Billy Abbott is a fictional character from The Young and the Restless, an American soap opera on the CBS network. Created by William J. Bell as the son of John Abbott (Jerry Douglas) and Jill Abbott (Jess Walton), the character is currently portrayed by Jason Thompson. He was born onscreen during the episode airing on July 7, 1993. For the character's first six-year period, he appeared as a minor, portrayed by various child actors. In 1999, David Tom began portraying Billy as a teenager. Tom was acclaimed for his portrayal, winning a Daytime Emmy Award in 2000.
The character is known for being a "spoiled rich boy", a "screw up", and for his gambling addictions and consumption of alcohol. In 2002, Tom opted not to renew his contract with the series and the role was recast with Ryan Brown, who only portrayed the role for a year after he was let go in a storyline dictated departure. In 2006, Scott Seymour became a second recast for the character; however, he too was let go after three months. Two years later in 2008, Miller was cast in the role, who portrayed Billy until his exit in 2014. Miller's performance in the role was popular with audiences and critics, and garnered his two wins for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2010 and 2013, and one for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2014. In 2014, Tom returned to the series following Miller's exit; his return was short-lived when he was replaced by Burgess Jenkins on June 24, 2014. In 2015, Jenkins announced his decision to depart the soap. Thompson first appeared in the role on January 13, 2016.
Billy was born onscreen in July 1993 and grew up naturally until 1999, when the producers decided to revise the birth date to 1983. His birth date was later revised again to 1979, the same birth date as actor Billy Miller. Up to 1999, the character was portrayed by child actors, first by a set of twins named Katrin and Margret Ingimarsdottir, then by Brett Sherman, Shane Silver, Blake Pontello, Josh Michael Rose and Scotty Leavenworth. When the character was rapidly aged, the character was first portrayed by David Tom, brother of the acclaimed Heather Tom, who first aired on July 26, 1999. "I auditioned five times," said Tom at the time. "Every time, Heather would call and ask, 'How was it? Did you feel good about it?'" When Tom received the role, he said, "She [Heather] was very excited. I probably won't have too many scenes with my sister. But it's great to be on the same show!" Tom went on to receive a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in 2000. In 2002, Tom opted not to renew his contract but agreed to stay until that August when Billy was written out, and was last seen on August 15, 2002. The character was absent from the series from August to December 2002; even though he was supposed to return much sooner, the casting department allegedly had trouble finding a suitable replacement for Tom.
The role was recast with Ryan Brown, who debuted on December 26, 2002. During Brown's portrayal, rumors started circulating about his dismissal, but when Brown was actually fired, the producers said it was storyline dictated. He last aired on July 16, 2003. In 2006, it was announced that newcomer Scott Seymour would assume the role, debuting on August 15, 2006. However, Seymour was let go after only three months, and his final airdate was November 9, 2006. In 2008, Billy Miller assumed the role as the fourth actor to do so. He first aired on September 19, 2008. Miller won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his portrayal in 2010. In 2011, Miller announced that he would like to leave the series by the end of that summer. However, after months of contract negotiations, Miller agreed to one more year on the series. In November 2013, amidst contract negotiations, Miller opted to leave the soap opera, and it was announced that David Tom, who previously played Billy, would be returning to the role. Miller taped his final scenes on December 19, and last aired on January 30, 2014. Tom taped his first scenes back as Billy on January 7, and returned on February 3, 2014.
On May 23, 2014, Daytime Confidential broke news that Tom had been released from the series, with the writers taking Billy in a different direction. He is said to be replaced by actor Burgess Jenkins. Tom last aired on June 19, while Jenkins took over on June 24, 2014. Jenkins confirmed his casting on his official Twitter account, tweeting, "Thanks so much for the outpouring of warm welcome from all the fans!"
In October 2015, Daytime Confidential broke news that Jenkins had been fired from the show, and that former General Hospital actor Jason Thompson is one of the soap's top choices for recast, following another "plastic surgery arc" storyline. Jenkins last appeared on January 5, 2016.
On December 3, 2015, Entertainment Weekly confirmed reports that Thompson had joined the cast, and began appearing on January 13, 2016.
Billy has been known from a young age to be a spoiled rich boy. As he grew up, he became a playboy and a notorious screw up with a penchant for drinking and gambling. When Miller auditioned for The Young and the Restless in 2008, he didn't know that he would be cast as the infamous Billy Abbott. Still, he enjoys playing the resident bad boy: "But this guy definitely has got an edge, and he is a bit of a bad boy. It’s fun, but he is a bad boy you might want to take home, but he is not the kind that will slit your throat before you get there." Miller also sees Peter Bergman's character of older brother Jack Abbott as a father figure to the younger Billy: "Peter is like an older brother, and it’s interesting because Jack is more of a father figure to Billy than a brother. And since John is gone, and Jack is so much older, and the two of them are so much alike it’s difficult. Billy could be scummy where he could go down the road, but Jack can be really scummy. However, Jack would never do anything to intentionally hurt his family. Billy knows Jack is holding stuff over his head, and he has to help justify it for himself and carry on."
