Eileen Davidson as Ashley Abbott
|The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful character|
|Portrayed by||Eileen Davidson (1982–88, 1999–2013)
Brenda Epperson (1988–95)
Shari Shattuck (1996–99)
|Created by||William J. Bell|
|Introduced by||H. Wesley Kenney|
|First appearance||June 1982|
|Last appearance||March 20, 2013|
|Date of birth||April 29, 1960|
|Home||New York City, New York|
Brenda Epperson as Ashley Abbott
Shari Shattuck as Ashley Abbott
Ashley Suzanne Abbott (formerly Lassiter, Newman, Bladeson, Howard, Carlton and McCall) is a fictional character from the American CBS Daytime soap operas, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. She was most notably portrayed by Eileen Davidson, who originated the role in June 1982 before departing in 1988. Brenda Epperson portrayed Ashley from 1988 to 1995, before Shari Shattuck portrayed the role for the next three years, until Davidson's return in 1999. Davidson was nominated in 2003 for Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
The character is the daughter of one of Genoa City's business tycoons, the late John Abbott. She had relationships with various men throughout the years, most notably Steven Lassiter, Victor Newman, Blade Bladeson, Cole Howard and Brad Carlton, among several others. She is also mother to a daughter with Victor, Abby Newman. She is also known for her business contributions to her father's company, Jabot Cosmetics, much like her brother Jack. In 2006, it was announced that Davidson was to leave The Young and the Restless. She last aired on January 11, 2007. Shortly after, the character migrated to its sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful. There, she became intertwined with the Forresters and Forrester Creations; she also had a romance with Ridge Forrester. She left The Bold and the Beautiful in 2008 and returned to The Young and the Restless; where she has since had relationships with Victor once again and Tucker McCall.
In May 2012, it was confirmed Davidson was fired from The Young and the Restless, leading to her on-screen exit on August 3, 2012. Davidson initially hadn't known why, but it was reported later that Sony Pictures Entertainment terminated her contract with the show for her to return to Days of our Lives as Kristen Blake, a character she had portrayed there over 14 years ago. Davidson was brought back briefly to The Young and the Restless in March 2013 for the soap's 40th anniversary.
Davidson's first run in the role was from June 1982 to December 1988, when she left the soap and the role was immediately recast with Brenda Epperson. After she left the role in 1995, it was assumed by Shari Shattuck from March 1996 to February 22, 1999. Davidson then reclaimed the role on March 19, 1999. Davidson was absent from the soap during the summer of 2003 when she left on maternity leave.
In 2006, it was announced that Davidson would exit the soap, with her second run ending on January 11, 2007. She was asked to join the show's "sister" soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, as the same character. She first aired in that series on March 9, 2007. During her run on The Bold and the Beautiful, the actress made various guest appearances on The Young and the Restless. In 2008, reports speculated that Davidson would be returning to The Young and the Restless full-time, with her last appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful on July 4. She returned onscreen to Y&R on September 25, 2008, also making a brief return to B&B on November 25.
In May 2012, Davidson informed followers on her Twitter page that she had been let go from The Young and the Restless. Davidson further confirmed she did not know why she was let go, but was seeing the positive light from it. It was then announced by Nelson Branco that Sony Pictures Entertainment wanted Davidson on both The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives, but that Y&R would not share the actress, leading to Sony terminating her contract with the soap. Thus it was announced that Davidson would reprise her role as Kristen Blake on the NBC soap. Davidson made her onscreen exit on August 3, 2012. Speaking about her upcoming return to Days and departure from the show with TV Guide, Davidson stated: "What happened to me at Y&R was shocking — I've been in this business a very long time and have never seen anything like it — but it's not like I haven't been fired before." She also went on to say that "I was led to believe that I was fired, though it was a bad news-good news thing — the bad news is Y&R is firing you, the good news is Days wants you."
In February 2013, it was announced that Davidson would return to The Young and the Restless for "very special episodes" that would commemorate the show's 40th anniversary. In spite of this, the actress will remain a part of Days of our Lives full-time.
