The Real Reason Don Diamont Got Fired From The Young And The Restless

Don Diamont has been a soap opera mainstay since the 1980s. That's when he first won the role of Neil Curtis' old family friend, Carlos Forenza; Carlos went on to have a steamy affair with Neil's wife, Liz, on "Days of Our Lives" (via Soap Hub). His time on the NBC soap began and ended in 1984 (via IMDb), but by the next year he was scooped up by the CBS soap "The Young and the Restless" where he played Brad Carlton.

Brad became the Abbott family gardener and worked his way up in the world and through the Abbott sisters during his nearly quarter-of-a-century run on the soap. That's why it was so shocking when he was suddenly killed off in 2009 while trying to rescue a young Noah Newman, who had fallen through ice when skating. Noah was fine, but Brad fell through the ice himself and tragically drowned. That brought an end to a long and iconic run on the soap. 

But why would "Y&R" kill off such a popular character who had been around for decades?

Don Diamont explained why Brad Carlton had to die on The Young and the Restless

In 2020, soon after Don Diamont celebrated 35 years as a daytime icon, the actor discussed his career. Notably, he spilled on why his "The Young and the Restless" chapter came to an end. "I guess there was some palace intrigue, but I don't really know," he told Entertainment Weekly. "A new head writer was brought in and she just saw fit to get rid of Brad Carlton and Colleen Carlton, his daughter."

Indeed, Colleen, the beloved daughter that Brad had with Traci Abbott, also died in 2009. Her tragic death came after Brad's (via Soaps In Depth). The fact that Brad drowned didn't make sense to Diamont, but it was how the writers saw fit to end his long run on the soap. "He was an extremely good swimmer, which was why it was so stupid that he died drowning," Diamont said. "If anybody was trained to handle that situation, it was him. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me, I can tell you that."

Don Diamont landed on his feet on another CBS soap

Don Diamont brought his "The Young and the Restless" character Brad Carlton to the show's sister soap "The Bold and the Beautiful" for a handful of episodes back in 1993. After that, he remained on "Y&R" for another 16 years before he was killed off. "B&B" came calling soon after offering him a brand-new role as Bill Spencer Jr. (via IMDb)

"Thanks to Brad [son of Bill Bell, who created both soaps], no," Diamont said when Entertainment Weekly mentioned he was not out of work for long. "He created a character for me on 'The Bold and the Beautiful' that would be the role of a lifetime. I was just so blessed. I always talk to my kids about this. It's a cliché, but I'm living proof that when one door closes, another door opens. Brad gave me the ball and let me run with it. He is an incredibly collaborative showrunner."

Bill remains one of the most popular leading men on "The Bold and the Beautiful" and is a far cry from Brad. The often-amusing publishing magnate is known as "Dollar Bill" in social media circles for his love for money, but he is also a man who can't seem to stay faithful to a woman. His relationship with Heather Tom's Katie Logan is a perfect example of that. He also has three sons by three different moms to prove it (via Soaps In Depth).

Don Diamont made a brief return to The Young and the Restless

Don Diamont's "The Young and the Restless" character Brad Carlton made a cameo on "The Bold and the Beautiful" in 1993, and in 2021 he brought Bill Spencer to "Y&R." During the appearance, the audience had to suspend its disbelief while the characters pretended that Bill looked nothing like their old friend, Brad.

Here's how his cameo came about: Summer Newman was digging up dirt on Sally Spectra, who had just moved from "B&B's'" fictional version of Los Angeles to "Y&R's" Genoa City, and Bill had the information she needed to make Sally's life miserable (via Michael Fairman TV).

"I had not ever considered that I would be part of a crossover, just because my character was so well-defined at Y&R," Diamont told Soap Opera Digest. "It wasn't like I was on for three months. I had never even considered that possibility, so it just kind of took me by surprise when they asked."

Of course, it wasn't long before Bill was back in LA and Diamont was back on "B&B," a soap he has called home for more than a dozen years.