“Smilin’ Jack” isn’t just a handle for Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless. His portrayer, Peter Bergman, tells Soap Hub why he, too, is smiling these days and why leading lady Susan Walters, who plays Diane, has a lot to do with that.
Peter Bergman: When You’re Smiling
In November 2021, Bergman was recuperating from an eye injury but any discomfort he was feeling was soon alleviated after receiving a phone call from head writer/co-executive producer Josh Griffith and Danielle Unger, Director Current, CBS.
“They wanted to talk to me about this person they wanted to bring back,” Bergman says, referring to the decision to resurrect the role of Diane who would once again be played by Walters. (The show had killed off Diane back in 2011 when she was played by Maura West, now Ava Jerome on General Hospital.)
A Little Diddy About Jack and Diane
“I had been banging this drum for a really long time,” Bergman shares. He concurs with the notion that Y&R is based on two powerful families — the Abbotts and the Newmans. Alas, the Abbotts on the scene around this time were primarily Jack and Billy (Jason Thompson). Bergman recalls that Griffith and Unger shared with him that “that’s what we’re trying to fix.”
“I owe so much to those two for the prominence of the Abbott family [today],” Bergman cheers. “Bringing Jabot back. Bringing back the Abbott family. And they brought Susan back. And Peter Bergman is very happy.”
Peter Bergman: Payback’s a Bliss
Bergman feels there’s just one way to show his appreciation to the folks who have brought Diane and Walters back to the canvas along with showcasing the Abbott family. “I owe them my best stuff,” he says. Jack likewise plans on giving his new marriage to Diane his all. “This one,” he says about Jack and Diane being married, “is forever. I have nothing but praise for Susan Walters.”