Victor Newman Y&R
Credit: CBS

“I sometimes am not the easiest guy to get along with,” admits the actor. 

Close your eyes and try to imagine The Young and the Restless without Victor Newman. Given that both the character and portrayer Eric Braeden have been Genoa City fixtures since 1980, it’s darn near impossible to do, right?

Yet they say that all good things must come to an end, and with the actor about to turn 80 years old, no one could blame the guy if he decided to perhaps kick back and relax. If anyone’s earned the right to do so, certainly it’s Braeden.

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But when asked by People magazine if he might be considering retirement, he has a two-word answer: “Hell, no!”

Now that we’ve all breathed a collective sigh of relief, let’s see what else he had to say during the interview.

“I feel very loyal to The Young and the Restless,” he admits, adding that he is “very beholden to Victor and very beholden to the audience who has supported us for all those years.” Just as viewers have remained loyal to both Braeden and the show, he says that his intention is “to stay as long as I can.”

Not surprisingly, the actor has “grown fond of some people” that he’s worked with over the past four decades, including longtime co-star Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki). “I adore her,” he practically gushes, adding that she “has put up with me, and I sometimes am not the easiest guy to get along with.”

More: Is the new guy gunning for Victor’s wife?

Meanwhile, the thought of slowing down as he enters his eighth decade on April 3 is the farthest thing from his mind. “I learned from early on [that] what you do in the last mile is what you are judged by,” he says. “So I’ve got to keep on plugging, keep on fighting, keep on working and never give up.

“I think one of the worst things to do is to sit down and contemplate my navel,” he adds. “The old saying is so true: If you don’t use it, you lose it!” 

For more of Braeden’s interview, pick up the new copy of People magazine on newsstands. But for now, why not join us in looking back at some of the many events which have unfolded during Braeden’s four-plus decades as the inimitable Victor Newman via the photo gallery below.