time of writing.

But fans of the show have some strong opinions to be sure.

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Michelle still has her devoted fans who flock to her Instagram to proclaim that she is irreplaceable on the TV program.

"You amaze me every time I see you in the role of Phyllis!" one fan gushed to the star. "I can tell it’s more than just acting for you, it’s a passion, and not just a job! Thank you!"

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