After Growing Up On Daytime TV, Camryn Grimes Bids Farwell To Y&R
Camryn Grimes originated Y&R’s cutesy Cassie in 1997 when the actress was only 7 years old. America watched her grow from tot to teen, so it was a bombshell when the show decided, for storyline purposes, to kill off the character. Fifteen-year-old Grimes, who won an Emmy for her role in 2000, and her grandmother/manager Pamela Grimes, met with Digest at a ‘50s-style diner in the San Fernando Valley.
Soap Opera Digest: What was your reaction when you found out Cassie was going to die?
Camryn Grimes: I was sad. They called my grandma first. It’s funny, I had just been saying to her, ‘You don’t think they would ever kill Cassie, do you?’ So she told my mom and I knew something was going on when she picked me up from school. She said, ‘Cassie is going to die.’ My mom was crying, which made me cry.
Digest: What was your next day on set like?
Grimes: Horrible, because I wasn’t supposed to say anything about it, but my eyes were puffy and it was obvious that I had been crying. I was still trying to take it in and someone asked me what was wrong. I told her and then it got around to everyone.
Digest: Would you have stayed there forever?
Grimes: Actually, I wanted to leave when my contract was up, not because I hated it, but because it was time for me to go. But I was still sad when I realized I was going to lose my second home.
Digest: What was it like to be a little kid on Y&R all those years with so many adults around?
Grimes: Even at 7 years old I was like, ‘Okay, I can’t fool around here.’ I knew when I was there I had to behave, but I’m nothing like Cassie.
Digest: How so?
Grimes: Cassie was too good. If I met her, I would be like, ‘There’s something wrong with you.’ But then we were just seeing her getting rambunctious. I would have loved the chance to play that more.
Digest: Did you ever feel like you didn’t have a normal childhood?
Grimes: No. It was the best time of my life. I would never change it for the world. Sure, there were a ton of things I had to sacrifice. For instance, I had to work every Halloween until like 8 at night. So, I always missed out on that. But it was worth it.
Digest: You were close to Sharon Case (Sharon) and Joshua Morrow (Nicholas). What kind of advice did they give you through the years?
Grimes: I love them so much. Sharon would give me advice all the time. Growing up, it was really helpful to have someone older to talk to who isn’t your mom. When I had my first boyfriend, I went to her. She’s also great about girl stuff, like hair and makeup. She taught me a lot about being a woman.
Digest: Was Joshua okay about the boyfriend stuff?
Grimes: Josh is a totally different relationship. I do not talk about any of that stuff around him. If he heard me and Sharon talking like that, he would glare at me. Then, I would have to say something like, ‘I don’t like boys. They have cooties.’ And he would say, ‘Exactly!’ He was very protective. But he was the greatest. Through the years, he was so nice to me. He wrote me the nicest letter when my dog died.
Digest: What do you want to do now? Take a break from acting?
Grimes: I never want to take a break. I’m going to be looking for a new job.
Digest: Would you do another soap?
Grimes: Not right now. I want to try movies and TV. I always had a job and now I’ve really got to prove that I can do something else.
Digest: Besides looking for your next gig, what’s next?
Grimes: I want to get my driver’s permit this summer, so I’m looking forward to getting my own car. I’ll be having my Sweet 16 party in a few months.
Digest: What would you do if they decided Sharon had twin daughters and they asked you to come back?
Grimes: Honestly, I would have to say no. I’m really excited about the next step. I love everybody at Y&R, but right now I want to move on to the next chapter of my life.
Meet The Parents
It goes without saying that Camryn Grimes’s on-screen mom and dad were upset about her leaving.
Sharon Case: “The scene we shot when Cassie dies was the hardest work I’ve ever done. The whole crew gathered around for it and Camryn was [overcome] because it was her final scene. It was just so raw and incredibly emotional. Every person on the set was crying and had tissues in their hands. I’ve cried in a lot of scenes before and I never make the crew cry, but in this case, they did. Oh, my God, it was like losing my own daughter.”
Joshua Morrow: “Cammie has always been my little girl, but I’ll never forget the day it all changed for me. She was always having lunch at the studio with her family and one day, I saw her eating with Christel Khalil (Lily) and Lyndsy Fonseca (ex-Colleen). They were just sitting around and talking, but right then I said, ‘Well, here it goes.’ Ever since then it was, ‘Where did my little girl go?’
Just The Facts
Birthday: January 7
Birthplace: Van Nuys, CA
The Switch: “My name was going to be Ryan, which I would’ve loved. I think it’s the best name in the entire world. I don’t know how my parents came up with Camryn.
Middle Name: Elizabeth
Siblings: Two brothers, Dakota and Ryder, and three sisters, Tatum, Shelby and Peytom
Fave TV Fare: THE O.C., LOST and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Perky: Vanilla Bean or Mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks
It’s About Time: “I go to a lot of vintage stores. One of my favorites is American Vintage. I love the dresses they have there from the ‘80s.”
Pet Set: “I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Spencer. Liv Tyler has one,. They’re like Cocker Spaniels, but more adorable and smaller.”