Credit: John Paschal/JPI, CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (3)
In the Beginning
Believe it or not, Melody Thomas Scott didn’t originate the role of The Young and the Restless’ naughty-by-nature Nikki Reed, Erica Hope did, in 1978. Despite getting to act opposite future Emmy winner Doug Davidson as Paul Williams, she lasted only a few months before Scott (then just Melody Thomas) was brought in.
The Rest Is History
The Hollywood vet, who’d already worked with everyone from John Wayne to Alfred Hitchcock, thought that she was just signing with the soap for three years. But she was such a hit as Casey Reed’s impetuous kid sister that three turned into six, and six turned into nine, and… You’re not actually going to ask us to do the math, are you? ’Cause that won’t go well.
Yours, Mine and Showers
Nikki and Paul’s relationship wasn’t really what you’d call deep. At the time, she was just a mixed-up kid, and he was a libidinous beach bum. She finally gave him the heave-ho — emphasis on the “ho” — after he gave her VD. From there, she moved on to a guy who was really going places — places besides the free clinic, we mean!
Here Comes the Bride
Although Nikki took the first of her many husbands when she married young lawyer Greg Foster, she by no means settled down. Rather, she got suckered into signing with Rose DeVille’s modeling agency prostitution ring and joining Ian Ward’s commune cult, where she bore Paul a son that she put out of her mind for decades.
Tears for Fears
In 1981, Nikki was taken home to meet Mother by a besotted suitor named Crazy Edward. Yes, that was his real name, and in a second, you’ll understand why: Mother was long deceased, her remains kept in an urn like so many Oreos in a cookie jar. “He wanted to marry Nikki,” Scott told TV Guide, “or kill them both in a murder/suicide.” And they say romance is dead!
Strapped for cash and a natural at undressing, Nikki began stripping at the Bayou, which was kind of a deal-breaker for her hoity-toity subsequent boyfriend, Kevin Bancroft. Or at least it was for his even hoitier and toitier Mommie Dearest (whom she might have preferred in an urn). But ya know who didn’t have a problem with the way that Nikki worked the pole?
The Love of Her Life
Megabucks Victor Newman was smitten from the moment he laid eyes on Nikki. But he insisted to anyone who would listen that he didn’t want to make her his woman, he simply wanted to transform her into a lady. Mm-hmm, suuure, Victor. Finally, after Nikki had given birth to his daughter Victoria while married to Kevin, Victor put a ring on it — a huge honkin’ one, we probably don’t need to tell you.
The Wedding of the Century
Everyone who was anyone — and OK, a few people who just wanted to be somebody — attended the lavish 1984 nuptials that united Nikki and Victor in holy matrimony. And it seemed at first that the couple really was in it for the long haul. But only at first; the long haul proved to be much shorter than either they or we expected.
The Other Woman
Victor’s attraction to business foe Jack Abbott’s sister, Ashley, turned Nikki green with envy. But she wasn’t about to just cry into the buckets of money that she now had and work extra hard to get her hair bigger than her rival’s. Oh no, the supervixen used her vivid imagination and began hatching plots. Well, that and the hair stuff.
To Die For
One of Nikki’s more hilariously harebrained schemes involved a fantasy in which she played dead just long enough for Victor to realize that without her, life wasn’t worth living. Rather than go through with it, though, she remembered that there were other fun things to do while lying down and took up with the last person that Victor would want her to!
Sleeping With the Enemy
When Nikki’s affair with Victor’s archrival Jack didn’t bring her husband back to her, she faked a terminal illness (minus the coffin) and gave birth to their son, Nicholas. Finally, after Victor offered to give Jack back his family’s cosmetics company in exchange for Nikki — then pulled a double-cross! — she went ahead and married into the Abbott family, all but saying, “So there!” instead of “I do.”
Following Victor’s “death” in 1993, Nikki did a good bit of her mourning in the bed of younger man Cole Howard, which wound up being super awkward on not one but two fronts: First, Victoria (then Heather Tom, Katie on The Bold and the Beautiful nowadays) decided that she was in love with the would-be author, too. Then, after Nikki’s lover made her his mother-in-law, it was feared that he’d actually just married his half sister!
