The Truth About Hunter Tylo's Tragic Past

Hunter Tylo has been a part of the daytime world since the 1980s when she was still using the name Deborah Morehart as Robin McColl on the now-defunct soap "All My Children." She was using the name Hunter Tylo (her middle name being Hunter) by the time she briefly appeared on NBC's "Days of Our Lives" as Marina Toscano. It was "The Bold and the Beautiful" that made her a bona fide soap star, though. On the show, she played Dr. Taylor Hayes on and off for more than 30 years, becoming a part of an eternal triangle between Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Ridge Forrester (Ronn Moss and Thorsten Kaye).

During that time, Tylo's life seemed like its own real-life soap opera to many as it took various twists and turns that ended in both triumph and tragedy. As of this writing, Tylo has been staying out of the limelight and even turned down a chance to return to "The Bold and the Beautiful" recently.

Hunter Tylo sued Aaron Spelling

In 1996, when Hunter Tylo found out she was pregnant with her and husband Michael Tylo's fourth child, she had also just signed a contract to star in Aaron Spelling's primetime soap opera "Melrose Place." However, before Tylo could ever work, she was abruptly fired for breach of contract. The contract stated that she could have no marked change in appearance, and Spelling Productions deeming a pregnancy as a change.

Tylo promptly took Spelling productions to court, with her lawyers claiming her pregnancy could have easily been camouflaged with props. According to Soap Hub, Tylo was well into her third trimester during the trial and wore short skirts and tight tops to illustrate her case. The judge agreed with Tylo and her lawyers, awarding her a settlement of $4.8 million. Ironically, Spelling replaced Tylo with Lisa Rinna, who was pregnant when she was hired to play Taylor McBride.

Hunter Tylo's baby daughter had cancer

Not long after Hunter Tylo won her lawsuit against Aaron Spelling, she gave birth to a baby girl she named Katya. As an infant, Katya was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. According to CNN, Tylo noticed something wrong with her newborn when she was about two weeks old.

"She was not a wonderful baby," Tylo said in 2003, describing Katya's condition. "She was crying. She was showing signs of something that was painful."

While both Tylo and husband Michael Tylo thought Katya just had colic, which causes babies to endlessly cry for seemingly no reason, the mother of four finally noticed something about her eye. "I looked down at her and I saw something milky white beneath the black part of the pupil," she said. "When she turned her head a little, it made a red flash, similar to the way a pet looks."

Katya's affected eye was subsequently removed and by 2003, she was considered a healthy, cancer-free little girl. Her mother had even lobbied California to pass legislation that made eye screenings a part of a six-week well visit for all babies (via CNN).

Hunter Tylo lost her son in a tragic way

In 2007, another unimaginable tragedy struck Hunter Tylo and her family. "The Bold and the Beautiful" star's son, Michael Tylo, Jr. — aka Mickey — drowned in a tragic accident. Mickey Tylo was only 19 years old when he was found dead while fully clothed in the pool behind his mother's Las Vegas home. According to Reuters, the young man appeared to have suffered a seizure when he fell in the pool. There had been no history or indication of substance abuse.

In 2021, Tylo suffered another horrible loss when her now ex-husband, Michael Tylo, died at the age of 73. No cause of death was disclosed at the time of his death. Not long after, Tylo declined to go back to work at "The Bold and the Beautiful" to bring Taylor to life once again, so the role was recast with Krista Allen.