Longtime fans were stunned when Susan Walters returned to THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS in the March 23 episode. And although she introduced herself as Taylor Jensen, this character is none other than the notorious Diane Jenkins! “Diane is alive and well (?!?) in Genoa City,” Walters tweeted after her first appearance, “and I couldn’t be happier.”
The character of Diane Jenkins first appeared back in 1982 and was originally played by Alex Donnelley. However, in 2001, Walters stepped into the role and played it until 2004, making an additional appearance in 2010. But the thing that makes Diane’s return to Y&R so shocking is that she was killed off back in 2011 when Maura West (Ava, GENERAL HOSPITAL; Carly, AS THE WORLD TURNS) was playing her!
Diane’s corpse was found and after a lengthy murder mystery, it was revealed that Nikki had killed her in self-defense. So Walters admitted that when Y&R’s executive producer Tony Morina reached out to her about reprising the role, she was taken by surprise. “I said, ‘Sounds good,’” she revealed to TV Insider. “He said, ‘You do know that she’s dead.’ I said, ‘Yeah. Wasn’t me who died.’”
Walters also got a call from Peter Bergman (Jack) welcoming her back and cautioning that Diane doesn’t have a lot of fans in Genoa City. West was only in the role for less than a year, but her Diane was quite busy causing lots of trouble! “I’m reading the scripts and people are talking about how much they hate Diane and how much damage she’s done,” the actress explained. “I e-mailed the writers and asked if there was anything specific? The list I got back was hysterical! Diane slept with Victor. She slept with Nick. Adam helped her fake her death, and she was with this guy named Deacon. I thought, ‘I have so much to learn!’”
Walters, who got her start playing Lorna on ABC sudser LOVING before landing roles in primetime series like MELROSE PLACE, POINT PLEASANT, ONE TREE HILL, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and THE FLASH, is thrilled to be back in daytime again. “How lucky am I to be in a medium where people my age are still so relevant to the story?” she exclaimed. “I play scientists and mothers and that’s great, but adults [in soaps] have lots of fun stuff to play.”
So stay tuned to find out how Diane survived, why she’s been texting Jack, and what other trouble she’s going to cause in Genoa City this time around!