Doug Davidson's Five Greatest Y&R Moments

During his 30-year tenure as Paul Williams on YOUNG AND RESTLESS, Doug Davidson has experienced it all, going from promiscuous teen to religious cult member to private eye extraordinaire. Heck, his character was even married to one of the future DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Eva Longoria (ex-Isabella). Davidson remembers all of it, onscreen and off, quite fondly. Here, he shares his five most memorable moments.

“I went on every location we had — St. Thomas, Bermuda, Hawaii, the Disney ranch, Malibu…Paul was always included in all the travel. There was once a sailing adventure to St. Croix. Nikki had been kidnapped by Rick Daros, and Victor, Andy and Paul were all trying to save her. We were all on a sailboat, and it was the calmest day you could imagine. Yet, from Eric (Braeden, Victor) to our crew to our producer, everybody got seasick. So we were doing takes between people throwing up. The funny thing is we were barely moving. Honestly. You could have been sitting on a pool raft and moved more.”

“My onscreen kiss with my future wife (Cindy Fisher, ex-Rebecca) was pretty memorable. In the storyline, we were in a religious cult, and the leader had assigned Paul and Rebecca to procreate. We were pretty good friends before [the kiss]. Then we started dating. Bill Bell was one of those psychic writers when it came to those kinds of things. It was weird.”

“During the Paul and Cassandra story, the show went to No. 1, and I had the highest TVQ overall. All of it came together in a period of six months. It was one of those times where things were so great. I took a moment and really enjoyed it all, because you know they don’t happen that often. It was a great story. Paul saw this mysterious woman in an art museum. She disappeared. Then Paul went back and found out who she was. Paul discovered she was an interior designer, so he decided to redo his office. They ended up having this mad love affair, but there was a very secret side to Cassandra. At the same time, Paul had a new client that treated him like a son. He was a very wealthy man named George Rawlins, who wore white suits. He invited Paul to dinner one night, and that’s when Paul discovered the love of his life was the wife of his best client. It was great drama.”

Lauralee (Bell, ex-Christine) and I were on location. The show sent us to Pittsburgh. It was for the story where Phyllis ran over Paul and Chris. It was Valentine’s Day and it was a long shoot. They didn’t need Lauralee and me until way late, like 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning. So they sent us out to Morton’s, this really nice steakhouse in Pittsburgh. We had a beautiful evening. We were dining and enjoying ourselves. By this time, we were really good friends. Fans came up to the table and said, ‘Are you guys married?’ Because it was Valentine’s Day, right, and we were having a grand old time. So I guess it looked like a romantic dinner. So I said, ‘Yes, we are, but not to each other.’ It was very funny.”

“During the Isabella storyline, Paul ended up getting into all kinds of trouble. Granted, it was all set up by Michael Baldwin; nonetheless, Paul got caught up in the web. The truth of the matter was that Paul was still in love with Chris, and Chris was still in love with Paul. There was just a very strange dynamic between them. They still loved each other, but were mad at each other. They couldn’t identify how they got to where they were. I got to do some terrific scenes, when the show reached back and got Steve Ford (ex-Andy) to return and essentially be Paul’s conscience. We had worked so closely together during the ’80s. It was cool to rekindle that whole relationship — not only Doug and Steve’s, but also Paul and Andy’s in the unfolding of all of Paul’s guilt. Steve and I slipped back into our old relationship like he had never left.”