Longtime Soap Opera Veteran Responds to Idea That His Character Be Permanently Killed Off

Young and the Restless rumors about killing off a beloved character have upset fans. Earlier this month, Soaps recommended that "The Young and the Restless should run out Paul Williams for its 50th anniversary." The reasoning was that if Y&R does not plan to bring Paul back into the fold, it would be better to kill off the character than have Paul's constant unexplained absence potentially hold up other characters' stories. According to Soaps, "In recent years, commercials have gotten more screen time than [Doug ] Davidson. Paul's position at the Genoa City Police Department has been usurped, and he and Lauralee Bell's Christine have become less a supercouple than a super-scarce couple. Finally, in March of 2021, the vet got sick of being "treated like a day player" and told his fans, 'I think I am done.'"Paul's wife Christine, who appeared on screen just this month, seems to be the character most being held back, says Soap Central. The show doesn't have to include both spouses in every plotline, but Christine doesn't have as much story potential without Paul. 

There is also the question of whether to mention Paul on the show at all, to prevent any awkwardness. A recast of Paul is unlikely for Y&R since Davidson played the role for 40 years before he was taken off contract in 2018, ironically, just months after the 40th anniversary. When Davidson agreed to drop to recurring status, he hinted that his character might have been killed off if he hadn't accepted. "After I finished, I went to his office. Mal [Young, Y&R's then-executive producer] told me he was taking me off contract and that he preferred no one knew because it wouldn't do me or them any good. He'd rather use me [in a recurring capacity] than hiring somebody nobody knows. I thought that was the nicest take it or leave it I ever heard. And if I didn't agree they would probably kill me off or something like that. I did agree to go on recurring," Davidson said at the time. 

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Davidson says that now that killing Paul is being discussed, it is "hurtful." "I get the absence isn't explained and [killing Paul] would stop the questions, but it's hurtful," he commented on Twitter. "In addition, not sure what it buys you story wise. But not my call." Despite much discussion about Paul's death, fans have come out strongly on social media to request that he not be killed off. The outpouring of support moved Davidson. "I don't even know how to thank you all for all the love. Just know I am sending all my love back. You all are so amazing," he wrote.