When J.T. Hellstrom returned to THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS in 2017, he was a very different character than the one that had lived in Genoa City before. So let’s take a look back at his life story to see how he went so far astray. The character first appeared back in August 1999 when Thad Luckinbill joined the cast of Y&R in the role. Originally appearing on a recurring basis, Luckinbill went on contract in 2002 and remained with the soap until November 2010. He then reprised the role in December 2017 before exiting again in dramatic fashion in April 2018. But J.T. came back for one more run in March 2019!
J.T. was introduced as the high school friend of Billy Abbott, Raul Guittierez, Mackenzie Browning, and Brittany Hodges. He lived up to his reputation as a ladies’ man by dating Rianna but cheating on her with Brittany. He nearly settled down with Colleen Carlton, but then he slept with her mom, Anita!
J.T. developed real feelings for Brittany, but then she got married so he started seeing Mac. (Though he did briefly pretend to be the father of Brittany’s baby to help protect it from her husband’s enemies!) Colleen wanted another chance with him, but he stuck by Mac. Unfortunately, Mac didn’t tell him she got pregnant with his baby until after she’d miscarried, and he got so upset that he cheated on her with Victoria Newman! Devastated, Mac left town, and J.T. got back with Colleen for a while.
Later, J.T. became engaged to Victoria, who was carrying a baby that could be either his or Brad Carlton’s. After Victoria was injured in the Clear Springs explosion, doctors had to do an emergency C-section, but luckily both mother and child survived. And as a bonus, the child turned out to be J.T.’s, and they named him Reed. When Victoria emerged from her coma, she married J.T. and their family was complete.
Victor hired J.T. to be head of security at Newman Enterprises, but when he later ordered J.T. to investigate Colleen to get her off the Newman board, the young man quit and began working with Paul. Tragically, Colleen drowned in 2009 and J.T. admitted to her that he loved her before she was taken off life support.
Unfortunately, that was the end of J.T. and Victoria’s marriage, and he sued for full custody of Reed to keep the boy away from Victor’s influence. He then reconnected with Mac and later learned that she was pregnant with his baby. She turned down his marriage proposal, but after J.T. was nearly killed in a terrible storm, Mac accepted and they moved to Washington, D.C. with Reed.
J.T. and Mac had a baby boy that they named Dylan, and Reed returned to Genoa City by himself because he didn’t want to move to Poland, with his father. But J.T. followed him and returned home eager to make things work again with Victoria. He explained that he and Mac had split, and he wanted to bring their family together again. Unfortunately, it turned out that J.T. had developed a bit of a dark side, and became emotionally and physically abusive to Victoria! When Mac returned to town for a visit, she revealed that the reason they had split up was because he had treated her exactly the same. J.T. was also secretly working with Paul Williams to dig up dirt on Victor, and when The Mustache revealed that he’d been onto him from the start, their argument turned physical and J.T. pushed Victor down the stairs, nearly killing him!
Still determined to win back Victoria, J.T. pulled out all the stops, even agreeing to seek counseling, but he became more and more controlling and violent. And when he attacked Victoria during a girl’s night party, Nikki protected her daughter by slamming J.T. in the back of the head with a fireplace poker and immediately feared she’d killed him! Together with Sharon and Phyllis, the women scrambled to cover up their crime, but while they thought they’d gotten away with it, certain incidents indicated J.T. might not be as dead as they thought!
In the end, it was revealed that the man they thought was J.T. terrorizing them was actually just Nick in an elaborate mask attempting to take revenge on Victor. However, when surveillance equipment was later discovered in the Newman Ranch, Billy and Nick were determined to prove that J.T. was still alive. Especially because the women were going to prison for his murder! They set a trap and J.T. fell right into it. He nearly killed the women with a gas leak, but collapsed himself and was rushed to the hospital where a brain tumor was removed from his head. Although the tumor was blamed for J.T.’s recent violent streak, he still accepted responsibility for his actions, specifically attempting to kill Victor.
Stay tuned to see if J.T. ever makes another comeback!