Nineteen Years After Bryton James’ Young & Restless Debut, We Crack Open a Photo Album Full of Bittersweet Memories of His Roller-Coaster Ride as Devon
When Bryton James first appeared on The Young and the Restless on June 1, 2004, he was no green rookie. Though still a teenager, he’d been in showbiz since he was 2 years old. In fact, he’d gotten his big break, on the TGIF sitcom Family Matters, when he was only 4!
Credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
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Still, no one could have predicted the impact that he’d come to have on the CBS soap. Certainly not James himself. But he was sure game to give it his all. “Once I knew that they valued me and thought that I would be a great fit for this role,” he told Soap Opera Digest in 2020, “I immediately just wanted to get better every day and do the best I could to add to the show. I mean, I didn’t know anything about The Young and the Restless… I didn’t know the legacy that it had…
“But once I did,” he added, “I was very confident and eager to get going.”
At first, James’ character — Devon Hamilton, as if you didn’t know — was sorta the show’s go-to when it wanted to do a “very special” storyline, whether about the foster-care system or deafness or getting stuck in a lion’s cage at the zoo.
OK, maybe that last one wasn’t your run-of-the-mill Afterschool Special.
Credit: Brian Lowe/JPI
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James, and along with him Devon, evolved — to the point that they’ve become frontburner mainstays. If a plot is hot and getting hotter, odds are you’ll find Neil and Drucilla Winters’ adopted son smack-dab in the middle of it. “I definitely didn’t anticipate this long [a run] or even think that far into the future” when trying out, the Emmy winner told TV Source in 2019. “Never in a million years did I expect it would be this integrated into the canvas of such an iconic show. And now here we are… ”
That, we are. On this joyful occasion, join us, why don’t ya, in paying tribute to James’ accomplishments as Devon by reviewing the character’s “Wait, what?!?” history via the below photo gallery.