J. Eddie Peck is heading back to The Young and Restless as novelist Cole Howard, a role he originally played from 1992 to 1999. During his seven-year tenure in Genoa City, the character was wed to Victoria and Ashley and had flings with Nikki and Nina. That is before he skipped town to become a college professor. Here’s a refresher course on the character.
Cole Howard: Who’s That Guy?
Cole, an aspiring writer, arrived in Genoa City in 1992. He was the son of Victor’s (Eric Braeden) former secretary, Eve Howard, who believed the wealthy mogul had fathered him. (At the time, Victor was presumed dead, but was actually alive and in Kansas with Hope.) Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) hired Cole as a stable hand and introduced him to Steve Connelly, who published Cole’s first novel. Although Victoria was interested in him, Cole had an affair with Nikki. Yet, in time, he fell in love with Victoria. Before Eve could tell Cole that he and Victoria were half-siblings, she died, and Cole and Victoria eloped to Las Vegas.
A New Identity
When Victor returned to Genoa City alive, he revealed that Cole was his son, forcing Victoria and her new husband to get an annulment. A devastated Victoria left town. However, Victor later uncovered the truth about Cole’s paternity. He was actually the biological son of Rick Daros, another man Eve had had an affair with. Victor and Cole tracked down Victoria and shared the good news with her. Upon returning home, Cole and Victoria remarried.
Jealousy and Temptation
The couple’s marriage hit a snag when Victoria became jealous of the time Cole spent with his editor, Jeri Paulsen (Christine McCall Champion). Then Victoria began reconnecting with her ex Ryan (Scott Reeves) at work, while Cole fell for Ryan’s wife, Nina (Tricia Cast). When Nina spied Ryan kissing Victoria, she kicked him out of their home. Victor persuaded Cole to make his marriage to Victoria work, and the pair agreed to give their relationship another chance.
Cole began penning a new novel based on Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson), and the duo began spending a lot of time together. Feeling neglected, Victoria started frequently leaving town on business. Her absence paved the way for Ashley and Cole to grow closer. When Victoria returned home unexpectedly and saw Cole and Ashley kissing, she separated from her husband. Cole began pursuing Ashley and soon proposed to her. Ashley accepted, just as Victoria discovered she was pregnant with Cole’s baby. Although Victoria originally tried to hide the news from Cole, she ultimately admitted she was carrying his child. Cole vowed to be a father to their baby, but also planned to follow through with his plans to marry Ashley. Victoria countered by getting engaged to Neil (Kristoff St. John). Sadly, Cole and Victoria’s baby daughter died shortly after she was born.
More Marital Mayhem
Cole and Ashley’s marriage began deviating off course when Ashley went to Madrid to help her stepbrother Rafael Delgado (Carlos Bernard), an art forger par excellence, out of a serious jam. Cole, who followed her there, assumed Ashley was having an affair with Rafael. Meanwhile, Victoria, who was determined to break up Cole and Ashley, joined the trio in Europe and hooked up with Rafael. By the time they all returned to Genoa City and the complicated mess was sorted out, Ashley committed herself to saving her marriage to Cole and proposed having a baby. Cole wasn’t interested and filed for divorce before leaving town to accept a teaching position at Oxford.