Ashley was born on April 29, 1960 in Genoa City to John Abbott, Sr. (Jerry Douglas) and his then wife, Dina Abbott Mergeron (Marla Adams).[note 1] In actuality, Ashley's biological father was her mother's former lover, Brent Davis. She quickly got a job at her father's company Jabot Cosmetics as a lab chemist and began a romance with fellow chemist Brian. At one point, Ashley walked in on her brother Jack Abbott (Terry Lester, later Peter Bergman) having sex with Jabot model Diane Jenkins (Alex Donnelley) just as he was about to marry Patty Williams. Ashley had to drag Jack to church to marry Patty. Yet, their marriage was threatened by Jack's affairs with Diane and his stepmother Jill Foster Abbott. When Patty shot Jack for his affairs, Ashley took over as president of Jabot.
Ashley became engaged to French artist Eric Garrison. She was then horrified when she found out that he had an affair with Ashley's mother, Dina. Ashley than romanced Marc Mergeron; and was once again horrified to find out he was her former-step brother, ending another unsuccessful relationship. It was then revealed to everyone Ashley's true paternity when Brent Davis came to town and later passed away. She became traumatized and ended up in a bar in the middle of nowhere with no memory. Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) came looking for her. When they returned to Genoa City together, they had an affair. John wasn't aware of the paternity of Ashley and never knew.
Victor's wife Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) had an affair with Jack to spite Victor and tried to arrange for Victor's brother, Matt Miller, to seduce Ashley. In the end, Victor chose Ashley. Ashley discovered she was pregnant with Victor's child. Nikki and Ashley formed a bitter rivalry which would last for decades. When Nikki was diagnosed with cancer, Victor returned to her, and Ashley painfully aborted her child. Learning of Nikki's schemes, Victor dumped her and returned to Ashley who had a mental breakdown. She romanced her psychiatric Steven Lassiter (Rod Arrants). Steven and Ashley later married, but during their honeymoon Steven was stalked by his former patient Leanna Randolph (Barbara Crampton). Leanna even tried to kill Ashley, but later set out to destroy Ashley and Victor through the writing of a biography of Victor. One of the chapters included one about Ashley and Victor's affair and abortion. Steven was later shot and killed by another mentally unstable patient.
Ashley started a relationship with Traci's ex-husband Brad Carlton (Don Diamont), which ended shortly after. Ashley and Victor reunited once again and married. But, their marriage was driven apart by Nikki's alcohol and painkiller addictions along with Victor's daughter Victoria Newman's schemes to break up the union; the divorce was finalized in 1993. She later hooked up with Jabot's new mysterious photographer, Blade Bladeson (Michael Tylo). They fell in love and married. Blade's former lover Mary Jo Mason (Pamela Bach, later Diana Barton), accused Blade of fighting with his twin brother Rick and leaving him to drown. Rick turned out alive and held Blade hostage. He briefly impersonated Blade. Eventually, all was revealed and the marriage ended. In 1996, Kurt Costner (Leigh McCloskey) saved Ashley from muggers, but at the cost of him being shot. Ashley eventually developed a relationship with Kurt; who previously lost a wife and daughter whom were killed in a car accident, which he blamed himself for. Kurt later left Ashley to be with Victor's ex Hope Wilson (Signy Coleman) in Kansas and resumed his career in medicine.
Ashley agreed to let writer Cole Howard (J. Eddie Peck) write a new novel based on her life. They began spending time together, to the dismay of Cole's wife Victoria (Heather Tom). Victor leaved several times and Cole resisted Ashley; however, when he was fed up with Victor leaving town, but stuck by her when she ended up pregnant. The baby girl was stillborn and Cole divorced Victoria, and married Ashley. Ashley then traveled to Madrid to rescue her step brother Rafael Delgado (Carlos Bernard). She helps him out by buying back forged paintings that he has painted and sold to unsuspecting customers. Cole assumes that Ashley is having an affair with Rafael without knowing who Rafael actually is. Victoria hooked up with Rafael while trying to break up Ashley and Cole, but nothing serious develops from their short adventure. When Ashley returns, she suggests to Cole that they have a baby. Cole is uninterested and takes a teaching position at Oxford University; he divorced Ashley.
