Former GUIDING LIGHT star Robert Newman (Josh) is preparing to take over the role of Ashland Locke on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS with a healthy dose of nerves! After it was announced that the fan favorite would be succeeding Richard Burgi as the Genoa City businessman, Newman sent a message of gratitude to his fans on Facebook, opening up about his hopes for his new Y&R gig — and even admitting that he was a bit scared about joining the top-rated soap!
“Thanks to everyone for the sweet posts and messages about my joining the cast of Y&R,” the soap vet wrote in a statement. “I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve had great respect for the show and its wonderful cast for many, many years. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Burgi revealed over the weekend that he was departing the soap but initially did not give an explanation as to why. As it turns out, the actor had accidentally violated the soap’s COVID protocols over the Christmas break, leading to his unfortunate termination. Because the character of Ashland, who is now married to Victoria, is such an important part of the Y&R canvas, many wondered if the role would ultimately be recast so that the character could remain a part of the show.
The powers that be at Y&R certainly moved fast in finding another actor to take over where Burgi was leaving off. According to Newman’s post, he had a virtual meeting with his new bosses just two days after Burgi shared the news that he was “moving on” from the soap. “I had a lovely Zoom meeting with [headwriter and co-executive producer] Josh Griffith and [executive producer] Anthony Morina [on Monday] night,” he explained. “We talked quite a bit about the character, and I’m very excited by the scripts I’m getting so far.”
Even if, the Daytime Emmy nominee admitted, he had some anxiety about tackling a new role! “I’m scared to death, of course,” he admitted, “but I think that’s healthy.”
Newman is best known to daytime audiences for playing Josh Lewis on GL from 1981 until the soap went off the air in 2009, earning two Daytime Emmy nods for Outstanding Lead Actor over the years. Before Newman became one half of the soap supercouple Josh and Reva, the actor played Prescott Harrell on GENERAL HOSPITAL in 1985 and Kirk Cranston on SANTA BARBARA in 1986. In the years since GL was canceled, Newman has primarily been focused on theater but has made several primetime television appearances in guest spots on series such as NCIS and CHICAGO FIRE.
Before signing off, Newman concluded that joining the cast of Y&R will “be a new adventure,” one he is welcoming with open arms. “I’m feeling pretty blessed to have the opportunity. Cheers!”
Newman is scheduled to make his Y&R debut in February.