The character of Cole Howard on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS hasn’t been seen for a couple of decades, so it’s okay if newer viewers aren’t familiar with the guy. Originally played by N.P. Schoch as a child from 1980-81, Cole returned to Y&R as a hunky young man when J. Eddie Peck portrayed him from 1993-99. And in November 2023, the soap announced that Peck would be reprising his role!
During a jealous fit, Victor Newman cheated on his wife with his secretary, Eve Howard, and she gave birth to a son, Charles. Believing the child to be his, Victor created a trust fund in his name but Eve and the boy weren’t seen again for over 10 years. In 1993, Eve showed up and revealed their son was now going by his middle name, Cole. Victor wanted nothing to do with him, but later changed his mind and asked Eve to bring him to Genoa City. Eve arrived with Cole, who was an aspiring novelist, but Victor was presumed dead so his widow, Nikki Newman, hired Cole as a stablehand and he lived in the tack house.
When Victoria Newman was dumped by Ryan McNeil for Nina Webster, she set her sights on the handsome stablehand, but Cole turned her down and began an affair with Nikki. But Victoria confessed her love and Cole wrote to his mother to report that he had fallen for Victor’s daughter. Eve had never told Cole who his father was, and she rushed to stop their wedding. Unfortunately, she suffered a massive stroke and fell into a coma. Victor returned from Kansas and he and Nikki were horrified that Victoria had eloped to Las Vegas. Revealing that Cole was his son, Victor forced them to annul the marriage.
After Eve passed away, Victor found a letter in her belongings that made him suspicious about Cole’s parentage and had some DNA tests run. Once Victor confirmed he wasn’t Cole’s father (it was a man named Rick Daros), the two men tracked down Victoria and shared the good news. Cole and Victoria were remarried and lived together at the tack house. Although Victoria was jealous of his editor, Jeri, Cole assured his wife he was in love with only her.
But their marriage hit a major snag when Nina began assisting Cole with research and they fell for each other. Victoria fought back by kissing Nina’s ex, Ryan, but at Victor’s urging, Cole fought for his marriage. However, Victoria’s extended absences from the home caused a rift that Ashley Abbott slid right into. Cole was writing a new novel based on her life and by the time Victoria returned home, she caught the pair kissing. The two women fought for Cole’s love, and he chose Ashley, even proposing to her. But Victoria was pregnant with his child, and though she claimed Neil was the babydaddy, Cole saw right through her.
When Victoria began having pains, the baby was delivered by emergency C-section and Cole comforted Victoria, who wanted to name her Eve, after his mother. Sadly, the infant did not survive, and Neil left Victoria and Cole alone to grieve. Cole eventually married Ashley, but while she was out of town, Victoria tried to seduce him. Cole left to track Ashley through Europe, convinced she was having an affair, and Victoria followed. Once everyone was back in Genoa City, Ashley decided she wanted a baby, but her pressure instead inspired Cole to divorce her and leave town for a professorship at Oxford!
In November 2023, Cole arrived at Jordan’s lake house looking for Nikki, having received a text from her about Victoria.