The Young and the Restless

First Interview: Y&R Original Cast Member Janice Lynde Talks Return

As previously reported Janice Lynde, an original cast member of The Young and the Restless, is set to return to the show next month. The actress drove story for years as heroine Leslie Brooks, a pianist and singer who was integral in contributing to Y&R’s trademark musicality.

Janice Lynde Returns To Y&R As Leslie Brooks

“I was thrilled when the show reached out,” Janice Lynde tells Soap Hub about returning to the top-rated soap opera as Leslie Brooks. She last appeared on the show, briefly, in 2018 along with TV sister Jaime Lyn Bauer (Lorie). While her last appearance was more of a cameo, there’s buzz this time that Leslie will appear more in the forefront.

Leslie’s return isn’t totally surprising as she was mentioned a few times earlier this year by Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott). She and her husband Victor (Eric Braeden) attended one of Leslie’s concerts in Europe. “Nikki and Victor are the characters that Leslie knows,” Lynde points out. “Leslie has been living in Europe, which is very true to my life as I once moved to Europe and had an Italian film career.”

Taking To The Stage

Prior to joining Y&R, Lynde appeared on both Broadway and in the national tour of the hit musical Applause, which was based on the classic film All About Eve. In Applause, Lynde was cast as ambitious actress Eve Harrington, who befriended Margo Channing (Anne Baxter), hoping to pave her own path to stardom. In the film version, Baxter played Eve and Margo was played by Bette Davis.

Janice Lynde appeared in Applause for a year. “It was wonderful being a part of that,” she says. Lynde also did the show with Arlene Dahl (ex-Lucinda, One Life to Live) and Eleanor Parker (The Sound of Music). “I became good friends with [director/choreographer] Bob Fosse, who wanted me to do Pippin, but I didn’t want to leave the role of Eve,” Lynde recalls.

On Meeting Bette Davis

The actress says that she learned a great deal from her stage co-star. “Anne taught me so much about being a collaborative actress,” Lynde says. “She was an ‘actor’s actor’ – she was a star but she liked it when actors worked hard which made her work harder. It wasn’t about ego but rather a creative thing.”

When the costume designer for Applause asked Lynde about her footwear for the show, she said, “Oh, I think I should be in flats [because] Anne is 5’4″ and I’m 5’7″ — Anne said, ‘Darling, leave it to me to come up to your height. The higher, the better — then, I have to work harder.” She was all about collaborating.

Janice Lynde also got to meet Davis, who attended many performances of Applause. “Bette said she loved the show,” Lynde recollects. “She must have. She came back several times.” Last year, viewers got to see Lynde originate Leslie Brooks as CBS rebroadcast classic Y&R episodes during the pandemic production shutdown including the show’s March 26, 1973 premiere.

Lynde says she had a wonderful time revisiting Leslie and is open to returning for more episodes. “I really appreciate Y&R,” she says. “It seems impossible that it’s been on this long and has survived. I love the whole music element of the show. I love the actors here. Eric and Mel were so charming and welcoming.”

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.

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