Spotlight on Victor Newman’s First Wife, Julia Newman As Meg Bennett Returns to Y&R
Image: Howard Wise/JPI
Young and Restless character endured a domineering husband with devastating secrets.
Actress Meg Bennett will reprise her role when Julia Newman appears on Young and Restless during a special storyline honoring Victor Newman this month, as Eric Braeden’s 40th anniversary on the CBS soap opera is celebrated over several episodes. Bennett originated the role of Julia Newman from 1980 to 1984, and the character made several reappearances. Join Soaps.com to take a look back over Julia Newman’s history in Genoa City.
Julia was Victor’s first wife, a Jabot model. He had come to Genoa City to run Chancellor Industries and was protective of his bride, who was often isolated at the ranch. Nonetheless, Julia made friends with Brock Reynolds (Beau Kazer). When she started to fall for Brock, she offered to stop spending time with him if Victor would recommit himself to their marriage. Victor instead turned to Lorie Brooks (Jaime Lyn Bauer) and they were caught kissing by Brock. Julia was still unable to go through with ending her marriage to Victor, so Brock left Genoa City.
Victor encouraged his wife to work with photographer Michael Scott (Nick Benedict), so he could assess the man’s potential after acquiring a photography studio. When Julia learned that Victor had previously fathered a child with his secretary, Eve Howard (Margaret Mason), and the woman was seeking child support, the shock sent her into the photographer’s arms. Victor was keeping another secret as well – he had undergone a vasectomy. Julia turned up pregnant, and Victor accused the doctor of botching his procedure, but the physician clarified that Julia could still have conceived if they made love too soon after the operation. Not wanting the child, Victor tormented Julia by asking if she’d choose him or the baby. Soon, Victor learned that Julia and Michael were planning to run away together. This led to the infamous storyline of Victor holding Julia’s lover prisoner in a bomb shelter in the basement of the ranch, where Victor fed Michael baked rats. He also set up a video monitor, so Michael was forced to watch Victor make love to Julia. She eventually came upon one of the TV monitors and after figuring out the secret code, released her lover from the dungeon. Victor and Michael fought, and Julia miscarried Victor’s baby.
Though Julia had left Genoa City, she later intervened to save Victor when Eve Howard tried to poison him. He repaid the favor many years later by traveling to Lake Forester, Illinois to alert Julia that the design firm she’d created with her late husband, Charles Martin, was the target of a hostile takeover. Julia returned to Genoa City briefly in 2018 for Young and Restless’ 45th anniversary episodes and mentioned that she and her daughter, Jamie, were still running her design firm together.
Image: Columbia Pictures Television, Bell Dramatic Serial Co., CBS