[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ctress Eileen Davidson originated the role of Y&R’s Ashley Abbott in 1982. She first played the part of this Jabot Cosmetics executive and Jack Abbott’s (Peter Bergman) sister on the show until 1989. Since her 1999 return to “The Young and the Restless”, Davidson has also played the character on Y&R’s sister show, “The Bold and the Beautiful” (B&B)–when not playing Kristin Blake DiMera on “Days of Our Lives”. Ashley is the mother of Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway), Victor Newman’s (Eric Braeden) daughter.
Born Eileen Marie Davidson on June 15, 1959, in Artesia, CA, the actress got her start modeling in California, Mexico City, and later Europe. Acting lessons and TV commercials led to auditions for television roles. Her first guest spot was in 1982 on “The Phoenix”, in 1982, the same year she landed her iconic role on “The Young and the Restless”. She has always used Eileen Davidson as her professional name.
When Davidson left Y&R the first time, she was cast as JJ “Bullet” Tingreedes, the female lead in the 1990 primetime TV series, “Broken Badges”. The series was cancelled by CBS after seven episodes. From there, she returned to soaps as Kelly Capwell on NBC’s “Santa Barbara”, and remained with that show until its cancellation in 1993.
Davidson was soon cast as Kristen Blake on “Days of Our Lives”. Along with a brother, Peter (Jason Brooks), this character was raised by Stephano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo). After her (annulled) marriage to Andre DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) who was posing as Tony, the character was referred to as Kristen DiMera.
During her first run on DOOL, Davidson played five characters, concurrently. In addition to Kristen, she played the Banks siblings: Susan, Sister Mary Moira, Thomas, and Penelope Kent. In 1998, she was nominated for Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress.
Davidson returned to Y&R and the role of Ashley Abbott in 1999 and would remain in that role until 2013, although in 2007 and 2008, she took the character to “The Bold and the Beautiful”. In 2012, she returned to DAYS and brought Kristen DiMera back to Salem. While both soaps are produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Y&R did not want to share the actress, so the studio cancelled her Y&R contract, because DAYS needed her more.
After a year as Kristen, Davidson departed the role. She returned to DAYS in 2014, and when she re-signed with “The Young and the Restless”, her contract allowed her to play roles on both Sony soaps. Eileen Davidson won her first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress for that DAYS stint. During her 2015 Salem run, Kristen DiMera was supposedly killed, but her body was never found.
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Davidson’s film roles include BJ in Goin’ All the Way (1982); Vicki in The House on Sorority Row (1983); She Wolf in Easy Wheels (1989); and Dahlia/Valerie in 1990’s Eternity. In 2014, she joined the main cast of the Bravo reality series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, along with fellow DAYS alum, Lisa Rinna (Billie Reed).
Previously married to the late Christopher Mayer (T.J. Daniels, Santa Barbara), and Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins, General Hospital), Davidson wed Vincent Van Patten in 2003. The couple live in L.A. with their son Jesse. Davidson is also stepmother to Van Patten’s adult sons, Richard “Duke,” and Vince.
Eileen Davidson stars as Y&R’s Ashley Abbott, weekdays on CBS. Leave a comment in the section below, or share your thoughts in our brand new soap forums. For more The Young and the Restless spoilers and news updates, join the conversation on Soap Shows’ Y&R Facebook page. Follow SoapShows’ Twitter, for ’round-the-clock Genoa City updates. Connect with Cindy McLennan on Twitter, too.
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