Justin Hartley’s exit sparks memories of the on and off-screen turmoil that plagued the role of Adam Newman.

On September 2, the hearts of Justin Hartley fans sank as the ultra-popular actor announced his departure from “The Young and the Restless.” Soon after our jaws dropped as the rustic cabin Adam and Chelsea hid out in erupted in flames with an unconscious Adam inside. Though authorities didn’t recover his body, Adam, part of the heart and soul of “Y&R,” was presumed dead.

Since arriving in Genoa City, the character of Adam has evolved, devolved, been revamped and remodeled so much it’s made our heads spin. Adding to the confusion was the number of actors who played him. All of them managed to win fans over, but just when we got used to one, another replaced him.

Related: Justin Hartley’s personal farewell message to fans

Eileen Davidson, Chris Engen "The Young and the Restless" Set CBS Televison City Los Angeles 4/29/09 ©Aaron Montgomery/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 9161 U.S. Airdate 6/5/09

An adult Adam first regularly appeared in Genoa City portrayed by actor Chris Engen in 2008. Engen played the Newman son as a flawed but ultimately good person imbued with his mother, Hope’s, many sanguine traits. However, Adam soon began mixing it up, becoming at times devious and even villainous. Fans and critics enjoyed Engen’s Adam, but the actor left the show within in a year.

The wildly popular Michael Muhney took over the role next. Muhney, blessed with irresistible physical charm and stellar thespian abilities, played the role to perfection. He conveyed Adam as a nuanced man, good and bad qualities roiling within him. Unfortunately, Muhney left the role after five years amidst conflicts with coworkers.

Billy Miller, Michael Muhney "The Young and the Restless" Set  CBS television City Los Angeles 12/17/13 © sean smith/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 10336 U.S. Airdate 01/27/14

Muhney’s departure, however, set the stage for another actor who would become ultra-popular with fans and give knock out performances as a richly layered Adam. Justin Hartley stepped into this pivotal “Y&R” role in 2014. His angular good looks and sweetly gentle voice drew us in. We embraced yet another actor in the role. Hartley’s Adam found himself in some intense drama, such as pretending to be Gabriel Bingham.

Related: Adam Newman wasn’t the only Genoa City resident to behave erratically

Melissa Claire Egan, Justin Hartley "The Young and the Restless" Set  CBS television City Los Angeles 12/16/15 © Sean Smith/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 10844 U.S. Airdate 01/25/15

By the last time we saw Adam, however, his character had changed. Victor blackmailed and manipulated Adam to get him to do various things, for example. When Adam took a job in New York, Victor sabotaged it to get his son to stay in town and work at Newman Enterprises. He also used his knowledge of Adam’s role in Sully/Christian’s paternity to control him. Eventually his ineffectual ways got him imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit. He then was left helpless in the getaway cabin as it exploded. Or was he?

Soaps.com wants to know… Who do you think was the best actor to portray Adam? If he were to come back, what actor do you think would be great in the role? What about how the character changed over time-did you love it or hate it? Did you like the naughty, rakish Adam or the sweeter, more pleasant Adam? What do you want done with the character now that he’s missing and presumed dead?

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Photo credit: Aaron Montgomery, Sean Smith, Sean Smith/JPI

– Akbi Khan