After Victoria Newman's (Amelia Heinle) divorce from J.T., Victoria pursued a relationship with Billy, which her father tried to stop on many occasions, to the point of having them arrested on their wedding day. After being unable to conceive a child, Billy presented Victoria with a baby girl that he adopted illegally, whom they named Lucy. On the storyline, Heinle commented that it was a "good way to conflict and drama to the soap", also stating: "It [storyline] worked, and so they liked it and it spun off from there. So now we are stealing babies together!" When the illegal adoption came to light, Victoria and Billy eventually lost custody of Lucy to Phyllis Newman. Following the loss of the child Victoria adored, their marriage fell apart, and eventually Billy abandoned Victoria and left Genoa City, later revealed to be in Myanmar.
Victoria didn't know what was to come of her marriage and went forward with divorce proceedings, just as Billy's daughter, Delia, was diagnosed with leukemia. Victor had Billy released from a prison in Myanmar where Victor had had him jailed on trumped up charges of drug trafficking and rape, and brought him back to town in hopes of Billy becoming a bone marrow donor for Delia. Eventually, after the pair were officially divorced, Victoria and Billy's mother went searching for him but were unsuccessful, and in a turn of events, she found him in a New York airport bar, and eventually they reunited, with Victoria cutting her father out of her life after the discovery of his role in Billy's absence. "Victoria is going to be absolutely furious at her dad for what he's done, and understandably so. There is a potential for a huge rift between father and daughter and there will be some consequences for Victor with his relationship with Victoria in light of all that he's done to keep her apart from the man she loves," noted then co-head writer Scott Hamner at the time. He also said that, "The impact of [those] secrets coming to light is going to be very serious in Billy and Victoria's ability to move forward together." Soon after, the pair remarried. However, after returning from their honeymoon, Billy's mistress, a woman named Chelsea Lawson, from Myanmar, arrived on their doorstep, claiming to be pregnant with Billy's child. Her claim was proven true.
Jill Foster Abbott (Jess Walton) wanted a baby with her then-husband, John Abbott (Jerry Douglas). After she became pregnant, he urged her to have an abortion because he was too old to become a father, but she refused. Thus, William Foster Abbott was born in 1993. John learned to love Billy, and he fought for him when his marriage to Jill fell apart. Jill paid little attention to her son; John then took Billy to New York City where he attended boarding school. When they returned in 1999, Billy (then played by David Tom) was a teenager. He attended Walnut Grove Academy with his friends and enemies, including Brittany Hodges (Lauren Woodland), J.T. Hellstrom (Thad Luckinbill), Mackenzie Browning (then played by Ashley Bashioum) and Raul Guittierez (David Lago).
To make his place in school, Billy bragged to J.T. and Brittany about partying, and he was invited to a party that resulted in him getting alcohol poisoning, but Raul came to Billy's rescue. Billy had a rocky friendship with Mackenzie, but they began to feel romantic feelings for each other when she kept by his bedside while he recovered. At the Junior Prom, they were crowned Prom King and Queen, and they realized that they had feelings for each other. Billy's mother was not pleased to learn that Billy was hanging out with Katherine Chancellor's (Jeanne Cooper) granddaughter, so Billy and Mackenzie met in secret. Brittany wanted Billy for herself, so she tricked Mackenzie into thinking that she and Billy were having sex by drugging him. Eventually, J.T. spilled that Brittany was lying.
Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) trapped Billy and Mackenzie in an elevator together, and they finally sorted out their feelings. Jill coped with the fact that Mackenzie was better for Billy than Brittany was. At the time, Billy also gave his niece, Colleen Carlton (then played by Lyndsy Fonseca), advice on how to handle her life in Genoa City after she was sent to live with her grandfather there due to her bad behavior in New York City. Mac and Billy stayed together until Billy decided that they should take their relationship to the next level by having sex, but Mac was not ready. They broke up, but they stayed good friends. Billy came to Mac's rescue when her abusive stepfather, Ralph Hunnicutt, tried to molest her. Ralph attacked him, but Larry Warton (David Fralick) saved him.
Billy (then played by Ryan Brown) decided to do something different with his life, so he went to Louisiana to help Mac's father, Brock Reynolds (Beau Kazer), build houses for the poor. Jill was not happy with the idea. Billy returned after a few months, and he reunited with Mac (then played by Kelly Kruger). They decided to share a loft with Raul and Brittany, who were dating at the time. Billy and Mac soon got married in 2003. After their wedding ceremony, they were both shocked to learn that Billy's mother, Jill, was actually Katherine's daughter, meaning that Billy and Mac were first cousins. The marriage between the two was annulled, and they both left town.
