Throughout soap opera history, there have been dastardly dudes who evolve into caring patriarchs and that’s certainly the case for The Young and the Restless leading man Jack Abbott, played by three-time Emmy-winning actor Peter Bergman. Here’s a look back at Jack’s journey.
Jack Abbott: The Early Days
Playboy Smilin’ Jack Abbott had no interest in settling down because he enjoyed the single life and wasn’t keen on marriage given that his mother, Dina, abandoned the family.
But his father, John, wanted Jack to marry a woman from a good family. Jack popped the question to naïve Patty Williams, hoping to keep his dad happy. Pregnant with Jack’s baby, Patty came upon him making love to model Diane Jenkins.
After miscarrying, Patty shot Jack. He was a lousy husband but often tried to be a decent guy. He said he’d make it very difficult for the state to convict Patty.
Jack And Jill Went Up A Hill
Jack, now split for Patty, had a fling with his stepmother Jill during a snowstorm. John learned of the affair and had a stroke! He divorced Jill and banished Jack. It took time for them to reconnect.
Next, Jack had a fling with Victor’s wife Nikki, which fueled the flames of their decades-long fiery feud. Victor retaliated by buying up controlling interest of Jabot after Jack put the company on the stock market.
The Young and the Restless: Backfire
Jack devised a scheme – he’d marry Nikki and then offer her back to Victor in exchange for Jabot. Along the way, Jack fell for Nikki for real and didn’t want to give her up. He did his best to help her through her alcoholism.
During a heated exchange, Victor moved Nikki up against a wall. She was okay…but then not. Jack and Nikki’s baby died. He later met the infant who’d been given his son’s heart.
Jack discovered that his former lover in Vietnam, Luan, had given birth to his son, Keemo. Luan and Jack married, but their happiness was short-lived after she suddenly died. Mari Jo Mason had hoped to take Luan’s place in Jack’s heart – however, the unbalanced woman went off the deep end and shot Victor.
Jack never had much use for ex-brother-in-law Brad Carlton, but after he became wealthy from inheriting Cassandra Rawlins’ estate, Jack saw him as an ally. However, it was Ashley’s renewed relationship with Victor that helped the Abbotts regain Jabot.
Diane Jenkins returned to Genoa City and Victor stole her from Jack for sport, but then developed genuine feelings for her. Jack’s next romantic love interest was web expert Phyllis Summers.
They wed, but Phyllis was unable to give Jack a child. Diane stole Victor’s specimen from a lab, not knowing it was really Jack’s. She gave birth to his son, Kyle. Jack and Phyllis leveraged against Diane her role in setting the Abbott pool house on fire to get custody of Kyle.
Jack witnessed his father falling prey to another opportunist when he wed Gloria Fisher. John shot Glo’s dangerous ex, Tom, in order to protect Ashley. He scored an early release from prison but died almost right after.
Jack scheduled a memorial for his father, purposely omitting his widow, and then he packed up Gloria’s belongings in trash bags, tossing them — and her — out of the house.
It’s A Girl
After Phyllis became pregnant, Jack helped deliver her baby daughter, Summer, in an elevator. Nick did paternity tests and announced he was the dad. Jack wed Sharon and ran against Nikki for State Senator and won. He sold Jabot to Chancellor to focus on his new political gig.
Post-politics, Jack and Sharon ventured into the magazine business taking on unlikely partners Nick and Phyllis as they launched Restless Style. Jack hired a John-look-a-like Alistair Wallingford to scare Gloria away after she learned Jack rigged John’s will. Sharon’s fling with Brad ended her marriage to Jack. Next, Jack teamed up with Adam to bring down Victor, who was, as usual, a step or two ahead.
Being Mary Jane
A new – or rather an old – woman from Jack’s life made the scene. Public relations whiz Mary Jane Benson was, in reality, Jack’s ex-wife, Patty Williams, with a new face and an old score to settle.
After being exposed as Patty, she kidnapped Jack’s niece Colleen, who drowned. Traci made the agonizing decision to donate her daughter’s heart to Victor. Jack romanced Dr. Emily Petersen, Patty’s former shrink and doppelganger.
The Young and the Restless: Diane’s Swan Song
Diane disrupted Jack’s life once again when she returned to town, wanting to reunite with her son, Kyle. Jack was on the suspect list after Diane turned up dead, but the real killer was Nikki, who killed Diane in self-defense.
On Jack and Genevieve’s wedding day, Patty swiped the bride’s veil and walked down the aisle. She shot Jack again just as she had years before! Jack got hooked on painkillers during his recovery.
Jack embraced Summer upon learning he was her father, but said he loved her anyway after finding out that Nick was her true dad. Next, Victor hired Marco Annicelli, a Jack look-alike, to assume his rival’s life, which included bedding Phyllis, unaware she wasn’t sleeping with the real deal. Also, Jack learned that “Gabriel Bingham” was, in reality, Adam Newman, back from the dead with plastic surgery.
Dina, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, exposed Ashley’s true paternity – golfer Brent Davis was her dad. Next, Jack learned that he was not John’s son either! Later, Ashley revealed that she had orchestrated Dina’s “confession” as payback for Jack blackmailing Ashley all those years ago into giving up Jabot’s top spot in exchange for Jack’s silence about her paternity.
A brief affair with cosmetics developer Kerry Jones came on the heels of Jack’s unlikely fling with his former stepmother Gloria. Now, Jack has partnered with his novelist sister Traci to write an Abbott family history, which may lead to a new “chapter” in Jack’s life!