Shot Through the Heart
After Victor came back from Kansas — alive, but with eyes only for blind farmer Hope Adams — Nikki enjoyed a rebound romance with Brad Carlton (Don Diamont, now Bold & Beautiful playboy Bill). It could have turned into a rebound marriage, too, were it not for the fact that mad, mad Mari Jo Mason took aim at the Mustache on the day his ex-wife was to become another man’s next one. Hearing the news, Nikki ran from the altar right to Victor’s side.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go
Though daughter-in-law Sharon wasn’t Nikki’s favorite person — or even one of her 100 favorite people — she still teamed up with ex-con Larry Warton to help the damsel in distress dispose of the body of her abusive lover, Cameron Kirsten. Mind you, not only wasn’t the villain really dead, he was so alive — and twisted — that he then murdered Sharon’s babydaddy Frank Barritt and left his corpse where his own had been dumped.
See No Evil
One year, Nikki married her “widowed” gynecologist. The next, she flirted with the brother of a childhood friend that she’d… wow… accidentally killed. Soon after that, she became a business mogul and ran for the state senate with the help of campaign manager and future husband David Chow. We don’t want to imply that she was blind to his scheming, but thanks to this photo, it can probably go without saying.
The Second Time Around
After a car accident killed both David and Victor’s wife-of-the-week, Sabrina Costelana, Nikki tried to be there for her ex. He, in turn, tried to be anywhere that she wasn’t. So, rather than take a minute and get her head screwed on straight, the widow threw herself into an engagement to old flame Paul. Presumably, she was happier about it than she appears.
Nikki was all set to remarry Victor for the umpteenth time in 2010 when conniving Meggie McClaine recruited Bold & Beautiful bad guy Deacon Sharpe to give the once and future Mrs. Newman a nudge off the wagon. He not only did so, he managed to blackmail her into becoming his unhappily-hitched sugar mama. Note: This is not a photo of them reciting their vows to one another… but it might as well have been!
The Wheel Thing
Even after Nikki was extricated from her marriage to Deacon, she and Victor couldn’t get it together for longer than a commercial break. So she decided to remarry Jack, who at the time was using a wheelchair thanks to bonkers ex Patty Williams having used him for target practice. But, since Nikki considers marriages as easy to end as phone calls, she and Jack split up before they’d even sent thank-you notes for their wedding gifts.
Once More, With Feeling
As soon as Victor got done marrying and remarrying ex-daughter-in-law Sharon Collins, he became engaged again to Nikki, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Never a dull moment with those two! Even their wedding was fraught with drama, as Newman family black sheep Adam (then Michael Muhney) took a bullet that was meant to make him an orphan.
It’s a Boy
Following the death of her dear friend and mentor, Katherine Chancellor, Nikki confided in Paul that she’d had cult leader Ian Ward’s child back in their New World Brotherhood days. Only, much to their relief, Dylan McAvoy turned out not to be the Machiavellian predator’s offspring but Paul’s. Bullet, dodged!
Charity Begins at Home
When contractor Arturo Rosales’ bid to turn Rainbow Gardens Apartments into low-cost housing came in higher than was acceptable, Nikki did what any sensible do-gooder would and slept with him. Although ya know, now that we think about how hot he was, we have to wonder; maybe altruism wasn’t the only reason that Nikki carried on that particular May/December affair.
After Victoria (now Amelia Heinle) broke her engagement to ex-husband J.T. Hellstrom, Nikki saved her from his subsequent attack by whacking him with a fireplace poker. Afterwards, Nikki , along with Nick’s most frequent wives, Sharon and Phyllis Summers, buried the body. Which, it bears mentioning, still had a pulse.
The Next Chapter
What does the future hold for Nikki? That, only she (and the show’s writers) can decide. But at least these things we know for sure: Her portrayer will rock whatever storyline she is given, anything we predict wouldn’t be half as wild as what it turns out to be, and of course, whether the Newmans are technically together or apart, her heart will belong to Victor.