Young and Restless Phyllis
''I love doing love scenes. It's fun. You get to make out with somebody all the time. There are no ramifications. There's no, 'You didn't call me. How come you didn't call me?' I don't have to deal with any of that.'' Michelle Stafford
Two-time Emmy-winning actress Michelle Stafford started out as a model before eventually turning to acting and becoming a star on the popular CBS daytime soap opera "The Young and the Restless" (aka "Y&R"), as Phyllis Summers Romalotti (later Newman), a "home wrecker with a heart of gold." She stayed with the show from 1994 to 1997 and later returned in 2000.
Stafford also starred as Joanna Hadley in the Fox short-lived soap opera "Pacific Palisades" (1997) and guest starred in such TV shows as "Renegade," "Diagnosis Murder," "JAG," "V.I.P.," "Frasier," "Judging Amy" and "Charmed." She also appeared in the films "Body of Influence" (1993; V) and "Double Jeopardy" (1999). She will next be seen in an upcoming mystery movie called "3 Days Gone.”
On a more personal note, the 5' 8" model-turned-actress has been romantically linked to actor Michael Dietz, who appeared in the soap operas "Guiding Light" and "Port Charles."
Brain Tumor Survivor
Childhood and Family:
''I have the most amazing family and I was blessed with the most supportive parents and family. They are the greatest love of my life.'' Michelle Stafford
Born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 14, 1965, Michelle Stafford was raised and still lives in Los Angeles, California. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was an executive at MCA/Universal (Universal Studios).
At age 18, after high school, Michelle found out she had a brain tumor. She later had surgery and the tumor was found to be benign.
Michelle, who has dogs named Beau Regard and Mason, spends a lot of her time participating in volunteer work. She works with a group called "Citizens Commission for Human Rights" and "The Hollywood Education and Literacy Project."
She once said that it's important to volunteer her time "because eventually you come to the realization that you have to help. Are you part of the solution or the problem, or are you just sitting on the side eating a cheese sandwich watching your world deteriorate. I'd rather do something to change conditions. That one person I help could help two, and then they could help three others and so on and so on. I mean, I don't want to get on my soap box but it's important."
Michelle, who once lived in Italy while working as a model, can speak Italian. She enjoys Italian food and desserts and is a member of the Church of Scientology.
''I don't really believe in regret, but I wish I had been more disciplined in school.'' Michelle Stafford
''Once I went red, compliments to Clairol, I got more modeling work.'' Michelle Stafford
Raised in Montrose, California, Michelle Stafford later moved to Europe to pursue a modeling career. She lived in Japan, France and Italy, the latter of which she adored most because "it brought me out of my conservative shell."
One year after living in Italy, Stafford tried her hand at acting. She returned to Los Angeles and began taking acting lessons. After landing an agent, the aspiring actress started auditioning for roles.
In 1990, at age 25, Stafford received her first professional acting job on television on the short-lived Fox soap opera "Tribes." She then played small roles in the thriller movie "Body of Influence" (1993; V), starring Nick Cassavetes and Shannon Whirry, and the comedic TV movie "Another Midnight Run" (1994), starring Christopher McDonald. She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the action TV series starring Lorenzo Lamas, "Renegade."
Stafford got her first big break in 1994 when she was cast as Phyllis Summers Romalotti (later Newman), a "home wrecker with a heart of gold," on the popular CBS daytime soap opera "The Young and the Restless" (commonly abbreviated as "Y&R"). First introduced in 1994 to the show as an obsessed fan stalking rock star Danny Romalotti (played by Michael Damian), Stafford would leave the show in 1997 when her character had a major rift with Danny. Stafford's brilliant performance in the show later won her a Daytime Emmy in 1997 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She also took home two Soap Opera Digest Awards, one for Outstanding Female Newcomer in 1996, and one for Outstanding Villainess in 1997.
After her "Y&R" stint, Stafford joined the cast of Fox’s soap opera produced by Aaron Spelling, "Pacific Palisades," playing Joanna Hadley, the wife of Jarrod Emick's Nick Hadley and sister of Natalia Cigliuti's Rachel Whittaker. Unfortunately, the show that premiered on April 9, 1997, was canceled on July 30, 1997, after thirteen episodes.
Stafford went on to guest star in an episode of the crime/drama series starring Ice-T, "Players," the ABC sitcom "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," the NBC/CBS military drama "JAG," and two episodes of CBS’ drama television series "Diagnosis: Murder." She also played a bit part in director Bruce Beresford's box-office hit thriller film "Double Jeopardy" (1999), starring Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd.
''This show was so much fun! I loved playing this character. This was so different from what I usually play. I loved playing a political person. She was a little nerdy as well, which is really more germane to who I really am. It was really fun!'' Michelle Stafford (on guest starring as the administrative director of a right wing conservative foundation on ''JAG'')
Entering the new millennium, Stafford returned to "The Young and the Restless" with a more mature outlook on life. She married Peter Bergman's Jack Abbott, who was framed by Jack's ex-lover Diane (played by Susan Walters). From December 2006 to February 2007, Stafford played dual roles and took over the role of Sheila Carter from Kimberlin Brown (Sheila had plastic surgery to look like Phyllis). Stafford's work in the show garnered praise and she won a second Daytime Emmy Award in 2004 for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series. She was nominated again in 2006 and 2007. She also won a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2003.
During this time, Stafford continued to add to her resume roles in the films "Attraction" (2000), a straight-to-video released thriller starring Matthew Settle, Tom Everett Scott, Gretchen Mol, and Samantha Mathis, and "Lost" (2002), a 24-minute short film starring Bodhi Elfman and Scarlett Chorvat. She was also cast in James Dalthorp's thriller "Cottonmouth" (2002; starring Richard Tyson and Robert Vaughn), Michael Keller's comedy "Vampires Anonymous" (2003; alongside Michael Madsen), and Lee Abbott's comedy movie "Totally Baked: A Pot-U-Mentary" (2007).
On the small screen, Stafford could be seen in an episode of the syndicated TV series starring Pamela Anderson, "V.I.P.," NBC’s sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer, "Frasier," CBS’ serial drama "Judging Amy," the short-lived CBS drama "Clubhouse," and the WB supernatural drama "Charmed." She also starred as a successful woman whose college-aged daughter (played by Dani Kind) has gone missing in the mystery/drama TV movie "Like Mother, Like Daughter" (2007), and in a commercial for Herbal Essences Shampoo (2001) and the 2006 Toyota Camry. In 2004, she was a hockey correspondent for “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”
While filming "The Young and the Restless," Stafford is also shooting her upcoming film project, "3 Days Gone," a thriller/mystery by director Scott McCullough in which she will co-star as a detective who hunts down Christopher Backus’ character.
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, "The Young and the Restless," 2004
Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Lead Actress, "The Young and the Restless," 2003
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, "The Young and the Restless," 1997
Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Villainess, "The Young and the Restless," 1997
Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Female Newcomer, "The Young and the Restless," 1996