Lauralee bell young restless anniversary christine photos

Images: John Paschal/JPI (2), CBS (2)

She’s come a long way since Cricket!

It seems like only yesterday, but it was, in fact, a whopping 37 years ago this Wednesday, July 15, that Lauralee Bell made her first appearance on The Young and the Restless. She was just 13 years old at the time, a fresh-faced acting newbie spreading her wings on the mega-successful daytime drama created by her parents, William J. and Lee Phillip Bell. However, there was a twinkle in her eyes that suggested that she was a star on the rise, one to watch — in other words, a keeper.

At first, Bell was by no means a Young and Restless regular. She only appeared now and then as Jabot Cosmetics photographer Joe Blair’s niece, wannabe model Cricket. After three years, though, the actress was put on contract, and Cricket — who would eventually abandon her cutesy nickname for her actual first name, Christine — took center stage.

From there, Bell evolved the character into not only a beloved romantic heroine but a force to be reckoned with — especially once Christine gave up posing for pictures to practice law. “I love anyplace where there can be strength,” Bell previously told Soaps.com. “It’s important. People grow. She was sort of a lost kid in the past, and now she’s going to make up for it and get a backbone.”

To retrace her steps from teenage covergirl to Genoa City mover and shaker, just click on the gallery below to check out photos of Christine’s most memorable moments. (Well, some of ’em, anyway — as you well know, there have been a lot!)