Credit: CBS screenshot

Over the weekend, the actor sent a heartfelt message to his fans.

Richard Burgi’s time at The Young and the Restless is over. Soon, he’ll make his final appearance as Ashland, and we’ll begin to get used to his successor, Guiding Light vet Robert Newman (Josh). But before we saw the last of Burgi in Genoa City, there was something that he wanted to get off his chest — in addition to the shirt that he doffed for a weekend bike ride with his missus.

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“I wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful words of support,” he told fans in a January 30 Instagram story. “I can’t get to all the thousands of letters that I’ve received, but it truly touches my heart, and I have such gratitude for all the love and support.”

Regular readers will recall that Burgi hadn’t intended to vacate his role. Earlier this month, he revealed that he had been let go after he “inadvertently violated the show’s COVID rules and protocols.

“I felt terrible about it,” he added. “I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is. I respect whatever the show’s decision is. They’re doing the best they can, as we all are.”

Amelia Heinle, Richard Burgi"The Young and the Restless" Set CBS television CityLos Angeles06/11/21© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 12156U.S. Airdate 07/21/21

A class act through and through, Burgi, whose previous daytime credits include Another World, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital,  even gave a genial shout-out to his successor, noting that in Amelia Heinle (Victoria), he was inheriting a hell of a TV wife.

“I truly wish the gentleman who’s coming in to play Ashland a wonderful time,” Burgi said. “He’s going to be working with the most incredible actress and great, great cast.”

Catch up on all the latest Young & Restless exits via the below photo gallery. Then hit the comments. Do you think “Ashtoria” will survive the Ashland switcheroo of 2022?