Thirty-five years ago, a doctor from Chicago by the name of Brad Eliot (Tom Hallick) rode into a place called Genoa City to start a new life. In another part of town, Snapper Foster (William Grey Espy), a med student, listened to his waitress friend muse about how 'restless' she feels stuck in Genoa City. These scenes began a new era in daytime television, which has led to the celebration this week (on March 26th) of thirty-five years of Y&R!
As many Soaps.com readers know, The Young and the Restless was created under the working title, "The Innocent Years"! However, co-creators Bill and Lee Bell soon realized that perhaps that wasn't the most fitting title for a drama about the lives of young people in the early seventies. Imagine "The Innocent Years" being the title today! In the first indicator of the Bells' remarkable insight and intuition where the show was concerned, they decided to change the name to "The Young and the Restless".
Initially, the soap focused on a group of core families. Amazingly, many of these characters, and/or their descendents, remain front and center on Y&R to this day! One of the main families at the outset was the Foster family, consisting of oldest son, Snapper (William Grey Espy), ready to become a doctor, his brother Greg (James Houghton), a recent graduate of Yale, and their sister Jill (Brenda Dickson), who had left school to work as a beautician, and Liz (Julianna McCarthy) their single mother.
Another prominent family at the show's beginning was the Brooks family. Stuart (Robert Colbert), the patriarch, was a newspaper publisher married to Jennifer (Dorothy Green). They had four beautiful, but very different daughters, Chris (Trish Stewart), Leslie (Janice Lynde), Lorie (Jaime Lyn Bauer), and Peggy (Pamela Peters Solow). Chris, of course became involved with Snapper Foster in one of the drama's first great love stories.