What You Need To Know About Diane Jenkins On The Young And The Restless

Diane Jenkins is alive and well on "The Young and the Restless" after having one of the goriest death scenes ever on the soap. But, since dead is rarely ever really dead on a soap opera, the resurrection of this character shouldn't come as a surprise. 

The soap needed a bit of a shakeup to reinvigorate the Abbott and Newman families, and head writer Josh Griffith thought that bringing back a powder keg of a character like Diane would be just the thing to bring "The Young and the Restless" new life, according to Soap Opera Digest.

After all, she has strong connections to both core families, having been in love with and obsessed with Jack Abbott for years. She is also the mother of his grown son, Kyle Abbott (Michael Mealor). Plus, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) is the one who supposedly killed her more than a decade ago (via Soaps In Depth), so Diane's return will surely change their lives forever. 

If you weren't watching "The Young and the Restless" during Diane's other tenures on the show, now is your chance to get a primer on her life — and all the actresses who played her — so you can jump right into the current story.

Diane Jenkins wanted Jack to help her get ahead

First introduced to "The Young and the Restless" in 1982, Diane Jenkins — then played by Alex Donnelly (pictured above) — set her sights on Jack Abbott (then played by Terry Lester) almost immediately when she thought she could become a Jabot top model with his influence. After all, it was his family's famous cosmetic company. 

So, Diane seduced Jack, despite the fact that he was a married man, and Jack fell for her charms (via Soaps In Depth). Too bad Patty Williams (Andrea Evans) didn't want to give him up.

It also turned out that Patty was unhinged, and, when it hit Diane that Jack had too many things to deal with after his furious wife shot him and then left town, Diane moved on. She wasn't going to become a big model, so she turned to Andy Richards (played by former First Son Steven Ford, according to IMDb) for comfort and fell in love with him.

Andy was sweet, had a steady job, and was everything Diane thought she wanted, so she was thrilled when they got married. But Jack was always in the back of her mind, and they had an affair. After running away to Europe, Diane realized she really loved Andy, but, by the time she returned, he was with someone else. 

So, Diane left again and seemed like an afterthought in the show's history for years (via Soap Central).

She returned — and two moguls wanted her

It was another decade before Diane made her Genoa City comeback as an accomplished architect who could make it on her own. Jack (now played by Peter Bergman), who was single was the time, was immediately attracted to Diane, but she was wary of him after the last time they were together and things went south. 

However, it was hard for Diane to resist Jack's charms — and also hard to resist the charms of another man, Jack's enemy, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), according to Soap Central.

When Victor first romanced Diane, it was to make Jack angry, but he actually fell for her, and they even got married. Diane was truly in love with Victor and wanted to have a baby but was furious to learn that Victor had a vasectomy without telling her. 

She was even more incensed when Victor's ex-wife, Nikki, seemed to be on her deathbed. He got a quickie divorce from Diane so he could marry Nikki and make her happy before she died. Then, Nikki recovered, and Diane was out a rich husband (via Soaps In Depth).

Diane became a mother, but who was the father?

Just because her marriage to Victor was over didn't mean Diane still didn't want his child. When she learned that Victor made a sperm bank deposit just prior to his vasectomy, Diane thought she found a way to get what she wanted out of her ill-fated marriage, after all. 

Nine months later, Diane had a son she named Victor Christian Newman, but fate had other plans for Diane and her baby boy (via Soaps In Depth). It turned out she got a hold of the wrong sperm, and Jack Abbott was really her baby's father. Well, that called for a name change, and Victor Christian became Kyle Abbott (via Soaps In Depth). 

Diane — by this time, played by Susan Walters (pictured above) — also decided she would use Kyle to nab Jack, so she and her son moved into the Abbott pool house. There, she made a new archenemy, Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford), the woman Jack really loved. 

That led to a terrifying fire that Phyllis was accused of setting, but it later turned out to be Diane who set the fire to frame Phyllis and get her out of Jack's life. This caused Jack to sue for custody of Kyle, but he eventually relented, and Diane left town with her son (via Soap Central).

She returned again and did some unhinged things

In 2010, Susan Walters reprised the role of Diane for a few months, but, then, Emmy winner Maura West (pictured above) took over, according to TV Guide, and Diane started doing all sorts of crazy things.

She said she was just in Genoa City so Jack and Kyle could bond, but she then had two brief affairs with Tucker McCall (Stephen Nichols) and Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) before marrying Victor. That marriage didn't last long at all, however.

Diane tried to then ruin Victor with the help of his vengeful son, Adam Newman (Michael Muhney). When that didn't work, she tried to see if Jack would take her back, but he had no desire.

Needing money, Diane then tried extorting both the Abbotts and the Newmans, but she made sure that Kyle was away at boarding school first. She then went off the deep end and texted everyone who had ever hurt her. 

When Diane turned up dead, all the people on her group text were suspects, but it turned out that Nikki Newman was the culprit — or so we thought (via Soaps In Depth).

Diane was dead but turned up alive

Diane seemed very, very dead in 2011, but she certainly doesn't seem to be in 2022. Once again played by Susan Walters (via TV Insider), Diane turned up alive in California and explained that Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) had taken her body and nursed her back to health.

She re-entered Jack's life by buying the home of his deceased long-lost son, Keemo, and befriended Keemo's daughter, Allie (Kelsey Wang), via Soaps In Depth.

Diane is also a grandmother as Kyle is all grown up and has a son named Harrison (via Soaps In Depth). But that doesn't mean that Phyllis Summers wants her anywhere near Jack. And Jack doesn't want Diane anywhere near him. 

That doesn't mean he won't soon break the news to Kyle that his mother is alive. The question is: What is Diane up to, and is she still as unhinged and manipulative as she was before?