Billy spent the next year in New Orleans and Miami. He returned to Genoa City in 2006 for his father's funeral. He flirted with a waitress, Jana Hawkes (Emily O'Brien), making Jana's boyfriend, Kevin Fisher (Greg Rikaart), jealous. Billy decided to attend Genoa City University to study business while he worked his way up his family's company. Billy developed a gambling addiction while in Miami, and he still owed money to some bookies there. He tried to pawn an antique heirloom of Katherine Chancellor's for money after no one would lend him anything. Jack found out about his addiction; consequently, he relocated Billy to Hong Kong as the NVP/Jabot Liaison for House of Kim.
Billy returned as Amber Moore's (Adrienne Frantz) boyfriend "Liam". He was revealed to be the father of Chloe Mitchell's (Elizabeth Hendrickson) baby she was carrying. Chloe married his half-brother Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard). Billy pursued Cane's former fiancée, Lily Winters (Christel Khalil), and began a relationship with her. Chloe gave birth to Cordelia Abbott, on Valentines Day 2009. Cane was believed to be father. Billy had an affair with Jack's wife, Sharon Abbott (Sharon Case), and was a candidate in her paternity of her baby, Faith Newman. When Cordelia's paternity was eventually exposed, Chloe and Billy married. Around this time, Mackenzie returned to town. The day before his wedding, he had sex with Sharon. When Sharon ended up pregnant, Jack discovered their affair; however, Sharon's baby was revealed to be Nick's child. Then, Jill and Katherine learned they were not mother and daughter, therefore he wasn't Mackenzie's cousin. Billy began dating Mackenzie again. Chloe and Billy divorced and Chloe took full custody of Delia. After the death of his niece, Colleen, Billy purchased the magazine Restless Style from Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Phyllis Newman (Michelle Stafford), and began publishing scandalous stories, mostly directed at the Newman family. Billy had sex with Heather Stevens.
He later began getting close to one of his enemies, Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle). They began an affair while she was still married and later in the middle of a divorce. They went to Jamaica and married while intoxicated, and the marriage was invalid. They returned home and decided to continue as a couple. Victoria became pregnant and they bought a house together. However, Victoria lost the baby after arguing with Victor and had difficulty getting pregnant again. Billy paid Primrose Deville (Ellen Greene) $2 million for a newborn baby girl, which he took home to Victoria. They named her Lucy Abbott. It was revealed she was the biological daughter of Daisy Carter (Yvonne Zima) and Daniel Romalotti (Michael Graziadei) as a result of her raping him. Daniel let the couple keep Lucy, however, his mother Phyllis wanted to raise her granddaughter. Phyllis eventually got custody. Billy and Victoria split up. Billy began drinking and gambling again. After going back and forth, they made love, right before Billy abandoned her again and left for Hong Kong. Later, Delia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia after a prolonged illness sent her to the hospital. Victoria started to track Billy because Delia needed a bone marrow transplant. Billy had been imprisoned in Myanmar on trumped up drug trafficking and rape charges, and Victor agreed to pay off the authorities for his release on the condition that he didn't contact Victoria again. He agreed and returned to Genoa City to be Delia's bone marrow donor in secret.
Victor hired a security guard to escort Billy to New Dehli, India with a connecting flight in New York City, where Victoria was. The couple reunited and eventually returned home. He bought Restless Style back and regained control of his life. He remarried Victoria. It was later revealed that while Billy was away, he was drugged and taken advantage of by a girl from Myanmar, Chelsea Lawson (Melissa Claire Egan). Chelsea came to Genoa City, pregnant with his child. Chelsea accused Billy of raping her and demanded 3 million dollars for her and the baby to go away. She later professed her love for Billy and asked him to marry her. After catching Chelsea with alcohol, Billy and Victoria invited Chelsea and her mother to live in his home for the duration of her pregnancy. Chelsea tormented Victoria, flaunting her "affair" with Billy and ridiculing Victoria's inability to get pregnant and provide Billy with a child. She called Victoria an "uptight infertile ice queen" and tried to break up her marriage. After the baby was born Chelsea relinquished her parental rights and Billy was given full custody.
On October 2013, Billy leaves Delia and her dog, Dash, alone in his car at night while going into a store to purchase ice-cream after a school play. Dash runs off, causing Delia to run after him. Delia is struck down by a car driven by Adam Newman. She is rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead from her injuries. After Delia's death, Billy embarks on an affair with Kelly Andrews, a woman he meets in his grief support group. In a hostage situation, Billy reveals to Victoria that he cheated on her. Ultimately, Victoria files for legal separation and starts a romance with Stitch Rayburn (Sean Carrigan). When Billy discovers Adam is the driver who killed Delia, he kidnaps him at gunpoint and mentally tortures a confession out of him. Billy and Adam struggle over the gun while they're driving which causes the car to go over a cliff. Billy escapes but Adam is presumed dead after the car explodes in a fiery explosion.