Paul Williams is one of the longest-running characters on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, so the guy has had quite a history in Genoa City! Originally introduced in May of 1978, the character has been played over the decades by Doug Davidson, making him the longest-serving actor in the Y&R cast. The role has also earned him multiple Daytime Emmy Nominations and a win for Outstanding Lead Actor in 2013. And while he disappeared from the canvas for a time, the actor eventually announced his return and Paul returned to active duty as chief of police, though he’s still not seen as often as he once was!
The son of police detective Carl Williams and Mary Williams, Paul dated Nikki Reed, but she left him for Greg Foster. (The sexually transmitted disease Paul gave her probably didn’t help, either!) He got involved with April Stevens, and she gave birth to his daughter, Heather, despite his wishes she terminate the pregnancy. Paul and Nikki joined the New World Commune, and his brother, Steven, had to rescue the pair from the cult.
Paul focused on his detective career and worked with partner Andy Richards to infiltrate organized crime. He briefly dated prostitute Cindy Lake, who took a bullet for him and died in his arms, then married Lauren Fenmore, but they ultimately split when she submitted a nude photo of him for a magazine centerfold. Paul then got mixed up with Cassandra, not realizing she was married to his friend, George Rawlins. When George found out about the affair, he plotted to kill himself and frame Paul for murder, so Paul faked his own suicide and went into hiding until they could find George’s real killer. After Cassandra died in a car crash, Paul dated his secretary, Lynne Bassett.
Although Paul fell in love with Christine Blair, he waited until her marriage to Danny Romalotti ended before starting a relationship with her. She still had feelings for Danny, so a jealous Phyllis crashed her car into her and Paul in order to keep Christine from reconciling with Danny. Ultimately, Paul and Christine were married, but business took her out of town for months and Paul had an affair with a client, Isabella Braña. When Christine found out, she divorced him and Paul moved in with Isabella, who was pregnant with his child. After Ricky’s birth, Christine suspected Isabella was dangerous and was proven right when Isabella tried to murder her! Paul rescued Chrstine, Isabella was institutionalized, and Rick was sent to live with his grandparents.
Paul continued working as a detective, taking J.T. Hellstrom on as an apprentice. When Sheila Carter went on another rampage in Genoa City (looking like Phyllis this time), she shot Paul’s girlfriend, detective Maggie Sullivan, before finally being recaptured. Heather returned to town as an assistant district attorney and the father and daughter began building a relationship. Paul reconnected with first love Nikki, and the pair even got engaged, but she broke it off because she couldn’t get over her feelings for Victor.
Investigating a woman named Mary Jane Benson, Paul was stunned to discover she was his unstable sister, Patty, who subsequently went on a crime spree, terrorizing Genoa City before being locked up. Paul began dating Nina Webster, and helped her track down her long-lost son, Ronan Malloy. Paul’s son, Ricky, returned to town but it turned out he was as unstable as his mom, and Paul was forced to shoot him to keep him from killing Eden Baldwin. Christine returned to town to help defend Paul from going to jail for murder, and the pair reconciled. Paul became chief of police in Genoa City and remarried Christine.
Now happily married, Paul spends most of his time running the GCPD and trying to fight crime in Genoa City. Although he wasn’t seen for a while, and missed out on the J.T. murder investigation, the police chief resurfaced at the end to take charge… and take Rey Rosales‘ badge from him! Christine stepped down as D.A., and Paul gave Rey his job back on the GCPD. He’s also made public appearances at events like the Newman Enterprises anniversary gala while not keeping Genoa City’s streets safe.
Stay tuned to see how Paul’s story continues, and for more Y&R features, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!