There have been a few Phillip Chancellors on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS so it’s understandable if there is some confusion for newer viewers of the soap unfamiliar with each one. Phillip Chancellor III first appeared in 1976 and was played by child actors until 1983. The character is most identified with actor Thom Bierdz, who portrayed him from 1986-89, and again in 2009-11.
Phillip Chancellor III was the child of Jill Foster and Phillip Chancellor II, though his father was married to Katherine Chancellor at the time. Although Jill married Phillip II on his death bed, Kay had the union invalidated which meant Jill and her son lost their Chancellor inheritance. As Jill continued getting involved with various rich men, she didn’t have much time for “Little Phillip” who was mostly raised by her mother, Liz Foster. When Jill married John Abbott, Phillip was shipped off to a Swiss boarding school.
In 1986, Phillip returned to Genoa City as a teenager with strong resentment towards his mother for dumping him in a boarding school and a drinking problem, to boot. Instead of moving in with Jill, he opted to stay at the Chancellor estate with her nemesis, Katherine. Jill was furious when Kay attempted to adopt him and during a bitter custody dispute, all the dirty secrets of Phillip’s conception and birth were revealed. Katherine was granted temporary custody and Phillip legally changed his last name to Chancellor. Nina Webster had a crush on Phillip, but he’d fallen for Christine “Cricket” Blair. After he got into a car accident while driving drunk, Cricket took the blame and tried to help Phillip stop drinking. But Nina got Phillip drunk and seduced him so when Cricket accepted Phillip’s proposal, she spoiled it by revealing she was pregnant with his child! Jill and Katherine teamed up to keep Nina away from Phillip and were frustrated when DNA tests proved the child was his. Phillip eventually fell in love with and married Nina, but the pressures of work and parenting sent him back to the bottle. On the way home from an office party, Phillip was driving drunk and died when he crashed his car.
Although Phillip’s spirit made an appearance to Katherine in 2004, it was revealed in 2009 that he was actually alive! Katherine remembered that she had blocked out memories of switching Jill’s son with another, which led to everyone believing that Cane Ashby was the real Phillip Chancellor III for a time. But it was then revealed that Phillip had faked his death and had settled in Australia where he hired Cane to take his place. He confessed that he was gay and the pressure had overwhelmed him so much he’d tried to kill himself by crashing his car. He felt Nina and their son would be better off without him and that Cane would be a better Phillip than he was.
Phillip then met his son, Phillip “Chance” Chancellor IV, who had just returned from Iraq, and the two slowly began to form a relationship. When Chance was stabbed, Phillip feared his son would die before they could reconnect, and that inspired Chance to forgive his father for abandoning him. Phillip’s heart was broken when Chance was shot dead by Ronan Malloy during a drug bust, but thankfully, Chance was actually working undercover and it was all a setup. Phillip and Nina were relieved their son was still alive but had to say goodbye as he went into Witness Protection.
In 2011, Phillip moved back to Australia and the following year, Jill temporarily moved in with him to help her son recover after knee surgery. Might Phillip ever make another visit to Genoa City? You never know, so keep watching Y&R!