'The Young and the Restless': Gina Tognoni Exits Daytime Soap Series

The Young and the Restless fans are devastated after Gina Tognoni announced earlier this month that she'll be leaving the longrunning soap opera after making the role of Phyllis her own five years ago.

Fans were equally as stunned to learn that Michelle Stafford is due finishing up her role on General Hospital to reprise Phyllis, the role she originated in 1994.

More than 1,000 people responded to a poll from GoldDerby, with 61 percent "sad" that Tognoni, 45, is vacating her role. However, the rest were "thrilled" Stafford was returning to her original role.

Stafford played the role of Phyllis on and off for nearly 20 years, earning 10 Daytime Emmy nominations and two wins: Best Supporting Actress in 1997 and Best Actress in 2004.

Tognoni impressed fans and critics alike by filling Stafford's big shoes, earning an Emmy of her own for Best Actress in 2017.

Following the news that Togoni was let go, she remained graceful, thanking CBS and Sony Pictures Television for her time on the show. More recently, she's speaking out about her last days as Phyllis, who fans will actually get to see until at least late spring.

With a few more weeks of taping left, and the show's schedule more than a month ahead of episode air dates, that puts Tognoni's final exit in about late May.

Tognoni shared an Instagram photo of herself in her dressing room on Tuesday, calling it her "sanctuary" where she feels "peaceful and centered."

(Photo: Instagram / @ginatognoni)

"Here we go starting our journey walking in peace with my Phyllis'. Each day is precious to me here in LA. I am still giving life to this character for a few more episodes/weeks," she wrote. "Filled with Love as We count down and continue our story in New ways. BTW this is my dressing room/ sanctuary. I always sit in here and feel peaceful and centered. It's special."

Now, fans are wondering where Tognoni, a soaps veteran, will wind up next. She was previously known as Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live and won two Emmys for her role as Dina Marler on Guiding Light. Both shows were canceled, which led to her Emmy-winning stint on The Young and the Restless.


The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listing for airtimes.