Digital Journal reports that actor Doug Davidson recently celebrated 41 years on CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless. His stint on the show as private investigator Paul Williams began on May 23, 1978, which was episode 1,311 for the show.
“Join us in congratulating @DougDavidsonYR on ’41’ amazing years as Paul Williams,” said the show’s official Twitter page.
“Congratulations Doug Davidson of your 41 yeas [sic] of service on Y&R,” one fan wrote.
“Jeez, Paul and Lauren seems forever ago. Didn’t like Lauren then but I love her now!” wrote another, referencing his character’s relationship with The Young and the Restless’ businesswoman and singer Lauren Fenmore.
Davidson’s character Paul was notably dropped from the show back in 2018, which caused shock among fans. Although he later returned, Soaps.com reported that he spoke about his departure and eventual return in an interview with Soap Opera Digest.
“It was strange in the fact that nothing had changed,” he said.
“From my perspective in that period, I let everything go and decided to move on with my life and do other things, so it was a growth period for me. And then when I got [back] into the building it was like, ‘Oh, wow, nothing’s changed here.’ It was strange in that way.”
— Blasting News (@BlastingNews) May 19, 2019
Davidson said returning to the show was a natural experience, and he was excited to begin telling a new story. But he also admitted that being cut from the show after 40 years was a shock as his identity was tied to it.
Co-star Eric Braeden, who plays Victor Newman in the show, took to social media in support of Davidson following his removal. Davidson said that Braeden’s support was vital to him and exemplifies his support for both him and the show.
As The Inquisitr reported, Braeden said in his own Soap Opera Digest interview that fans of the soap opera genre are very important to its shows. He added that social media is an essential tool for actors and viewers to let the people in charge of the show how they feel.
Braeden believes that soap operas are unique in the way they connect to fans because they can span three generations of viewer family members — something many other shows don’t have. Replacing actors and actresses, he believes, can cause damage to the show if their storylines aren’t tied up. He says that he is grateful for social media because it provides long-term viewers of the show with a way to make a significant influence on it.