Traci Abbott doesn’t appear that frequently on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS anymore, so some newer fans may not be familiar with this character’s tumultuous history in Genoa City! Beth Maitland originated the role of John Abbot’s youngest daughter in 1982, and played the role regularly until 1993, earning a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1985. In 2001, she returned to Y&R on a recurring basis, with Traci showing up for holidays or during family crises.
When she was younger, Traci always felt insecure and jealous of her glamorous older sister, Ashley Abbott, and suffered from bulimia. During the ‘80s, Traci fell hard for Danny Romalotti and became a singer in his band to fight for his attention with her rival, Lauren Fenmore. Self-conscious of her weight, Traci became addicted to diet pills, and when she discovered Danny and Lauren were engaged, she got high, crashed her car, and nearly died.
After recovering, Traci began dating her college professor, Tim Sullivan, but when she found him in bed with another student, she became suicidal, and her life was saved by Christine Blair’s timely intervention. When Traci discovered she was pregnant with Tim’s baby, Danny married her to give the baby a family. But a jealous Patty pushed the mother-to-be down a flight of stairs, causing her to miscarry. Traci annulled her marriage to Danny and became involved with groundskeeper Brad Carlton.
Traci and Brad were quickly married, but Brad chose his budding business career over his wife, so she left Genoa City to continue her education. During her absence, Brad had an affair with Lauren, but when Traci returned, they reunited and she became pregnant. Sadly, Brad’s psycho ex-wife, Lisa Mansfield, kidnapped Brad and caused Traci to have a second miscarriage. Ultimately, Traci lost Brad to her older sister, Ashley, and turned to writing, penning two best-selling novels.
Later, Brad and Traci got back together again, and she gave birth to their daughter, Colleen Carlton. Unfortunately, the child wasn’t enough to keep their marriage afloat, and they divorced later that year. Traci began a romance with her publisher, Steve Connelly, and eventually moved to New York City with Colleen where she married Steve in 1993.
In subsequent years, Traci made visits home for big family drama, such as when her father, John Abbott, had a stroke and passed away. Traci was also around when Brad drowned, and later when their daughter, Colleen, also died, agreeing to give her heart to an ailing Victor Newman. She was also by her brother Jack Abbott’s side when he was shot and paralyzed by Patty and later married Nikki. Traci also confessed to Abby and Jack that she and Steve were drifting apart, and the couple ultimately divorced in 2014.
Traci continues to be the rock of the Abbott family, turning up to offer a strong shoulder for her family members to lean on in times of crisis. And boy, does everyone in that family have more than enough drama in their lives to keep her busy! Plus, Traci found herself offering advice to Cane Ashby, who was struggling with trying to repair his relationship with his estranged wife, Lily. The drama inspired her to start writing a new book but it also caused some feelings between her and Cane that she politely turned down.
Then, Traci helped care for her ailing mother, Dina Mergeron, who was struggling with Alzheimer’s and nearing the end of her life. She also was offered a job heading up the publishing side of Chancellor Media by Lily and Billy. While caring for Dina, Jack and Traci discovered she once owned an emerald necklace known as the “teardrop of love.” They managed to locate the necklace and Jack had the emerald broken up to make jewelry for each of the Abbott siblings shortly before they all had to say goodbye to Dina forever.
When Jack received strange text messages luring him to Los Angeles, Traci was worried for her brother and wanted to accompany him but he refused. She was then surprised when he reported back that his son, Keemo, had died, but he also had a granddaughter, Allie! While Ashley was suspicious of Allie’s motives, Traci had a more positive attitude towards the newest Abbott. However, she did join the rest of the family in being outraged when Jack later revealed he’d been lured to L.A. by Diane Jenkins, who had faked her death years ago! When Jack brought Kyle back to town to share the news of his mother’s “resurrection,” Traci was on hand to help offer Kyle a shoulder to lean on.
Stay tuned to see what happens next!