The Young and the Restless Mast Head by Soap Opera Network

Donna Svennevik/ABC
Donna Svennevik/ABC
Denice Duff/ABC
Denice Duff/ABC

Now that Michelle Stafford has signed on to portray the contract role of Nina Clay on ABC’s “General Hospital,” it was only a matter of time before CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” opted to recast her Daytime Emmy Award winning role. Earlier this month the soap announced they were doing just that after putting out a casting call for the role, which was recently landed by soap veteran Gina Tognoni.

Tognoni, who is best known for her portrayal as Kelly Cramer on ABC’s “One Life to Live” and her Emmy winning stint as Dinah Marler on CBS’ “Guiding Light,” was said to have been “flawless” during her audition scenes, per TV Guide Magazine‘s Michael Logan, who broke the news.

Last seen in a coma after a fall down the stairs following a confrontation with Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) last year, the role of Phyllis was originated by Stafford in 1994. The actress appeared on the soap off and on for 16 years (1994-1997 and 2000-2013). The role was portrayed by Sandra Nelson during Stafford’s time away from the soap.

“I am beyond blessed to play this incredible role of Phyllis Newman at Young and the Restless. I am thrilled to be back on CBS . Thank you for your support I feel it in my HEART. So excited to work with this Amazing cast and crew . I am grateful To my beautiful Husband, my family, friends and The best FANS in the world,” wrote Tognoni on her Facebook page.

Stafford acknowledged the news of Tognoni’s joining on Twitter and commented that “she will be awesome!!!”

Tognoni is scheduled to first air in late summer.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comment Below...
  • Pamela

    I am so disappointed that Michelle Stafford will not return to YR now that she has decided to return to Soaps… :(

    • Joyce Petrovich

      I agree. I really enjoyed her playing Phyllis–she has that love/hate role as only she can play it. Same as MM in Adam’s role.

      • sands of time

        JFP screwed all that up! Y&R is becoming one big joke!

        • TimsDale4ever

          Correction: Y&R has ALREADY become one big {sad} joke!

          • Richard McMillan

            Absolutely agree!

          • Bexx

            Yet you care about their casting updates? Confusing.

      • Richard McMillan

        We don’t need Phyllis to return we need a new show!

    • sands of time

      She just could not stomach the Y&R brass anymore. The show runners are crazy!

    • Richard McMillan

      Answer-she was smart to exit to something better in her life!

  • Andrew Hass

    I wish Gina Tognoni all the best because she had nothing to do with Michelle Stafford leaving last year or not coming back to Y&R.

    • sands of time

      She’s too young! Epic failure!!!

      • Trixie 67

        So true!!!!!!

      • Eileen

        She is 41, Michelle is 45 and Peter Bergman (Jack) is 61. He looks a lot younger.

        • sands of time

          Michelle will turn 49 on September 14th and Gina will turn 41 on November 28th. The age difference is 8 years 2 months and 2 weeks.

          • Eileen

            Yup! You are right!!! ;-) i’m sure Jack is liking this! She’s just a young thang! What about Neal and Hillary???

        • sands of time

          BTW, I love your name!!!

      • Andrew Hass

        At the the end of the day if Gina Tognoni is successful as Phyllis then i don’t think how old she is will matter that much.

  • Trixie 67

    Gina is to young!!!!! For this part

    • Eileen

      Gina is only 4/5 yrs younger than Michelle. No big deal!!! I think Gina will be awesome!!!!

      • Trixie 67

        She is 8 years younger. I just think she looks to young.

    • sands of time

      She is over 8 years younger. You can Google the info like I just did.

  • Richard McMillan

    Why oh Why can we not rid ourselves of this pathetic show and especially the Sharon saga?!

    • Bexx

      Are you a robot? Is someone controlling your actions, your television, your computer?

  • Richard McMillan

    Daily, yes Daily I keep hoping this show dies. Why would ANYONE in their right mind sign on as an actor for what constitutes the worst of TV time??!!
    Maybe if we rid Genoa city of Sharon, and Nick, Jack the big mouth, the ever knowing Victor, The big mouth women, and pathetic story lines perhaps they could build a show actually worth watching! Not likely however.

    • Potsie7

      Duh…why are you watching, (or posting!) if you dislike it so much? Just curious.

      • CARAMEL96

        I agree

        • Terri

          Me too.

  • Amy

    God,there are so many whiny,bitter people that post on this site!!! Just STFU already!
    Gina is a fantastic actress and Y&R is lucky to have snagged her.Can’t wait to see what she brings to the character Phyllis.

    • Bexx


  • Galen Nycroft

    I think it’s too soon for Phyllis to be recast…however Gina Tognoni is such a dynamo on screen. I have no doubt that she can pull off this complex character!

