The Young and the Restless star Camryn Grimes participated in an interview with soap writer Michael Fairman ahead of the CBS Daytime drama airing the episode where her character Cassie Newman died. The little girl’s unexpected death left her c0-stars, as well as viewers, devastated. Her mother and grandmother also reacted very strongly to the unexpected storyline, the actress revealed.
Fairman asked Grimes what she thought when she learned that her charter would pass away. The actress, who was a minor at the time, said that the showrunners told her mother and her grandma first. Both women picked her up from school one day.
“My mom and my grandma were like bawling. I was like, ‘what? Who died?”
When they told her that she was dying, Grimes felt stunned. Of course, eventually, through their tears, they let her know that Cassie would die on the daytime drama.
“I remember not getting emotional about it because they were so emotional,” she said. “I think honestly, it didn’t even really process for me until the very last scene. I had been doing this since I was like six or seven, so before I could even really remember. The idea of not being on the show anymore was just something that I couldn’t wrap my head around.”
Grimes started on The Young and the Restless as Cassie in 1997. In 2000, at 10 years old, she became the youngest person to receive the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the sudser. Viewers watched Grimes grow up on the soap as Sharon’s (Sharon Case) long-lost daughter she’d had with Frank Barritt (Phil Dozois).
As a teenager, Sharon put her daughter up for adoption, and Alice Johnson (Tamara Clatterbuck) adopted her. Ultimately, Alice abandoned Cassie, whom she’d named Cassidy, and Sharon had married Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow). The couple got custody of Cassie, and Nick ended up adopting her. In 2005, Cassie, who was 14, passed away as a result of a car crash because she drove a drunken Daniel (Michael Graziadei) home after a party despite her underage status.
Grimes said because she was not yet an adult but had been a part of the sudser for so long, she wasn’t able to understand how much leaving the show would change her life. She described how surreal it felt when so many cast and crew members told her goodbye on the set after her last scene. She teared up a bit talking about the event.
“It was just the strangest experience. You’re like, ‘am I dying? I’m not sure anymore,'” she said with a smile.
She said at the end of the final scene, she was sobbing, but she had to try to stop moving her stomach because of Cassie’s situation.
Throughout the years, Grimes returned to the soap opera, first as Cassie’s spirit. Eventually, in 2014, she was cast as Mariah, who was Cassie’s long-lost twin and Sharon’s other daughter. Victor (Eric Braeden) hired Mariah to gaslight Sharon. Recently, Cassie returned to The Young and the Restless as a ghost as part of Sharon’s cancer battle.