Ashley wound up pregnant with Victor's sperm after Diane Jenkins originally tried to steal it, but Nikki Newman switched it with Jack's. Ashley claims that the father is a man she met on a cruise. She later married Brad Carlton (Don Diamont) and had Abby Carlton on the day of the wedding; she was raised to believe Brad was the father. Ashley faced hardship when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Feeling like she might not survive, she told Victor the truth—Abby is his biological daughter. Everyone was shocked that Ashley had herself artificially inseminated. Brad and Ashley eventually spilt and Brad even had an affair with Victoria Newman; however, Ashley became pregnant and they reunited. A new cosmetics battle between Newman Enterprises and Jabot Cosmetics caused Ashley a great deal of stress and ended up leaving town to stay focused on the pregnancy. Yet, Victor visited her to inform her about a Jabot rollout. A worried Ashley rushed back to Genoa City only to get into a car accident killing the child. Victor was blamed for this, and Ashley and Brad eventually divorced in 2006.
Ashley started dating Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) and soon found herself being charmed by Tom Fisher (Roscoe Born). She later found out he is Gloria Abbott's ex-husband who abused her for years. Fearing for his family, John shot and killed Tom. Ashley took the blame for the crime briefly; until John admitted to the crime and was jailed for 7 years. Gloria contaminates Ashley's new line of beauty cream for Jabot. Many pointed fingers at Ashley, and Gloria was never found out until a few years later. Additionally, a women died after using the cream. Shortly after his prison release, John died. The Abbott siblings dis-own Gloria from the family, kicking her out and removing her from the will illegally. Ashley left Genoa City in 2007 to get away from her family.
Ashley meets Rick Forrester (Kyle Lowder) in France while they are both there on business. They engage in a brief romantic relationship.[note 2] She later ends up in Los Angeles to work for Forrester Originals; designing a fragrance. She agreed with Rick to keep their love affair a secret; and he moved on with Phoebe Forrester (MacKenzie Mauzy). Ashley begins a relationship with Ridge Forrester (Ronn Moss) and they soon become engaged. However, Ridge's attentiveness to his true love Brooke in the aftermath of her rape creates tensions in Ashley's relationship with Ridge. While Ashley is in Paris on business, Ridge and Brooke reconnect, and Ridge breaks off his engagement to Ashley upon her return to L.A. Brooke's brother Storm (William deVry) takes an interest in Ashley, but Ridge is worried about Ashley's safety because Storm has previously shot Stephanie (Susan Flannery). Ridge tells Ashley about the shooting, and it causes Ashley to drift away from Storm, who then tries to explain to her that he was not dangerous, even though Storm brings a gun to her apartment. Storm's sister Katie (Heather Tom) thinks her brother intends to harm Ashley and rushes in to get the gun away from Storm. Katie is accidentally shot and near death, in need of a heart transplant. Storm then shoots himself in the head, leaving a note that he wants his heart to save Katie's life. Ashley is shaken up about yet another failed romantic relationship. When Felicia Forrester (Lesli Kay) tells her that Forrester Creations will be putting their new fragrance line on hiatus, Ashley's role in the company begins to diminish. Ashley moves with Abby to Europe where she works at Forrester International in the pursuit of new endeavors. She left Los Angeles.
When she returned to Genoa City, her siblings had a plan to regain Jabot Cosmetics to the Abbotts. Ashley joins the search for Victor who is missing in Paris, France. She ends up finding him and brings him home to Genoa City. Committed to her "true love" Victor, Ashley quit Forrester and decided to spend more time with Victor and her family. Ashley became CEO of Jabot for a brief amount of time. It was finally revealed this time that Gloria was the person who contaminated her skin cream line. Ashley and Victor discover they are expecting a child. Ashley's pregnancy is at risk when she thinks the ghost of Sabrina (Victor's previous wife) is haunting her (In reality, Victor's son Adam Newman was gaslighting her). Adam pretended to be Sabrina one night, causing Ashley to fall down to stairs and she lost her baby. Adam tells her it was all a dream and that she is still pregnant. Ashley continues to prepare for the baby, and names her unborn child Hope Newman. She is eventually re-married to Victor. Ashley's mental health continued to go downhill; she was also suffering from a hysterical pregnancy. After Victor was shot three times and her niece Colleen was killed, Ashley checked into a psychiatric hospital. It is the same facility Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) is staying at, also pregnant. Sharon goes into labor while Ashley goes into an hysterical labor. In a bid to let Ashley believe she had a baby, he stole Sharon's baby from the arms of Dr. Taylor (a man he had a dark history with) and presented it to Ashley as her own. Ashley took the baby, who she named Faith (unaware of the fact Sharon wanted to name her baby Faith) home and began raising it as her own. Victor left for treatment overseas with Nikki. Sharon is told her daughter was stillborn and grieves her loss.
