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'The Young and the Restless': All-time great characters form All-Star team

This YR All-Star team was easy to assemble.
This YR All-Star team was easy to assemble.
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Magnificent actors, working from wonderful scripts, under strong management enable soap operas to become beloved. Despite recent understandable outcries from many loyalists, 'The Young and the Restless' still maintains its deep roster of classically unforgettable characters.

Each author approaches the blank page from an individual experience level. So, this YR All-Star team isn't intended to be a definitive statement. It's merely a conversation starter for every great fan.

The iconic Jeanne Cooper was, is and will forever be the belle of the ball. Show creator Bill Bell surely sensed that when he hired the dame to lead one and all. All hail to the infinite 'Katherine Chancellor' forevermore!

It's great that 'Kate' hired 'Victor Newman' to head her company so long ago ago. Yes, Eric Braeden clearly helped to establish the YR brand. His compelling, ruthless role indisputably helped to build Genoa City's fictional walls and his battles with the second 'Jack Abbott', Peter Bergman, nearly tore them down on countless occasions.

Fortunately 'Victor' and his sidekick, 'Colonel Douglass Austin' happened upon 'Nikki Reed' one day. She was dancing for a living, but her future husband instantly knew that love would transform their lives.

Any talk of Melody Thomas Scott's eventual real-life YR backstage connection (former executive producer Edward Scott) overstates the point. This lady truly earned her place among daytime's greatest divas.

Kristoff St. John and Victoria Rowell didn't just establish themselves as top soap opera stars. Their on-screen chemistry, as 'Neil Winters' and 'Drucilla Barber' (then 'Winters'), created a perfect power-couple. St. John has continued to play every scene with style since his character's true love was written out of the script. Like all longtime viewers, he knows that no one ever offered more of her soul to an audience than Rowell.

Is is possible that somewhere in their bloodlines 'Sheila Carter' and 'Adam Newman' were related? The monstrous talents of Kimberlin Brown and Michael Muhney are undeniable. Brown had a far longer run, including countless tense terrorizing moments with her foil 'Lauren Fenmore' (Tracey Bregman). Muhney's fame was earned in a shorter burst, through his ever-passionate portrayal of 'Adam Newman'. Both actors unique abilities are incomparable and unrivaled.

Doug Davidson is a starter on any YR team because he leads all players in show appearances. 'Paul Williams' has been seen in more than 2,500 episodes since his debut in 1978. Every town needs a great everyman and Williams fits that bill perfectly.

Great characters (with complete married names impossible to include and extended family connections too hard to fully account for) have appeared on this CBS' sudser, including: Many members of the 'Newman' family and 'Abbott' clan, as well as 'Brad Carlton', 'Daniel Romalotti, Sr. and Jr.', 'Brian Romalotti (Rex Sterling)', 'Gina Roma', 'Christine Blair', 'Nina Webster', 'Ryan McNeil', 'Phyllis Summers', 'Jill Foster', 'Esther Valentine', 'Michael Baldwin', 'Kevin Fisher', 'Gloria Fisher', 'Lily Winters', 'J.T. Hellstrom', 'Grace Turner', 'Larry Warton', 'Cane Ashby', 'Colin Atkinson', 'Amber Moore', 'Malcom Winters', 'Isabella Brana', 'Deacon Sharpe', 'Patrick Murphy', 'Cameron Kirsten', 'Daisy Carter', 'Brock Reynolds', 'Diane Jenkins', among others.

Enduring performances should be honored. And so, this All-Star team was easy to assemble.