‘General Hospital’ & ‘Young & Restless’ Casting Shocker: Michelle Stafford Leaving ‘GH,’ Returning To ‘Y&R’

Craig SjodinABC

A bombshell bit of soap opera casting news just dropped and this one will certainly have everybody buzzing if it pans out to be true. According to Daytime Confidential, a General Hospital star is returning to her old stomping grounds at The Young and the Restless.

According to DC, Michelle Stafford is leaving General Hospital and the role she created of Nina Reeves. The site says they have confirmed this with multiple sources and that the departure comes after ongoing contract negotiations that went down to the wire. Unfortunately, an insider says that Stafford and the show couldn’t agree on a deal.

In addition, sources indicate that Stafford won’t have to hit the pavement looking for a new gig. She’s supposedly headed back to The Young and the Restless where she started playing Phyllis back in 1994. Michelle left Y&R in 1997 and returned as Phyllis in 2000 where she stayed until 2013.

Once Stafford left Young and Restless, she hopped over to General Hospital and has been playing Nina since 2014. The character is front-and-center right now with a wedding to Valentin on the horizon and the secret that Sasha isn’t her daughter on the verge of breaking. In addition, viewers have felt certain that it would soon be revealed that Willow is truly Nina’s long-lost biological daughter.

Reports say that CBS Daytime was thrilled to snatch up Stafford as soon as she became available and bring her back to Young and Restless. As viewers know, actress Gina Tognoni has been playing Phyllis since 2014 when Michelle left. Unfortunately, it seems that Tognoni is now out and Stafford is back as Phyllis.

At this point, there is no word yet on whether General Hospital will recast the character of Nina or just write her out. It would not be difficult to send Nina packing once she learns that she was betrayed by both Valentin and Sasha, and the potential storyline of having her be Willow’s biological mother could just be scrapped.

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However, it is possible that GH will try to recast the role of Nina. Soap fans are already speculating over potential places for Tognoni to land, including possible characters at General Hospital.

So far, Daytime Confidential is the only one reporting this with sources of their own and naturally, none of the shows or actresses involved are commenting. It seems a bit wild and would almost seem like an April Fools’ Day joke, but DC is an outlet with a stellar track record and it doesn’t appear they’re joking around with this one.

General Hospital and The Young and the Restless fans will have to stay tuned for now to see if this all plays out as reported. Y&R fans will likely love to see Michelle Stafford back as Phyllis, but the switcheroo is coming as a surprise to just about everybody. At this point, no specific dates about when things will change over have been revealed.