In January 2010, Ashley befriended Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) and had Sharon and her new husband Adam to move into the Ranch. She had divorced Victor. By March, a letter by Dr. Charles Taylor is delivered, revealing that Ashley suffered a miscarriage, and Faith may be Sharon and Nick's child, which turned out to be true. This discovery nearly forced Ashley back into poor mental health but she managed to cope.
She later began dating Katherine's long lost son Tucker McCall (Stephen Nichols), a wealthy businessman and CEO of the conglomerate McCall Unlimited. They eventually got engaged; however Ashley didn't know that he had previously slept with Diane Jenkins (Maura West). They split up not because of this; but due to issues when Tucker had secret business plans with Jack. They eventually reunited and resumed their engagement. Abby schemed to break up the happy couple and knew herself about the affair with Diane. Later, Abby's scheme for Ashley to catch Diane and Tucker having sex when awry when she ran over Tucker with her car. Ashley took the blame for the accident, to protect Abby. Ashley was accused of driving under the influence and attempted murder; Katherine fired her from Jabot. Eventually, all charges were dropped and she married Tucker. Their relationship once again suffered as a result of his affair with Diane expose. Ashley was a suspect for Diane's murder, but Nikki was the killer. After briefly legally marrying and reuniting, they divorced when his involvement with Genevieve Atkinson (Genie Francis) was exposed. Ashley then hoped to focus back on Jabot, but Jack, who recently bought Newman's Beauty of Nature, wanted to merge that with Jabot and then Jack would be the CEO. Apparently Jack had already ensured that he got the board votes to push his plan through leaving Ashley shocked. As Jack decided to remarry Nikki in August 2012, Traci suggested that she come and stay with her in New York City for a while. Ashley agreed and left Genoa City 
- According to Ashley's history, she graduated from college and returned home in June 1982, which would make her 22 at the time.
- From her meeting with Kyle onwards until the point where she left Los Angeles, Ashley has crossed over to Y&R's sister show, The Bold and the Beautiful.
- "Eileen Davidson Out at Y&R". Soap Opera Digest. 2012-05-09. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- "Y&R's Davidson Confirms Exit". Soap Opera Digest. 2012-05-10. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- "Out Abbott Out, Two In!". CBS Soaps In Depth. August 13, 2012. p. 13.
- Logan, Michael (2013-02-20). "Exclusive: Eileen Davidson on Her Return to The Young and the Restless". TVGuide.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- "Y&R Daily Recap Archives - 1999 - Soapcentral.com". Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Kroll, Dan J. (6 April 2003). "Davidson To Take Maternity Leave". SoapCentral. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Eileen Davidson Fired! - The Young and the Restless News". 12 November 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "About Y&R: The Actors - Eileen Davidson - Soapcentral.com". Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Eileen Davidson returns full-time to The Young and the Restless - Soapcentral.com". 28 August 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Fairman, Michael (2012-06-26). "Eileen Davidson Rejoins Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks!". Michaelfairmansoaps.com. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Logan, Michael (October 5, 2012). "Hot Scoop on Eileen Davidson's Return to Days of Our Lives". TV Guide. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
- Giddens, Jamey (February 19, 2013). "SPOTTED: Eileen Davidson Back on Set at Young and Restless!". Daytime Confidential. Zap2it. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "DAYS Fave Returns To Y&R". Soap Opera Digest. American Media, Inc. February 19, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.