Lauralee Bell Looks Back At 40 Years As Y&R's Christine 'Cricket' Blair

At age 15 in 1983, Lauralee Bell began playing Christine "Cricket" Blair on "The Young and the Restless," who was a model that was star-struck by rock star Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian). Their classic romance tale would propel the two into the soap opera super-couple stratosphere. However, as both Danny and Damian's rising star status increased, he was written out of the show when the character believed he had impregnated his then-groupie Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford). It took a few years for her lie to be exposed, but at that point, both characters had moved on, and Christine had another classic romance with her marriage to Paul Williams (Doug Davidson). 

Although Christine and Paul ended up having a rather tumultuous life, she eventually worked her way up to becoming district attorney for Genoa City, with the occasional crossover to Los Angeles on "The Bold and the Beautiful." Still prosecuting the bad guys to the best of her abilities, Bell took some time to chat with CBS, reflecting on her 40 years of portraying the character, whom she admits that she still sometimes refers to as "Cricket." 

As a teen, her character was groundbreaking because, as Bell explained, "There were no real young people on soaps at that time. 30-year-olds were playing 15-year-olds." In fact, the actor was only supposed to be on the show for a couple of days, citing the fact that her mother, co-creator Lee Phillip Bell, would have preferred Lauralee attend college instead.

Moving Christine from Danny to Paul Williams surprisingly worked

The CBS interview with "The Young and the Restless" star Lauralee Bell was intermingled with clips of her early years on the show, and the actor pointed out, while looking back, that viewers could more easily identify with a real teenager. "The Cricket/Danny thing was, you know, super sweet because it was a crush, and she was never going to get this guy," she remarked, adding that the audience was thrilled as the relationship progressed, with fans saying, "'Oh my gosh, I can't believe it, they're holding hands' and 'Oh my gosh, he kissed her!'" 

Bell added that when Michael Damian left the show, it was challenging to have the audience believe Cricket with another man. The soap star shared that the slow progression for Christine to move on with Paul Williams surprisingly worked, adding that it came across as truly believable, and the show found new magic. Bell also credited Lee Phillip Bell with informing her father and fellow co-creator, William J. Bell, that he could use the medium to impart lessons to the audience about topical messages. 

The viewers would buy into them because they were already familiar and comfortable with the characters. Lauralee also credited the love of the fans with helping maintain the show's longevity, explaining that when she gets to meet them and see the happiness in their eyes, "I mean, we're all a kind of team to keep this going [for] 50 years."