Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) has been slaying it on The Young and the Restless recently as a man debilitated by a failed murder attempt. Although fans saw his former son in law J.T. (Thad Luckinbill) push him down a flight of stairs, it was J.T. who paid with his life for messing with the powerful Newman family.
Amazingly, Braeden’s astonishingly realistic portrayal of an incapacitated wheelchair bound victim has the rumor mill in overdrive: Did Eric Braeden have a stroke, and is he leaving the show?
Braeden’s brilliant acting has been spectacular and Daytime Emmy worthy, but most significant of all it’s never been over the top.
His nuanced characterization of a weakened Victor Newman is almost unbearable because Braeden has dazzled us as the most powerful robber baron on daytime for almost four decades.
Watching mastermind Victor slumped and shifted to the right in his wheelchair, struggling to form whole sentences, and wincing in pain, actually has audiences wondering if Victor Newman is leaving The Young and the Restless?
Could fans be on to something? For those who wondered if J.T. was leaving The Young and the Restless, they ultimately were proved to be spot on.
Could these same fans be correct in their speculation about Victor? After all, the actor who portrays him (born Hans-Jörg Gudegast) was born in 1941 — making him 77 at the time of writing — and he has spent a good part of his life enthralling us on daytime’s highest rated drama.
Age is obviously no reason to call it quits unless you want to, but Braeden first appeared on The Young and the Restless back in 1980 so could we really blame him if he decided to bid us adieu?
The soap opera landscape would never be the same with Eric Braeden and Victor Newman (just ask Stephen A. Smith!) but the actor, who won a Daytime Emmy Award for Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1998, would certainly be going out at the top of his game.
Kudos to Braeden and his outstanding body of work; obviously fans don’t ever want him to leave our TV screens!
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays during the day on CBS and in the evening on Pop TV.