‘Young and the Restless’ marks Peter Bergman’s milestone

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five years ago, "The Young and the Restless" celebrated Peter Bergman’s
quarter-century on the daytime serial with a cake and speeches. The actor says he didn’t expect any fuss
over his 30th year playing Jack Abbott, but producers devised a plot twist worthy of a soap opera.
To publicly honor the anniversary, Monday’s episode (12:30 p.m. EST, CBS) is all about Jack and those
close to him. As he reads his sister Traci’s (Beth Maitland) family memoir, his past is revisited with
clips from previous seasons and appearances by other Abbotts, including Eileen Davidson as Ashley.
"As flattered as I was, I didn’t know how interesting this was going to be, or how much fun,"
Bergman said of the retrospective. "Well, I was so moved by the whole thing. It was retracing three
decades of my life and, obviously, three decades of Jack’s life."
He said he hopes it’s enjoyable for viewers as well, including seeing the succession of hairstyles and
fashions over the decades.
Bergman stepped in as Jack on Nov. 27, 1989, replacing Terry Lester as the rival to Victor Newman (Eric
Braeden). Bergman, who starred for a decade on "All My Children," has collected a total of 21
Emmy Award nominations for best lead actor and won three trophies for "The Young and the
Restless."
His character’s growth has kept the work interesting, he said.
"My earliest memories of Jack are of this kind of rakish cad of a fellow, pretty weak sense of moral
gravity and out for himself," he said. "And one by one, these relationships Jack has have
forced a kind of empathy on the character. He starts to see the world through other people’s eyes,"
with credit to the women he’s known.
Bergman is aware that actors rarely have job security, including in the daytime serial realm where the
number of shows has been diminished by changed viewing habits.
"A lot of our friends are actors with remarkable resumes, who have struggled and been unemployed for
long periods of time," he said. "So to look at this as 30 years of solid work, 30 years where
I didn’t have to look for work as an actor, is a pretty extraordinary thing. And if I didn’t know that
on my own, I have lots of friends to remind me."
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Lynn Elber is at [email protected] and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.