Billy Abbott is always at the center of some kind of life-changing drama on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS which occasionally leads fans to fear that the character is leaving the soap! However fans shouldn’t worry because the guy has been through plenty of terrible things in his life and survived those, so this time should be no different!
Billy was born to John and Jill Abbott in 1993 and was played by a series of child actors before being SORASed into a teen in 1999 when David Tom assumed the role. Following his departure, Ryan Brown and Scott Seymour both stepped in for brief stints before Y&R hired Billy Miller in 2008. After he departed in 2014, Tom briefly returned to the role before being replaced by Burgess Jenkins. Following his exit, Jason Thompson took over the role in 2016 and continues to play Billy to this day.
After spending his childhood in boarding school, Billy returned to Genoa City as a teenager and to make a good impression with his friends, overdid it at a party and got alcohol poisoning. As Mackenzie Browning helped him recover, they began to develop a romance. Brittany Hodges tried to steal Billy away but failed. Eventually, Billy and Mac were married, but after they were told that Jill was Katherine’s daughter, they realized that made them first cousins and they quickly split up. Billy left town but returned for his father’s funeral. He had developed a gambling addiction while in Miami, and tried to steal Katherine’s antique heirlooms to pay his debts. When Jack Abbott found out, he sent Billy to Hong Kong to work for the family business overseas.
When Billy returned, he pursued Lily Winters and Sharon Newman but married Chloe Mitchell since he had fathered her baby. Mac came back to Genoa City and it turned out that she and Billy weren’t related after all, so Billy divorced Chloe and reconciled with Mac. Billy went into business by buying Restless Style magazine and printing scandalous stories about the Newman family. But he soon became smitten with one of his enemies, Victoria Newman, and the two ended up having an affair. Their drunken wedding in Jamaica was invalid, but they decided to make a go of it as a couple. After she lost their baby, Billy bought one for her but Lucy turned out to be Daniel and Daisy’s baby and Phyllis got custody of her.
This caused Billy and Victoria to separate and he began drinking and gambling again, disappearing to Hong Kong. When Chloe’s daughter, Delia, needed a bone marrow transplant, they tracked him down and found Billy imprisoned in Myanmar on trumped-up drug and rape charges. Victor agreed to pay for his release as long as he never contacted Victoria. But upon returning home, Billy reunited with Victoria and they remarried. The woman who had taken advantage of him in Myanmar, Chelsea Lawson, arrived in Genoa City pregnant with his child and tried to destroy his life and marriage, but after the baby was born, she gave Johnny up to Billy and Victoria to raise.
Leaving Delia unattended in the car led to her death in a hit and run, and Billy was overwhelmed with grief. He lashed out at Victoria and had an affair with Kelly Andrews which led to his divorce from Victoria. Learning that Adam Newman was the driver that had killed Delia sent Billy into a rage, and he sought revenge. After they were in a car crash together, Billy escaped and left Adam to die when the vehicle exploded!
After Adam’s death, Billy became close to his widow, Chelsea, and the two actually developed real feelings for each other. However, the arrival of the mysterious Gabriel Bingham caused trouble for them as he was drawn to Chelsea. When he discovered Chelsea had cheated on him with Gabriel, he exposed her affair during their wedding! Billy was later stunned to learn that Gabriel was really Adam back from the dead with a new face and identity! This time, Billy decided to let the courts decide Adam’s fate, but unfortunately, Victor bribed the judge to keep his son out of prison.
Billy began drinking and gambling again, and after being beaten nearly to death in a parking garage, collapsed behind Noah Newman’s car. When Noah drove away, he badly injured Billy without even realizing it! As Billy lingered in a coma with severe injuries, this family decided to take him off of life support. But as everyone prepared for him to die, Billy actually woke up!
Getting back to work, Billy partnered with Phyllis Summers and business soon became pleasure as he started an affair with his brother’s wife. Jack was furious to discover what they’d been doing behind his back, but once everything died down, Billy and Phyllis decided to go public and try to make a go of the relationship. However, as Billy began working with Victoria at Brash & Sassy, it seemed that their old feelings for each other were resurfacing once more. And when he used Phyllis to steal company secrets from Jabot, she threw him out of the house!
Billy risked his life to save Reed and his friends from the fire at The Underground, and then went all-out trying to convince Phyllis to take him back. After they reconciled, Billy took over as CEO at Jabot since Dina revealed that Jack wasn’t John’s son, so he wasn’t technically an Abbott. But Billy then started gambling again and had to fend off the advances of a newly-returned Summer Newman. Phyllis agreed to go along with Billy’s gambling to keep an eye on him, but he was getting in way over his head, forcing his family to stage an intervention!
Billy resisted all attempts to help him, and when he found out that Phyllis had slept with Nick, he threw her out of the house and called Summer over to sleep with her for revenge. After Ashley admitted Jack really was John Abbott’s son, the family again vied for control of Jabot, but Phyllis was elected CEO. That didn’t last long once her scheming was revealed and Jack regained the top spot. Billy held down the home front when Victoria was arrested for her part in J.T.’s “death” and once she was released, he worried when she immediately took off for Vegas and partied with a rock star. Once he got her home, he tried proposing, but she turned him down, suggesting they just be together without the pressure of a marriage.
Adam’s latest return from the dead reopened old wounds for Billy regarding Delia’s death and found himself haunted by her memory, having nightmares and hearing her voice. Things got worse when he began losing time and after he tried to run Adam down, Chloe abducted Billy to a boathouse where she wanted to try and help him. With Victoria at his side, Billy began to realize that his mind had splintered and his alternate self had been gaslighting him with Delia’s “haunting” but worried he’d never be able to truly suppress that dark side of himself! After a fierce battle with his inner demons, Billy felt he’d won, but Victoria urged him to seek professional help to be sure.
Although Billy took over at Jabot when Jack stepped down, he was inspired by his therapy to reassess his life and realized that running the company wasn’t what he wanted to do after all. But all he ended up doing was spending his time hanging out at a dive bar with Genoa City newbie Amanda Sinclair drinking and being tempted by gambling again. When Victoria continued to pressure him to open up to her, Billy walked out! But he was there when Victoria was stabbed at the Newman anniversary party, and had to sneak into the hospital to visit her since her family was keeping him away from her.
Stay tuned to see how Billy’s storyline continues to unfold and for more Y&R features, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.