Even if you’ve never seen an episode of The Young and the Restless, the odds are that you’ve heard the names Eric Braden and the iconic character he plays, Victor Newman, on the top-rated CBS soap. Now, Braeden’s celebrating a big milestone!
Braeden, an Emmy-winner for his role on Y&R, is making some birthday wishes today. Born Hans Jörg Gudegast on April 3 in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, he changed his name to ‘Eric Braeden’ after he became a working actor.
The actor’s athleticism helped him earn a scholarship to Montana State University. He moved to Los Angeles, hoping to find a distributor for a documentary, but found that he was sought after as a performer. He started in the World War II-based TV series The Rat Patrol in 1966.
After years of working in film (Escape From Planet Of The Apes) and in television (Mary Tyler Moore; Kojak), Braeden took on the role of YR’s Victor Newman, born Christian Miller. The character was set for a limited run, but show creator William J. Bell was inspired to expand the role after Braeden turned in some pretty powerful performances!
The rest, as they say, is soap opera history! Braeden’s been a mainstay in Genoa City for nearly 40 years. Occasionally, he departs from the show briefly in order to do other roles. He appeared in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic and in 2008 on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Braeden has been paired on screen with TV love interest Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) much of his time on the soap years. While fate often propels Victor into the path of other women, including Ashley (Eileen Davidson), Nikki and Victor are the show’s super couple. Off-screen, Braeden and his wife, Dale, have a son, Christian, a screenwriter.
In 2017, Braeden released his memoir, titled I’ll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America’s #1 Daytime Drama
Soap Hub joins Braeden’s family, friends, and fans in wishing the star a happy birthday and many happy returns!
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.