Neil Winters was a beloved businessman, father, and friend… and The Young and the Restless hasn’t been the same since his untimely death.
Neil Ellis is the only son of Ellis and Lucinda Winters and the paternal half-brother of Malcolm. Upon obtaining his MBA from Stanford University, Neil found employment through Jabot Cosmetics (then a Newman Enterprises subsidiary) executive trainee program.
While employed there, Neil found himself embroiled in the complicated roundabout going on between Olivia and Drucilla Barber and Nathan Hastings Since he had quite the crush on Olivia, Neil agreed to pose as Drucilla’s mystery boyfriend and work with her to end Olivia and Nate’s engagement.
Though their efforts prove futile, the co-conspirators actually began to fall in love with one another! They weathered Dru’s accidental involvement in pornography but after their resplendent 1993 wedding ceremony, the couple couldn’t agree on the role Dru should play.
Dru wanted to be a working woman responsible for her own income and Neil wanted her to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. She did indeed have a child (daughter Lily Amanda) though she wondered whether the babe’s natural father was Neil or his younger brother Malcolm.
Ladies, Ladies, Ladies
Continued arguments over Dru’s desire for employment ended when she accepted a job offer in Paris and mailed Neil divorce papers. He subsequently took up with the very pregnant Victoria Newman and promised to help her raise her unborn child.
When premature labor resulted in the baby’s death, a devastated Victoria left Neil and he pursued both Olivia and Alex Perez – the latter’s status as Malcolm’s fiancée only slightly perturbed him.
A reunion with Dru followed, and their family eventually expanded with the adoption of homeless teenager Devon Hamilton. The older – and wiser – pair were now able to navigate Dru’s executive ambitions and together they helped extricate Lily from the grasp of sexual predator Kevin Fisher.
However, they weren’t prepared to manage the fallout of Lily’s questionable paternity being outed nor the fact that Malcolm was declared the biological papa. Neil turned to Carmen Mesta – who encouraged him to pursue his dreams of owning a jazz club – and Dru suffered a complete nervous breakdown.
Her presumed death in 2007 cleared the way for Neil to romance Karen Taylor, who became wife number two. That marriage was torn asunder when he had an affair with Tyra Hamilton – whom he then lost to Devon!
Neil then embarked on a series of affairs with the likes of Sofia Dupre (Malcolm’s fiancée and the future mother of Neil’s son, Moses) and Leslie Michaelson. A potential future with Ashely Abbott was nixed by her sudden departure from Genoa City.
Hilary Curtis was perhaps the greatest love of Neil’s later life – despite their inauspicious start. She had come to town to make him pay for the death of her mother, a woman that Neil had barely known and certainly didn’t remember. When the misunderstanding was cleared up, Neil threw himself into a relationship with his former tormenter.
Despite an eventual marriage, Neil lost Hilary to Devon. The anger at having been usurped by his son – for the second time no less – led Neil to sabotage the plans made for a Hilary/Devon wedding. When he found an unconscious and injured Hilary, he stowed her away in a boathouse and took advantage of her resulting amnesia.
When Hilary regained her memories and returned to her true love, Neil succumbed to the lure of a liquor bottle and ended his years of sobriety. He had first developed a dependency on alcohol after the one-two-punch of learning about his best friend, Ryan McNeil’s death and Malcolm’s supposed drowning.
Dru and Lily’s reappearance in his life had given him the strength to get sober, but this time, Neil had to look inward for that same strength. A stint at rehab dried him out and he emerged no worse for the ware. In fact, the experience spurred him on have a reunion with his estranged mother and offer his assistance to fellow alcoholic Nikki Newman.
Neil Winters – The Bitter End
Though he managed to refrain from falling off the wagon, Neil was gutted when Hilary perished in a car accident and Lily was sentenced for her part in the deadly accident.
He abandoned plans to remain in Genoa City to oversee The Hamilton-Winters Group (a non-profit he started with Devon) and instead uprooted his life to be near the prison his daughter was incarcerated in.
He was heartened to learn that Lily had achieved early parole, and he even collected her from the institution himself. But following their return home, Neil took to his room and passed away in his sleep. The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.
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