Who Was Mamie Johnson On The Young And The Restless

Beloved and award-winning soap opera "The Young and the Restless" has treated us with many incredible characters, but few have been as well-regarded as Mamie Johnson. Mamie was first introduced to "Y&R" in 1980, played by Marguerite Ray. Mamie served for decades as the Abbott family's housekeeper for patriarch John Abbott — played by the late, great Jerry Douglas — and his three children, Jack, Ashley, and Traci Abbott.

Ray represented a landmark for the series as the first black actor to regularly feature on the show. Ray departed the soap in 1989 and was replaced by Veronica Redd the following year. Ray sadly passed away in 2020, and the Daytime Emmy Awards later suffered an enormous embarrassment during the in-memoriam tribute as Redd's image was mistakenly used instead of Ray's. Redd herself enjoyed a considerable run on the show before bowing out in 2004.

Excitingly, Redd briefly reprised her role as Mamie Johnson for "Y&R's" 50th-anniversary special in March 2023. Here are this adored character's best moments from over the decades.

Mamie was a housekeeper, family figure, and role model

Mamie Johnson was hired as a housekeeper for businessman and co-founder of Jabot Cosmetics, John Abbott. As well as tending to domestic duties, Mamie effectively acted as a surrogate mother to John's children, Jack, Ashley, and Traci. John's first wife and the mother of these children, Dina Mergeron (Marla Adams), had divorced him and moved to Paris — separating herself from their children.

John later remarried Jill Abbott (Brenda Dickson), who quickly developed tensions with Mamie as the latter distrusted Jill's intentions for marrying John. John experienced several serious health setbacks at this point, including a heart attack, and Mamie looked after him during his recovery. Shockingly, Jill had an affair with her husband's son, Jack, and fell pregnant, which caused John's health to further decline, and he had a stroke. Loyal as always, Mamie nursed John back to health and had her suspicions about Jill confirmed when Jill pushed through a damaging divorce settlement.

Away from the Abbott family, Mamie received an unexpected visit from her adolescent niece Drucilla Winters (Victoria Rowell), who had run away from her parents. John kindly allowed Drucilla to stay at the Abbott estate, where Mamie took responsibility for her and ensured she would be raised properly. With Mamie's invaluable support, Drucilla was employed at Jabot Cosmetics, starting in the mailroom before progressing to a lucrative fashion model position. Mamie also took in another niece, Olivia Barber (Tonya Williams), who later became a physician at Genoa City Memorial.

John and Jill Abbott's love led to Mamie's dramatic exit

After John Abbott's tumultuous breakup with his wife Jill, he met Jessica Blair (Rebecca Street) and remarried. Tragically though, Jessica had been diagnosed with AIDS, and her health soon deteriorated. Mamie Johnson consoled John after losing Jessica and cared for him once again when he suffered another heart attack after the company he founded, Jabot Cosmetics, was bought by his nemesis Victor Newman (Eric Braeden).

Having recovered from his heart attack, John reignited his love affair with Jill, much to Mamie's chagrin, who was naturally protective of John. Despite John's age and frailty, Jill insisted on having a child with him. Jill got pregnant and gave birth to William "Billy" Abbott. Soon after, John's declining health meant he could no longer have intimate relations, prompting Jill to be unfaithful again. This affair triggered another painful divorce and a fierce custody battle for Billy.

The ongoing toil caused John to suffer from another stroke, and Mamie, in her unwavering commitment, tended to him. It was here that Mamie confessed her love for John — which he shared — before he fell into a coma. Jill overheard this exchange and concocted another scheme by convincing John that they should stay together for their son's sake. To Mamie's devastation, John agreed. To remove Mamie from the picture, Jill offered to pay her millions of dollars to leave, which the caretaker painfully agreed to, despite her loyalty to John. Mamie was then written out of "Y&R" in 1995, having used her newfound wealth to travel the world.

Mamie returned to Genoa City in 2023

In 1999, Mamie Johnson returned to Genoa City and offered to financially help the debt-stressed John Abbott, who declined her offer. However, he invited Mamie to move back into the Abbott family home, where she helped raise John's grandchildren, Colleen Carlton and Kyle Abbott. Most importantly, she was regarded as an equal family member and not an employee. In 2004, Mamie's story arc was complete, so Veronica Redd left the show.

As part of "The Young and the Restless'" 50th-anniversary celebrations, the showrunners were delighted to announce that Veronica Redd was briefly returning as Mamie Johnson with a cameo appearance. Soap Hub caught up with Veronica Redd, who felt taken aback by the respect her character held in the eyes of fans. Redd said, "It has been both flattering and stupefying to experience how many fans are still so loyal and devoted to [Mamie]." Redd also paid tribute to the late Marguerite Ray, saying, "It makes me proud of all the years of hard work and joy that Marguerite Ray and I both put into the development of such an enduring character."