Camryn Grimes is celebrating 25 years with The Young and the Restless. Longtime fans recall she spent her first tenure on the show as Cassidy ‘Cassie’ Newman, who died an untimely death after suffering injuries from a car accident.
Camryn Grimes Recalls Cassie’s Death
Soap Hub spoke to Grimes about her initial run on the show and how Cassie hadn’t been rapidly aged and recast like many child characters/actors are. In this second part of a three-part interview, Soap Hub talks to Grimes about Cassie’s heartbreaking death, which she taped after being told by her family that the show was not only letting her go but killing off her character.
Soap Hub: Do you recall learning that you were leaving Y&R in 2005?
Camryn Grimes: Yes. My mom and my grandma picked me up from school. They were visibly upset. I was like, ‘Okay. Something bad has happened.’ They told me in the car. I was 14 or 15 years old. It didn’t really hit me until after I was gone from the show. When people are emotional — which they were when I was leaving — I tend to go into ‘shutdown’ mode. So, I was surrounded by people who were treating me like I was dying — in my family and people at the show. They were upset because they thought I was going to be upset.
Soap Hub: What emotions were you going through?
Camryn Grimes: I was numb and shell-shocked. I saw Josh [Morrow, Nick] and Sharon [Case, Sharon] being so emotional. They were like my second parents. Months later, it hit me — I’d been living the life I’d always known, and the next day, I was a kid going to school [and wasn’t on Y&R anymore]. It was a stark adjustment period. It ended up being amazing for me on a personal level.
Soap Hub: How so?
Camryn Grimes: I went through sort of a mid-life crisis. I had had a career. I lived an entire life and suddenly, that changed in an instant. I had to unwrap my identity from the show and from my function while going through puberty and becoming an adult. The next few years after leaving the show were formative and important. I don’t think I’d be the person I am now if I hadn’t gotten that lesson so early on.
Soap Hub: Just to rewind a bit, were you told you were leaving and that Cassie was dying at the same time?
Camryn Grimes: I think I was told both at the same time. It was like, ‘This is the story and this is happening.’ I think people were shocked because I had just signed a new contract. Six months later, the story played out.
Soap Hub: Cassie’s death re-aired during the production shutdown when Y&R ran out of original episodes. Shooting those ‘last’ days must have been tough.
Camryn Grimes: Those were rough days. The last ones were really somber. I always felt bad for Amelia [Heinle, Victoria] because she had just started on the show. She was maybe a few episodes in and she had to witness [Cassie’s death]. Everyone was miserable. Everyone came down to the set to watch. You could hear the crying. People were trying to be quiet. Everyone was in tears. I was upset too, but I was also trying to be professional. I thought, ‘I can’t fall apart. I’ve got a job to do. I’ve got to get this done.’
Soap Hub: Cassie went to that great soap in the sky, but you came back for fantasy appearances in 2009, 2010…what were those experiences like for you?
Camryn Grimes: I came back a few times a year or maybe once a year. The world moves on. It was amazing to come back and catch up with everyone for an episode. Each time I returned, the canvas had changed. There were new people. I had moved forward and was doing my own thing, so it always felt like a short catch-up. After a point, [the returns] stopped. I was pretty convinced myself that ‘Okay. We’ve moved past Cassie.’
Of course, this wasn’t the end of Camryn Grimes and Y&R. Check back for the third installment of Soap Hub’s interview with the actress in which she talks about returning to the show as Mariah Copeland, Cassie’s twin, and that character’s journey and love story with Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks).
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.