Credit: Sean Smith/JPI (3), John Paschal/JPI, Howard Wise/JPI
‘Sea’ Ya Later
Back in 1978, Doug Davidson was an aspiring marine biologist and model — what? They can go together! — when he was chosen by The Young and the Restless’ co-creator, the late William J. Bell, to play himbo Paul Williams opposite Erica Hope as naughty Nikki Reed.
Paul’s fling with Nikki (soon enough Melody Thomas Scott) went, as one would expect, down the drain after he gave her an STD. When subsequent girlfriend April Stevens refused his request to have an abortion, the beach bum ran off with Nikki and joined a cult.
Eventually, Paul began to straighten up and fly right, focusing more on his career as a private eye than on his hobby of scoring. Heck, the new and improved Paul didn’t even balk when pop star Danny Romalotti photo-bombed his official gumshoe portrait with partner Andy Richards.
There was no quantity of spare ribs and sauerkraut that Paul’s mom Mary could cook that could’ve dissuaded him from marrying mostly reformed bad girl Lauren Fenmore. He thought that in her, he had found not only real but lasting love. If only she hadn’t had that unstoppable stalker…
For a minute there, Paul thought that he and Lauren were going to get a second chance. But then she went and submitted a photo of him in his birthday suit to a centerfold contest, and well… We’ll just let Mary’s expression sum up the odds of that reunion sticking.
If Mary thought Lauren was bad — and she did — Cassandra Rawlins was worse. The seductress first entangled Paul in an extramarital affair, then got him accused of her husband’s murder while she jetted off and canoodled with her spare loverboy.
After his tumultuous relationships with Lauren and Cassandra, Paul finally gave besotted secretary Lynne Bassett a shot… but wound up ending their romance before it had really even begun because suddenly, his eyes were only for Danny’s ex, lawyer Christine Blair.
The Honeymoon’s Over
While Paul’s new bride spent copious amounts of time working on cases out of town, he busied himself by… Oh, Paul, no. He fell back on old habits like carrying on with the first woman who threw herself at him, in this case, off-kilter client Isabella Brana.
It’s (Beyond) Complicated
Christine’s engagement to Michael Baldwin, the legal partner who once tried to rape her, drove Paul to… Oh, Paul, no. He freaking assaulted her himself. Somehow, even after that, she returned to town — in disguise, no less — and proved just how rotten coconspirators Michael and Isabella really were.
When Lauren’s old nemesis Sheila Carter returned with a new face — that of her pal, Phyllis Summers — Paul did what the police never seemed able to and threw her behind bars. Which was tough to explain to his new girlfriend, Detective Maggie Sullivan.
Once More, With Feeling
Having dated just about every other woman in Genoa City, Paul circled back to Nikki just long enough for him to be reminded that, let’s be real, her heart was only truly ever going to belong to her on-again/off-again husband, Victor Newman.
Paul’s investigation of Genoa City newcomer Mary Jane Benson yielded a most unexpected discovery: She was his unstable sister, Patty. “If he’s such a great detective,” you might wonder, “why didn’t he recognize her?” Ah, she had a new face, you see, courtesy of Victor, who wanted to use her as a weapon against archenemy Jack Abbott.
It seemed altogether too much like old times to Nina Webster when — just like Phillip Chancellor had preferred Christine to her — Paul gave her the heave-ho to reunite with his ex. At least Paul didn’t turn out to have really been gay the whole time he and Nina were together.
With Isabella long gone (RIP), Paul had high hopes of establishing a relationship with their grown son, Ricky. Unfortunately, he turned out to be as unhinged as his mother and, in the end, forced his devastated Dad to put him down to save the life of Michael’s half sister, Eden. (It’s OK; we barely remember her, either.)
It’s a Boy!
In 2013, Paul discovered that Heather (his daughter with April) and Ricky weren’t his only children: At the commune with Nikki all those years ago, the two of them had, erm, communed. The result of their trysts was surprise son Dylan McAvoy.
You would’ve thought that being Genoa City’s chief of police would put Paul in the thick of things. But in recent years, he’s been as hard to find as the title character in a Where’s Waldo? book. Everyone from fans to Eric Braeden (Victor) has expressed their dismay over the character and his portrayer’s vanishing act. Yet they’ve remained “missing persons.” Will that change? Tune in tomorrow…