'Young & the Restless' Casting Shocker! Gina Tognoni Out, Michelle Stafford In

TV Insider Staff
Monty Brinton/CBS; ABC/Craig Sjodin

In a shocking casting move, Gina Tognoni has announced that she’s leaving her role as Phyllis on The Young and the Restless.

Daytime Confidential reports that Tognoni’s predecessor in the role, Michelle Stafford, currently Nina on General Hospital, is leaving the ABC soap and will return to the role of Y&R’s fiery redhead.

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On Monday, June 17, the daytime vet will take over the role from the departing Michelle Stafford.

Stafford originated the role of Phyllis in 1994. She left the part in 1997 and took on a role in the short-lived Aaron Spelling nighttime serial Pacific Palisades. She returned to Y&R in 2000.

In 2013, after winning two Daytime Emmys for playing Phyllis, Stafford left the show and the following year she became Nina Reeves the comatose wife of Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton, now, Finn) on GH.

James Patrick Stuart (Valentin) and Michelle Stafford (Nina) on General Hospital (ABC/Todd Wawrychuk)

Tognoni, a two-time Emmy-winner for her role as Dinah on Guiding Light, became Y&R’s new Phyllis in 2014. She won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2017 for her work on Y&R.

Neither Y&R or GH have released statements on the reported casting moves, but Tognoni has confirmed on social media that she was leaving the show.

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Plus, the actress opens up about her chemistry with late co-star Kristoff St. John and on-screen love Eric Braeden.

“Five years ago, I was blessed to embrace the incredible character of Phyllis Summers Abbott,” Tognoni posted. “I am beyond grateful for the creative experience that The Young and the Restless have given to me as well as the amazing relationships I made with the cast, crew/staff, producers, and writers. I love my Genoa City family, which made it easy to give 110% every day. My long commutes always went smoothly before I loved where I worked and the people I worked with!

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Peter Bergman and Gina Tognoni in a scene from The Young and the Restless (CBS)

“My special thanks to Sony Pictures Television, CBS and a special thanks to the Y&R viewers for their love and support. I wish Y&R continued success and everything it richly deserves.”

The Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS