How The Young And The Restless' Sharon Case Has Transformed Over The Years

Sharon Case, the actor who portrays Sharon Collins, is one of the most dynamic talents "The Young and the Restless" has ever seen. Although Case began her "Y&R" journey in 1994 — the same year the character of Sharon Collins was introduced — many don't realize she was actually the third actress to play the role.

Heidi Mark and Monica Potter, the two actors preceding Case, held the role for only a few months before she took over. Over her 29-year tenure on the soap, the "Y&R" star has earned six Daytime Emmy nominations, snagging a win in 1999 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She's also received three Soap Opera Digest nominations, winning the Hottest Female Star in 1998.

Sharon Case's commitment to her character over the years has given her many transformative storylines that the average actor doesn't get from a single job. From portraying a naive teenager to roles as a fugitive and even a cancer survivor, Case has done it all. Let's take a look at some of her most transformative story arcs.

Sharon Case played a naive and dreamy teenager even though she was 23 years old

When Sharon Case took on the role of Sharon Collins in "The Young and the Restless," she was a 23-year-old playing a naive and dreamy 18-year-old. Such a role is challenging, as a 23-year-old is vastly more experienced and confident than a teenager. Interestingly, Heidi Mark, who was cast as Sharon Collins before Case, was also 23 when she took the role.

In contrast, Case embodied Sharon Collins seamlessly. Playing Sharon came with many twists, given her difficult history at such a young age. Case had to portray motherhood and the immense feelings of guilt that come with placing a child up for adoption despite not being a mother in real life. This emotional depth made it easier for viewers to empathize with her character's decision to start a family soon after marrying Nicholas Newman (Joshua Morrow), despite their young ages. 

Her relationship with Nick, who was arguably one of Sharon's best leading men on "Y&R," captured the essence of young love and highlighted the folly of youth. Case's portrayal resonated so deeply that Cassie Newman (Camryn Grimes), the child Sharon had given up for adoption, eventually returned and became a mainstay in Sharon and Nick's lives until she died in 2005. Then, eight years later, Cassie was revealed to have a twin, Mariah Copeland,  who is currently on the series.

Sharon Case played the infatuation-prone young woman

Sharon Collins had a good heart and was well-liked by audiences, but it's no secret that soaps thrive on characters' flaws and bad actions. In an interview with Michael Fairman in 2016, Sharon Case stated that Sharon Collins wasn't viewed as a "colorful" character, so the writers made her do bad things to dispel the notion. Sharon's subsequent storyline highlighted her tendency to fall for almost any man who extended kindness. After Nicholas Newman cheated with her best friend, she turned to Diego Gutierrez ( Diego Serrano), their ranch hand, who was always available for a heart-to-heart.

However, Sharon's guilt got the best of her, and she confessed to Nick, which resulted in Diego being fired. But her romantic escapades were far from over. She kissed her father-in-law, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), who had always doted on her. Next, she entered a relationship with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman), though this union was predictably short-lived. Sharon's tendency to jump into relationships was a major character flaw, but Case's ability to appear deeply invested in her romantic interests was a skill.

It's no secret that creating chemistry isn't an easy task and that some characters never quite get it. However, in a 2009 interview, Peter Bergman shed light on how Sharon Case worked. He commented that the romance between Jack and Sharon felt unconvincing. To fix this, he and Case worked together to edit the story and make it believable. Hats off to Sharon Case.

Sharon Case played the fugitive

One of the most heart-pounding roles Sharon Case played as Sharon Collins was the fugitive. The storyline stemmed from her connection with Adam Newman (Mark Grossman), who was bad news. After trying to prove that Adam wasn't guilty of murder, Sharon was arrested for the same murder, and Adam was set free. Unfortunately, Sharon was found guilty, so Adam planned her prison breakout.

They agreed to meet in Sedona, Arizona, where they would run away together to start a new life. However, at the last moment, Sharon chose to ditch Adam for his safety and run away alone. This led her to a barn owned by a veterinarian, Sam Gibson (Sean Patrick Flanery). She introduced herself as "Sheri Coleman" and later began dating him. Of course, this ruse didn't last long, and Sharon was found, caught, and returned to Genoa City.

Adam finally found evidence to free her, but when he found out about Sam, he destroyed the evidence, testified against her in court, and later proposed to her, only to humiliatingly leave her at the altar. Although Sharon was later vindicated, it was a pretty wild ride. Sharon and Adam's forbidden love on "The Young and the Restless" was a masterclass performance highlighting the reality of toxic relationships. It was truly one of her best storylines.

Sharon Case depicted Sharon Collin's health struggles

Sharon Collins is no stranger to health issues on "The Young and the Restless." Her first major illness storyline came shortly after she divorced Jack Abbott. She began to black out and experience episodes of kleptomania. These blackouts took a backseat during her time as a fugitive, but soon after, "Y&R" writers revisited the story.

It started with more episodes of kleptomania, followed by manic hallucinations, and then she burned down the Newman ranch house. This convinced people that she definitely needed help. Sharon was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder but was told that she would be just fine with medication. Down the line, she experienced a phantom pregnancy tied to her bipolar diagnosis, which worsened when she stopped her meds.

She also dealt with a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis. Sharon's journey with breast cancer on "The Young and the Restless" wasn't easy, as she underwent multiple surgeries and chemotherapy sessions. Actor Sharon Case did a great job destigmatizing and explaining the complexities of all the illnesses she portrayed. She also showcased the importance of sticking to prescribed medications and showed just how hard those diagnosed with cancer have it.

Sharon Case fought for Sharon Collins' independence

Over the years, Sharon Collins has faced criticism for her numerous romantic relationships. Shockingly, Sharon Case agrees. In a 2012 interview with Nelson Branco, Case stated that she'd "expressed my concern over Sharon being paired with too many men." However, it took a while for the writers to see that the fans shared this sentiment. After the death of her husband, Rey Rosales (Jordi Vilasuso), in April 2022, Sharon wasn't romantically paired with anyone until Chance Chancellor (Connor Floyd) in July 2023.

During her time without romantic involvement, Sharon worked at the Crimson Lights Cafe, which her ex-husband, Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton) left to her. She focused on her business and even worked to make her daughter Mariah's wedding to Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks) one of the most memorable weddings on "The Young and the Restless." Sharon Collins' relationship with Chancellor, who is 13 years her junior, hasn't been rushed like her other romances.

It's also admirable that her relationship hasn't affected her dedication to her business. While Collins manages her new venture, Kirsten Incorporated, we must applaud Case for advocating for a period in the storyline without a romantic relationship and meeting our expectations as a businesswoman. We can't wait to see what's next for Sharon Case.