Actress and soap vet Eileen Davidson saddened The Young and the Restless viewers when she exited the show last year. Davidson left the show after several decades of portraying Ashley Abbott to spend more time with her family and focus on other things. Shortly after spoilers hinted that Davidson planned to leave, rumors flew that the Daytime Emmy winning star left due to then head writer and executive producer Mal Young.
Davidson recently opened up about her decision to leave the show and discussed the rumors that swirled about Young, according to She Knows Soaps. “I decided pretty much a year before I left. It really had nothing to do with Mal. He actually wasn’t even technically the head at that point,” said Davidson.
With the way soaps are filmed now, it makes for long hours, and the actress revealed the work took its toll on her.
“I just found myself exhausted and completely consumed with memorizing lines. I found myself doing a lot of homework on the weekend. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I was kind of wanting to not have to be somewhere all of the time.”
After Young took over, Davidson announced her plans to wrap things up with the sudser, which recently hit its 30th anniversary of being daytime’s No. 1 show. Young did not want to see the beloved actress who portrayed an integral character exit the show.
“He was very unhappy. He was very sad. He told me how much he loves to write for me and how I’m one of his favorite actors on the show. He was devastated.”
Davidson remained adamant that Young did not push her out at the show. In fact, she called those rumors and accusations “unfair.” She went on to explain, “I can’t blame my leaving on him, and that’s really, really important for people to know.”
While fans disliked the way Ashley left Genoa City, Davidson actually loved the unique storyline. Many long-time viewers felt that Ashley convincing Jack (Peter Bergman) that he wasn’t John Abbott’s son was too out of character for her. Plus, she took all the Jabot patents and left to start a Jabot rival — My Beauty.
When she ended her run on the show, Davidson even told the powers that be to recast her if they needed to, but she did offer to come back occasionally for short story arcs. In fact, of her future as Ashley in Genoa City, Davidson said, “Maybe. You never know.”
For now, Davidson is enjoying her time with her family and friends, and she’s supporting her husband, Vincent Van Patten.