Ian Ward hasn’t been on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS for years, so it’s understandable that some newer viewers might not know who the guy is, and others might just need a bit of a refresher on his nefarious activities in Genoa City. Well, we’re happy to help! The character appeared from January 2014 until July 2016 on a recurring basis and was played by actor Ray Wise, who won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in 2015 for the role.
Ian Ward was the leader of the New World Cult and during Nikki Newman’s stay with the group, she became pregnant with her son, Dylan McAvoy. Ian came to Genoa City to see Dylan, but he wanted nothing to do with his father. Posing as a life coach to get close to Summer Newman, Ian hoped to use her as leverage to force Nikki to pay him to leave town. This plan backfired and he was arrested for extortion. He informed his lawyer, Leslie Michaelson, that he couldn’t have children, so he wasn’t Dylan’s father, but attorney/client privilege forced her to keep that secret… for a while!
Ian continued to torment Nikki and Dylan, so Victor Newman had some men beat him up. When Paul Williams was shot, Dylan discovered that they had the same rare blood type and it was finally revealed that Paul was Dylan’s real father. When Ian tried to sue Nikki for causing him emotional distress, she read from her diary in court about how he had abused and raped her, and the judge threw the case out.
Mariah Copeland was also a former member of the cult, and Ian urged her to continue trying to forge a relationship with Sharon Newman. Suspicious, Nick Newman investigated and learned that Mariah was really the twin sister of Sharon’s late daughter, Cassie Newman, and Ian had stolen the baby at birth! Ian kidnapped Mariah, drugged her and put her in a wedding dress to they could be married! When Ian disappeared, the evidence led to Dylan being arrested for his murder but Paul and Nikki worked with their son to prove Ian was still alive. They lured Ian back to Genoa City and into a trap where he was finally arrested.
In 2015, Ian returned to town having broken out of prison and working with Gabriel Bingham —really Adam Newman — to take down Victor and Newman Enterprises. Ian befriended Phyllis Summers, pretending he was a fisherman named Fred. But Summer saw them together and informed her mother who the villain really was. Learning Ian was on the loose, Victor and Nikki went to the jail only to find the criminal behind bars and claiming he’d been there the whole time!
The next time Ian slipped out of prison, he set fire to the Newman Enterprises tower on Halloween, and Adam was horrified at what his partner-in-crime had done. After a struggle, Ian was left for dead in the rubble but was rescued by Patty Williams. Victor and Phyllis tracked Ian down in a motel and forced Ian to stop the Paragon computer virus that was meant to destroy Newman Enterprises. As he was dragged away by federal agents, Ian warned this wasn’t over.
In 2016, Victor was sentenced to 10 years in prison and encountered Ian in Walworth, claiming to be top dog among the inmates, but that wasn’t true. Adam approached Ian and asked him to help prove Victor had framed him for the murder of Constance Bingham. Ian agreed, under the condition that he help him escape. But after he testified in court, Ian realized Adam’s plan was a lie and had to make his own escape, grabbing a guard’s gun and taking Nikki hostage!
Ian took Nikki to the Abbott cabin where they found Phyllis and he held the two women hostage until Victor arrived and convinced him to let them go. Ian forced Victor to transfer millions into his offshore account but the action triggered a security alarm and Paul and Dylan arrived to arrest Ian once more. Could he ever escape again to terrorize the people of Genoa City? You’ll have to keep watching Y&R to find out!