Joanna Manning on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS may look familiar to soap fans who aren’t familiar with the character because her portrayer, Susan Seaforth Hayes, is better known for her long-running role as Julie on NBC sudser DAYS OF OUR LIVES. The actress first appeared on Y&R from 1984-1989 in between her stints on DAYS and has returned for occasional guest appearances in the years since. But if you don’t remember Joanna, that’s where we come in!
Socialite Joanna Manning is the ex-wife of Neil Fenmore and Lauren Fenmore‘s mother, though because of the divorce, she wasn’t around for her daughter’s childhood. Joanna didn’t come back into Lauren’s life until after she was out of high school, and at one point, Lauren was crushed to overhear her mother say she wished she had an abortion. Joanna only returned after Neil contacted her when Lauren was being held captive by Shawn Garrett.
Although Lauren initially wanted nothing to do with her mother, Joanna began to win her over and reconciliation was inevitable. Lauren also hoped her parents would be able to work things out, but Joanna had set her sights on John Abbott. But they never made it past a few dates together and Joanna wound up in an affair with a younger man, Marc Mergeron. He eventually left her to return to France, but Joanna stayed in Genoa City to be there for Lauren after Neil’s death. But when Marc reached out and asked her to join him in Europe, she couldn’t resist.
In 2005, Joanna returned to Genoa City to attend Lauren’s wedding to Michael Baldwin. She was also there for the birth of their son, Fenmore Baldwin, and some bickering with Gloria Fisher. The following year, Joanna began working at Jabot as a designer/stylist, and again found herself drawn to John. But when that went nowhere, she reconciled with Marc and left town again. However, on subsequent visits, Joanna did make a little progress and had a brief affair with the Abbott patriarch.
Joanna came back in 2010 to take the stand as Lauren and Jill Abbott battled over Neil’s inheritance. Under oath, she admitted that Neil brooded about his illegitimate daughter the whole time and that’s what turned Lauren into a spoiled brat. His obsession with a dead woman and their child was what ultimately led to their divorce. After Jill was awarded half the inheritance, Lauren was furious with her mother and ordered Joanna to go back to her villa full of younger men and never return. But who knows if she’ll ignore her and come back again?