‘Bold and the Beautiful’ Star Don Diamont on How Dollar Bill Spencer Got to Genoa City

Don Diamont of The Bold And The Beautiful
Cliff Lipson/CBS

Don Diamont’s been gone from The Young and the Restless, the soap on which he played gardener-turned-business tycoon Brad Carlton, for over a decade. But on February 18, he returned to Genoa City not as the, well, drowned, businessman, but as his current The Bold and the Beautiful alter-ego, media mogul “Dollar” Bill Spencer.

So, how did the actor feel about revisiting the show he called home for close to a quarter of century? TV Insider chatted with Diamont about his soap-hopping journey.

When Hunter King [Summer] crossed over from Y&R to B&B in January, she asked Bill if he’d ever been to Genoa City. What went into it actually happening?

Josh [Griffith, Y&R head writer and co-executive producer] and Tony [Morina, Y&R executive producer] were nice enough to have a conversation with me regarding the script and to talk about Bill as the guy who keeps people off balance, the force-of-nature guy. They wanted people [not familiar with Bill] to say, “Who is he?”

Also, Bill has things going on on B&B — he recognizes that Katie [Heather Tom] is the best thing in the world and he wants to make that right. I had to justify why Bill was going to Genoa City. Well, he’s going to do business there. But why not send [sons] Wyatt [Darin Brooks] or Liam [Scott Clifton], or do a Zoom call? Bill wanted to go there and let everyone know who they’re dealing with. That’s what I hoped the audience gleamed from those scenes.

I also felt it was important that the audience see there was some history between Bill and Lauren [Tracey Bregman]. Bill wants everyone to be on notice, have them be off balance. And his interaction with Lauren was not meant as any disrespect to Katie. It was just a flirtation. Oh, and Bill’s presence also created tension for Sally [Courtney Hope], who’s in Genoa City now.

Sally’s starting her life over in Genoa City and those who know her are understandably guarded.

She’s tucked away there and needs to stay there, as far as Bill is concerned. The last person Sally expected to see was Dollar Bill…

Don Diamont

Monty Brinton/CBS CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

When John McCook pops over to Y&R as his B&B character Eric, very people think of him as Lance Prentiss, the character he played on Y&R from 1976-80. But, as Bill, you worked directly with actors/characters who had story and relationships with Brad. How did that work?

I didn’t even have a “Brad” thought in my head. I’ve been Bill for 11 years. He’s an extremely well-defined character and has defined personality traits. When I went over there it was as Bill. It might sound strange, but the Brad component didn’t even [enter the picture].

There have been a lot of changes at Y&R since Brad left.

A lot. I’d spent 23 years there and the director and the producers were introducing themselves to me.

Brad died after trying to save Noah [then played by Kevin Schmidt] from drowning in an icy lake. Yes, there was a funeral, but some fans think Brad’s alive somewhere in a cage being kept captive by Lisa Mansfield [Lynne Harbaugh]!

[Laughs] I thought you were going to go with him being cryogenically frozen!

Robert Voets/CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Had you worked with Beth Maitland [who has longed played Y&R‘s Traci Abbott Connoll] during this visit, I can’t imagine her reaction to seeing a man who resembled her late ex-husband! You two had had one final scene not long before Brad met his icy end when he essentially said Traci was the one who got away.

Bill actually alluded to Traci during his visit. He asked Jack, “How are those sisters of yours?” Jack said that he didn’t know that Bill knew his sisters. I added the word “intimately” and then said, “Jack, I’m just messing with you.” I said, “‘Ashley and I have friends in common and who in the publishing world doesn’t know [author] Traci Abbott?’”

The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS (Check your local listings)