Susan Walters returns to The Young and the Restless... as Diane Jenkins?!

Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2022 2:50:44 pM
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Surprise! Susan Walters has returned to The Young and the Restless, but questions are swirling around who she's playing. Has the CBS soap brought Diane Jenkins back from the grave?!

Viewers of The Young and the Restless have been on the edges of their seats, waiting to find out who has been sending mystery texts to Jack (Peter Bergman). A lot of guesses have been made, but the truth may be more shocking than anyone imagined: Diane Jenkins! Actress Susan Walters popped up on the CBS soap opera today, which means that not only is her presumed-dead character, Diane Jenkins, actually alive, but she could also be the one responsible for the mystery messages!

The CBS soap opera remained quiet when photos of Walters' return leaked earlier in the week. However, in a new interview, Walters opens up about her return -- how it almost didn't because of a little wine.

First, a little background (you can learn all about Diane in our Who's Who in Genoa City character profile): Diane was killed in 2011. It wasn't a case of a presumed death or a missing body. No, Diane's lifeliess body was seen floating face-down in a stream in the park. It was eventually revealed that Nikki had killed Diane in self-defense. There's just one little detail that might explain how Diane somehow managed to cheat death: Walters wasn't playing the role oif Diane when Diane was last seen on-screen.

Walters took on the role of Y&R's Diane in November of 2001, following original portrayer Alex Donnelley's exit in February that year. Walters played Diane until 2004 and returned again for a few appearances in early 2010. Maura West took over the role in August of 2010 and was the one playing the character when Diane was killed.

The request to return to Y&R "came as a surprise,” Walters told TV Insider. “You know how voice texts can mispronounce words? I got one that said, ‘Hey, this is Tony Morina from ‘Wine Art’—not ‘Y&R.’ I didn’t pay much attention to it as Tony [the executive producer of Y&R] wasn’t there 20 years ago when I joined, but we had met since. At first I ignored it, but then I listened to the message. I told Tony later, ‘What if I hadn’t listened to that message?!’ He said, ‘Well, we would have reached out to you again.’”

Walters got her start playing the role of Lorna Forbes on Loving back in 1983. Some of her other credits include Hotel, Dear John, The Big Easy, Melrose Place, The Vampire Diaries, Reckless, Teen Wolf, The Flash, The Fosters, and Good Trouble.

Despite having an extensive acting portfolio, Walters admitted that she had a little bit of nervousness when she stepped back on set. She also realized how appreciative she was that the genre still exists.

“There were nerves, but I’m not scared of the process,” Walters shared. "How lucky am I to be in a medium where people my age are still so relevant to the story? I play scientists and mothers and that’s great, but adults [in daytime] have lots of fun stuff to play.”

For now, the fun stuff the actress referred to includes playing Taylor Jenson -- the way that character was introduced on the March 23 episode of The Young and the Restless. If there was any doubt about who Taylor really is, that was removed when Y&R unveiled a new promo trumpeting Diane's return.

As for how Diane found a way to cheat death? That mystery has yet to be revealed.

What do you think about Susan Walters' return to Y&R? Who would you rather she be playing: a back-from-the-dead Diane or a Diane look-alike? Which would you find to be the more interesting choice, and why? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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