Michelle Stafford 411

BIRTHDATE: September 14
YEARS ON SHOW: 1994-1997; 2000-present
MARITAL STATUS: Single
CHILDREN: Daughter Natalia born December 21, 2009

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Michelle Stafford made the trek to California as an infant. Her parents moved her and her older sister, Janine, to Montrose, California, where she was raised. After graduating from high school, Stafford chased after her dream of modeling. None of the modeling agents in town were interested in her because she lacked the look they were searching for. After a year of struggling, she landed an agent, who helped her book television commercials.

Just as she was finally breaking into modeling, she developed a brain tumor. Her eyelid kept swelling, which led to the diagnosis. With the help of her family (her parents were now divorced, and her mom since remarried), she recovered and leapt back into her career.

Luck was with Stafford this time around. She signed with L.A. Models and found herself doing runway shows all over the world. Despite the success, her mind kept drifting to acting. When she first left modeling, Stafford landed a role on the soap TRIBES, but after the show was canceled, she was unemployed for three years. Determined as always, she threw herself into episodic work until she finally landed the role of Phyllis on Y&R.

She settled in happily at Y&R until 1997, when negotiations for a new contract fell through. Stafford assumed that the show didn't want to re-sign her, so she started auditioning and landed the role of good girl Joanna (the polar opposite of Phyllis) on Aaron Spelling's nighttime soap, PACIFIC PALISADES. Y&R quickly recast Phyllis, but Sandra Nelson didn't last and left in 1999. In 2000, Stafford decided to return to Genoa City and breathe new life into scheming Phyllis, who remains one of the most complex, beloved characters on Y&R. Her official Web site is www.michellestafford.com.

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