The Real Reason Shemar Moore Left The Young And The Restless

There was a time when the Winters family was a core clan on "The Young and the Restless." Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) was the first to arrive on the Genoa City scene in 1991 as a brand new promising employee at Jabot Cosmetics. Neil's romance with Drucilla Barber (Victoria Rowell) helped expand the Winters family when they married, but it was Malcolm Winters' arrival in town in 1994 that solidified the family as "Y&R" favorites.

Played by Shemar Moore from the start, Malcolm was quickly involved in a very soapy storyline when he slept with Drucilla when she was under the influence of some strong cold medicine one night and Dru got pregnant. Malcolm knew he was the dad, Drucilla knew he was the dad, but Neil and daughter, Lily, never knew the truth until Lily was a teen. Moore's Malcolm remained mega-popular throughout his run, but by 2005, the actor decided to part ways with the soap that he'd been a part of for over a decade.

Shemar Moore moved on from daytime but never forgot his soap start

It was a shock to "The Young and the Restless" fans when Malcolm Winters decided to leave town and Shemar Moore said farewell to the soap, but he was moving on to a new chapter in his life and fans could still catch him once a week at night on "Criminal Minds" where he played Derek Morgan from 2005 to 2017.

"Criminal Minds" turned Moore into a superstar and a household name, but he never forgot his roots on "Y&R" and made a guest appearance as Malcolm in 2014 and 2019. In 2014, Malcolm was there to make amends with Neil after years of animosity between the two brothers. Just prior to his return, he told People he never forgot his soap opera roots.

"There is not a 20-year career without Malcolm Winters," Moore said. "This is my second family. I don't take any of it for granted. I've been wanting to do this since I left."

Sadly, in 2019, Moore's return was for Neil's funeral. The funeral also acted as a memorial for Kristoff St. John, who had passed away on February 3, 2019, following mental health issues that plagued him after his son, Julian, took his own life in 2014.