Y&R returns mashup
Credit: CBS (4), CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

It’s going to feel like old times as a slew of much-loved (not to mention missed) actors head back to The Young and the Restless next month. What brings them back for a visit? While the show’s keeping mum so far, we’re willing to bet they’ll be all dressed up and ready to attend the Genoa City Bicentennial Celebration which Nikki recently mentioned is coming up.

After all, what better way to mark the soap’s 50th anniversary?

So exactly who’ll be putting in appearances once the special episodes begin airing sometime in mid-March? Michael Damian (Danny), Tricia Cast (Nina), Barbara Crampton (Leanna) and Veronica Reed (Mamie). While those characters are very familiar to newer viewers, let’s explain who they are to those who might not have been watching in years past (or who, like us, just need the occasional memory jog!)

Young Restless Danny Christine

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Even the newest viewers are likely to know who Danny Romalotti is, given that he (and portrayer Damian) appeared on screen only a few short weeks ago. At the time, Damian told us he’d love to return, but we had no idea he’d show up so soon! Might Danny be performing at the Bicentennial party? And more importantly, might we finally find out what transpired between Danny and his ex-wife, Christine, when she drove him to the airport? (Lauralee Bell had a few thoughts about that, which you can read here.)

Next up is Cast’s Nina, who has more than a few ties to Genoa City. Not only is the character Christine’s best friend, but she’s Chance’s mom (and therefore very overdue for a visit with her grandchild, Dominick). Although Nina eventually became a much-loved local, there was a time when her bad girl ways tended to get her into a whole lot of trouble. (Need a reminder? Check out the classic clip below, in which Nina and Jill air a few grievances!)

Something tells us that Nikki didn’t put Leanna Love’s name on the guest list, but we can’t wait for Crampton’s alter ego to show up. Leanna, you might recall, was a classic Young & Restless vixen… who also happens to be one of Victor’s many ex-wives. So popular (and fun) was Leanna that what started as a three-month role for Crampton back in 1987 eventually morphed into a much, much longer stay. Although Leanna left town in 1993, the character has made several returns, but hasn’t been seen in town since 2007.

Victor, Douglas, Leanna wedding Young and Restless

Last but not least on the list of returnees is Mamie, who for years was a surrogate mother to the Abbott family. Heck, many viewers felt just as warmly toward her as did the family she took such good care of. (Jill, on the other hand, wasn’t very fond of Mamie, especially when it became clear that Jill’s husband, the late John Abbott, had developed feelings for the housekeeper!) Mamie, you might recall, is the aunt of Olivia Barber and the late Drucilla Barber Winters. When last seen in 2004, Mamie was taking off on a much-deserved world tour!

Stay tuned for further details on what the soap has planned to mark their incredible five decades on the air. Meanwhile, check out this gallery in which we look at all the actors who’ve recently returned to the iconic daytime drama!