Theo Vanderway on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS is still a bit of a mystery to fans, though at the beginning the confusion is understandable. The character first appeared in the episode that aired on May 9, 2019, though at the time, he was played by actor Nic Luken, best known for playing Jonah on NASHVILLE. But by June 3, the role had been recast with Tyler Johnson. While this is Johnson’s daytime debut, the actor has made primetime appearances in shows like GOSSIP GIRL and 30 ROCK, and can be seen in films such as The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Unfortunately, in November 2020, Johnson tweeted that his time as Theo was coming to an end. However, the soap brought him back for a brief run in February 2021, so perhaps he’s not gone for good?
Theo was first introduced as a colleague of Kyle Abbott’s from his time in New York, and works in publicity. Summer Newman and Kyle met with him in Manhattan, and he then followed them back to Genoa City where he introduced them to an internet influencer who could help them. However, this being a soap opera, it took no time at all for business to turn to pleasure! Summer immediately invited the hunk into her bed for some no-strings-attached fun, but their lighthearted relationship took a turn when he realized she was still seriously hung up on Kyle.
At Devon Hamilton‘s request, Theo began working with Ana Hamilton as she struggled to navigate the world of online promotion to bring Tessa’s musical career to the next level. He also admitted to Summer that he couldn’t stop thinking about her and they gave their relationship another try. Theo also continued stirring up the past he shared with Kyle from New York City, something Kyle definitely wanted to keep under wraps. Theo confessed to Summer that he and Kyle had been partying with a young woman who had to be rushed to the hospital and turned out to be underage so Kyle paid off her father to keep the whole thing quiet. Then, to rub salt in the wound, Theo brought the girl in question — Zoe Hardisty — to Kyle’s wedding as his guest!
Eventually, Theo tried to put down roots in Genoa City, insisting to Devon that he would be better at running Power Communications than Mariah Copeland. Of course, he and the redhead clashed, and Devon very quickly realized Theo was all talk and fired the guy. Theo then befriended Lola Rosales, which was odd since he’s been out to get her husband for so long. Then it turned out that his father, Eric Vanderway, was Dina Mergeron‘s illegitimate son with Stuart Brooks, making Theo and Kyle cousins! Kyle wasn’t crazy about the news, especially when Jack Abbot offered Theo a job at Jabot!
As Jack and Traci welcomed Theo into the Abbott family, Kyle remained angry and Theo suspected him of sabotaging him at Jabot. Theo and Summer also split up as he focused on his new job and family. Kyle wasn’t happy about Lola’s growing friendship with Theo and accused his cousin of moving in on his wife. But after Kyle broke up with Lola because he couldn’t get over Summer, Theo stepped in to offer her a shoulder to cry on. And seemingly having turned over a new leaf, when Lola kissed him passionately, he declined her invitation, not wanting to take advantage of the situation.
Theo has been taking things slowly with Lola, apparently wanting to do the right thing. But he also secretly schemed to hurt Kyle at Jabot with the help of his co-conspirator, Kendra. Unfortunately, Kyle and Summer figured out what he was up to and laid a trap for him that the guy walked right into! Caught pitching Jack his own idea from years ago, Theo was fired from Jabot but quickly rebounded by throwing his hat in the ring over at the newly-established Chancellor Media!
When Kyle and Summer reunited, Lola’s preoccupation with the pair began causing a rift between her and Theo. And when Theo casually flirted with Chelsea Lawson, Lola got fed up, and the couple split. Theo was then heartbroken that the Abbotts didn’t include him in Dina’s final moments. He attempted to take revenge by suing the Abbott family for Dinah’s entire inheritance but in the end, agreed to take a small fashion boutique in Paris instead of ending up with nothing.
Before departing Genoa City, Theo befriended newcomer Sally Spectra and gave her advice on dealing with Summer and Kyle. He then returned a few months later to give Sally some dirt to use by revealing that Kyle had an affair with a married woman in New York that resulted in a child! After taunting Kyle with the truth himself, Theo felt his job was done and returned to Paris.
Stay tuned to Y&R to see if he comes back again!