  • Bexx

    I was really hoping for Jamie Luner, but I’m glad they hired within the CBS family.

    • sands of time

      I suppose some family members do cut each others throats!

  • JJ

    Was really hoping for Jamie Luner, she would have been awesome!! Or possibly Laura Leighton. Disappointed it wasn’t Jamie or Laura. But will see how Gina Tognoni does.

  • Ernest

    She does look like a Phyllis.

    I loved when she played the role of Dinah Marler on GL.

    So, why wouldn’t I be pleased to see her again on daytime soap TV as another character.

    • Potsie7

      Sorry!…..I’ll still watch Y & R, but, no one could ever replace Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller, or my original Adam. Bad, big bad move,
      by the Execs on Y & R. I guess we all know that it comes down to the almighty buck, not the talent, or what the fans want!!…..oh!….wait!…isn’t it the fans who give them their “almighty bucks”!?

  • Sherri R

    Haven’t seen her on anything, but she has some pretty big shoes to fill… I am very unhappy the Billy saga… Neither David Tom or this new guy are right for the part. They need someone with some swagger, i so miss Billy Miller!! I have watched Y & R for 25 years and it didn’t used to “feel” like watching a soap to me. It certainly is feeling like it now, not sure if the writers or leadership has changed but I hope they don’t ruin it. What happened to Chavez? Too much Cane & Lily – boring….not enough Michael & Lauren, Nick is always good. It he and Sharon are a bit boring.. Also where is Gloria? She is pretty funny..

  • LorriLee

    With the major loss of Billy Miller and, Michelle Stafford and the actress that played Chloe, I am ready for Y&r free life.

    • Marilena Fenn

      i could care less about the one who played chloe. sorry, but i won’t miss her, or the character at all.

      • language geek

        The phrase is ” I couldn’t care less” Think about it!

  • Doris Ann Epps

    I was so mad when Billy Miller left he did a great job. Than when David Tom come back i wanted to throw up in my mouth every time he was in a scene. BM was so fine and I need him back please. This new guy looks as old as Jack and he has no swagg not sexy at all. MS was beyond great as Phyllis, not for sure what GT my bring I guess I will have too wait and see.

    • Marilena Fenn

      that’s right, billy miller is the only billy abbott for this show, period.

      • italian10


  • Kei

    I’m not loving MS on GH, but its growing on me. Billy Miller is the ONLY real Billy Abbott. I agree neither Billy afterwards has the right swag to play Billy. I hope Gina will do alright as Phyllis, but I’m not hopeful. She was a great Kelly on OLTL.

  • MisKris

    Great! I can’t wait til the truth comes out about the paternity test! I think Gina is gorgeous and hope she pulls off the role well, I have high hopes :-) Also I miss Billy Miller!! The original Billy and this current Billy are NOT doin it for me sorry Bring Billy Miller back :’-(. I also am ready to meet the new Adam :)

    • don

      billy miller will not come back he wanted to do other projects and rumors say that he might join the cast of GH a recast of jason morgan and that is true it would be a slap in face for y&r because they lost actors and then they go to GH.

  • don

    Gina Tognoni and Burgess Jenkins would have good chemestry on screen and would be interesting storyline with love btwn jack kelly and billy and phyllis.

  • ADA A

    What happens when Phyllis wakes up with blonde hair instead of red. Jack will have to stop calling her “Red” and start calling her “Blondie”.

  • Felo

    The Young and the Restless is a one star soap

  • Felo

    No Phyllis, the real one, the red one, No Billy, No Adam
    The young and the restless and the management have no grip on the soap anymore.
    The soap is BORING!!!!!

  • murf

    Yes Billy Miller is the only real Billy Abbott. Miss the old Adam but if he grabs the ladies breasts then he should stay gone. The new Phyllis idk yet. Nicki drinking again really? Sad that the Y&R are loosing so many fantastic actors. Now a new writer.


    I am beyond happy that David Tom was fired. Just plain ugly. And as for this Gina person ; she can never be the Phyllis we loved so much. Michelle Stafford is greatly missed. They need to bring back all 3 of them. Billy Miller , Michelle Stafford and Micheal Muhney

  • jewels6606

    Just don’t like the new Phyllis. Please dont keep her on very long. Not very good at acting.

  • Geaux Tigers!

    Why is she always so mad? The old Phyllis was fireball but she was funny and vivacious. This new lady is mean, mad and overacts every scene she’s in. Not a believable character.

  • Terri

    The previous Phyllis needs to be brought back. This one is flat and unappealing in her acting. I hear you let the previous Phylllis go because she looked to old. How stupid, shortsided, and senseless. Please stop subjecting us to Gina Tognoni, and bring back Michelle Stafford STAT. Please!