Peter Bergman's Five Greatest YOUNG AND RESTLESS Moments

What better time than during the month of his 20-year anniversary as Jack Abbott (November 2009) for Peter Bergman to reflect on his long tenure on YOUNG AND RESTLESS? From longtime nemesis Victor to beloved sister Ashley to the meaning of winning an Emmy, Bergman shares his five most memorable moments.


“Obviously, winning my first Emmy for Jack [in 1991]. It was very powerful, because I had replaced somebody in the role who was good and well-liked. To be able to say the role was my own…felt like I’d finally gotten there the day I won that Emmy. Even more amazing was the realization that it didn’t take long at all. I thought [winning an Emmy] was something I wanted more than anything in the world. But like so many things in life, you realize, ‘Oh, this isn’t what makes me happy. This isn’t what fulfills me. This is just a trophy.’ [My wife] Mariellen and I no sooner got up to our hotel room and I set the trophy down than I realized life is about much more than awards and things. It was a powerful realization.”


“Jack had made his deal with the devil. He had gotten Nikki to fall in love with him and marry him. He made a deal with Victor: ‘You give me back Jabot, and I will give you back Nikki.’ And as the day comes closer, Jack comes to the awful realization that against his every plan, he’s fallen in love with Nikki. By the time the deal is over, he has neither Jabot nor Nikki. It was powerful, powerful stuff to play.”


“Undoubtedly, Jack leaving Victor for dead and kicking his hand as he walked by was one of my favorite moments. Victor had what appeared to be a heart episode in his office. Jack had a choice of saving him and calling for help, or walking out of the room. Jack not only walked out of the room, but he kicked Victor’s hand on the way out because it was in his way. It was just delicious, because I didn’t think any cameraman would catch it, and they did.”


“I did a location shoot with Diana Barton, who played Mari Jo Mason. We shot in St. John (in the Virgin Islands). During the remote, we were sitting out on the prow of this speedboat as it flew across the Caribbean sea. I had my back facing where we were going. Diana was three inches away from my face. The helicopter came down and took a close-up of the two of us kissing as we were flying, probably 35 or 40 miles per hour, across the water. I looked out of the corner of my eye to see how far away the helicopter was, because it sure seemed close. I could literally reach out and touch the skid. It freaked me out, but, wow, what an exhilarating experience. They hired a helicopter pilot who had extensive Vietnam experience and had done all the helicopter shooting in The River Wild with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. So we were in very good hands.”


“The return of Eileen Davidson as Ashley is a pivotal point in my career on this show. The dynamic of the Abbott family changed forever. I immediately had a deep connection with Eileen. I remember magazines writing, ‘Oh, what a shame these two are related to each other.’ We hit it off immediately. I love the way she works. I really respect her work. Her work makes me more honest. She’s a really good actress, and her return made the Abbott family much more rich [emotionally]. She’s terrific.”