The Young and the Restless‘ search for a new Phyllis Summers Newman has come to an end. TV Guide Magazine reports that former One Life to Live and Guiding Light star Gina Tognoni has landed the coveted role of Genoa City’s most notorious, hell-raising vixen.
Gina Tognoni, a two-time Daytime Emmy winner, aced her audition for the role. A rep for Y&R told TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan that Tognoni’s audition and take on the character was “flawless.”
The popular actress replaces fan favorite and Daytime Emmy winner Michelle Stafford, who departed the series in 2013, now a cast member on ABC’s General Hospital. This is the second time Phyllis has been recast. Sandra Nelson took over the role from 1997-1998 shortly after Stafford vacated the role.
Tognoni began her soap career in 1995, originating the role of Kelly Cramer on ABC’s One Life to Live, where she stayed until 2002. In 2004, she joined the cast of CBS’ Guiding Light, taking over the role of the troublemaking Dinah Marler. Tognoni remained with Guiding Light until the series’ cancellation in 2009. She returned to One Life to Live in 2010 but exited the series in the summer of 2011, months before the series finale aired.
I think this an excellent casting decision by The Young and the Restless. If you’re unfamiliar with Gina Tognoni’s work, I recommend checking out some clips on YouTube. It’s been almost a year since Stafford last aired, but I know it will still be an adjustment for some. Tognoni is a versatile, powerhouse of an actress, just like Michelle Stafford. It’ll be interesting to see if Phyllis is taken in a new direction when she wakes from her coma, or if it’ll be a return to form. Genoa City could use a hell raiser like Phyllis causing trouble again.
What are your thoughts on the recast? Do you think Gina Tognoni is right for the role?