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Monty Brinton/CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Candice Daly passed away 16 years ago today — on December 14, 2004.

From the outside, it appeared that Candice Daly had it all. She was beautiful. She was talented. She had a future ahead of her that was as bright as a California sunrise. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t live long enough to see it.

The Chance of a Lifetime

In 1997, after paying her dues in Hollywood, starring in B-movies like After Death (opposite adult-film star Jeff Stryker) and Liquid Dreams (about a futuristic strip club), the actress got her big break: a frontburner role on The Young and the Restless. It was a juicy part, too, the stuff Emmy dreams are made of.

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Veronica Landers, you’ll recall, was the presumed-dead wife of Joshua Landers, who’d gone from being Nikki Newman’s gynecologist to her husband (her sixth, unless you count “I redos”). Upon learning that he had remarried, the “deceased” took advantage of the fact that her face had undergone massive reconstructive surgery to insinuate herself into the couple’s lives as their new maid, Sarah Lindsey.

What? How would you have handled the situation? Become their accountant?

A Killer Twist

When finally Veronica dropped the housekeeper drag and revealed to Joshua that no, she wasn’t Alice from The Brady Bunch, he rejected her — a fatal mistake. She shot him in cold blood, then did the same to Nikki, who, as you well know, survived.

From then on, Veronica didn’t hide her beauty, she just hid, period. She was, after all, a wanted woman. On the run, she found unexpected love with Nikki and favorite husband Victor Newman’s butler, Miguel Rodriguez. The murderess’ life, it seemed, might change for the better.

If only Veronica hadn’t been so concerned that Nikki would recognize her as Sarah…

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A Turn for the Worse

One fateful night, the madwoman stalked her prey to the Newman stables but was prevented from killing her former employer by Victor and Miguel, who had only just discovered his fiancée’s dark secret. When a struggle ensued, Veronica wound up being impaled on a hay hook.

Hey, it could happen.

After a soap run as memorable as that, Daly should have been the toast of Hollywood or at least daytime. But in the years following her Young & Restless stint, the offers didn’t exactly come pouring in. In fact, IMDb lists her last job as having been in 1998 — the same year that Veronica got the hook.

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Six years after that, Daly was found deceased in a rundown apartment in the City of Angels. A 2005 article in the Los Angeles Independent newspaper listed the cause of death as “polydrug intoxication complicated by severe steatohepatitis.” The same paper is said to have included her then-boyfriend’s suspicion that foul play had been involved.

Whatever the case, her death was a tragedy.

Daly had to have thought that she was on her way, her career about to kick into high gear. Instead, it remained stuck in neutral. And she had so much potential. Such presence. Sigh. See for yourself by flashing back — ironically, as Veronica herself flashes back — in the Young & Restless clip below.

While you’re here, check out the below photo gallery of all of The Young and the Restless’ most recent exits — up to and including Tyler Johnson’s as Theo.

Video: YouTube/The Young and the Restless