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Exclusive: Melody Thomas Scott On Her 45th YOUNG AND RESTLESS Anniversary!

Melody Thomas Scott


Time Flies: Melody Thomas Scott at the start of her Y&R journey and today.

February 20, 2024 marks the 45th anniversary of Melody Thomas Scott’s Y&R debut as Nikki. The Genoa City superstar talked about getting the giggles with David Hasselhoff (ex-Snapper), being unable to sit down in Nikki’s 30-pound wedding gown and more in an exclusive chat with Digest.


Soap Opera Digest: When you inked that very first contract in 1979, how long did you think you’d stay? What made you sign that second contract?

Melody Thomas Scott: Before joining Y&R, my career had consisted of going from job to job, which I loved! (Though I did have a recurring role on THE WALTONS which I had to give up when I got Y&R.) The contract I was offered was for three years. I just assumed that that would be the duration of my time there. When they opted to extend it, I was thrilled. Those first three years had changed my life in such positive ways, I didn’t think twice about agreeing to three more years! And so forth and so on…!

Digest: Who were the cast members who helped show you the ropes or made you feel like part of the Y&R family when you were new to the show?

Scott: My early days on the show were spent working with Roberta Leighton [ex-Casey], Wings Hauser [ex-Greg], and David Hasselhoff [ex-Snapper], to name a few. Everyone was so kind to “the new kid on the block,” showing me the ropes of daytime. We were a tight-knit group, even then. I have fond memories of us walking to Dupar’s at Farmers Market for breakfast every morning! Good times!

Melody Thomas Scott-Roberta Leighton

Sibling Reverly: Roberta Leighton (ex-Casey) was one of Thomas Scott’s first on-set pals.

Digest: What other memories stand out to you most vividly from your early years as Nikki?

Scott: Y&R was still a half-hour when I first joined the show so we had more time for rehearsal and spending time together backstage. I just remember all the fun we had together on stage and off. There was a time that they wouldn’t put Hasselhoff and me in a scene together because we would get the giggles and couldn’t stop! (For the record, he always started it!)

Digest: There was a rumor in the tabloids back in the ’80s that you were offered a role on KNOTS LANDING as Abby’s (Donna Mills) younger sister, Stella. Was there any truth to that?

Scott: I have never heard that, and I thought I had heard them all! Though in the same vein, I did make it to the final two actresses to play Lucy Ewing on DALLAS the year before I started Y&R. So maybe that was the seed of the KNOT’S LANDING rumor. Speaking of rumors, let the record show that I am not dead this week!

Digest: When Nikki and Victor wed for the first time in 1984, your gown was one of the most expensive costumes in soap opera history. What do you remember about what it was like to wear?

Melody Thomas Scott-Eric Braeden


Say Yes To The Dress: Nikki was dressed to the nines when she first married Victor (Eric Braeden) in 1984.

Scott: I remember that great attention was paid to making sure I did not sit down during breaks! The dress itself was 30 pounds, so not the most comfortable to wear but I did feel like a princess! The dress made such a great impression with the audience, it is still discussed 40 years later!

Digest: Nikki has had a lot of high highs and a lot of low lows over the years. When you were in the throes of a particularly emotional storyline, was it ever difficult for you to shake it off and not have a certain emotional residue carry over into your real life?

Scott: Absolutely not! It is crucial to never “take your work home with you” when involved in an emotional story. (Though come to think of it, all of Nikki’s stories have been emotional!) But it’s very important to not let those high emotions travel inward. Plus, one doesn’t have the time to “luxuriate” in the agonies of the day because we have to clear our minds, clean the slate, shall we say, so that we can learn dialogue for the next day.

Digest: Is there a former character/co-star in Nikki’s orbit that you’d love to see return?

Scott: I enjoyed Nikki’s storyline with Bobby Marsino, so I’d love to have the chance to work with John Enos again. If Diane Jenkins can come back from the dead, why can’t Bobby?!

Digest: What would you consider the four biggest life-defining changes for Nikki that shaped her into the woman she is today?

Scott: Certainly meeting and marrying Victor altered her life forever. I also think giving birth to Victoria and Nicholas changed her. Childbirth has a way of changing every woman for the better. I would also include the first time that Nikki got sober.

Digest: When you, Eric Braeden (Victor), Amelia Heinle (Victoria) and Joshua Morrow (Nick) are on set together, who takes the cake as the class clown, who is the first to laugh, and who has the hardest time getting it together when the giggles hit?

Scott: It’s hard to award the “Class Clown” title to just one person. We are all guilty of cutting up, sometimes to the point of no return! We have always said that production should tape and air our rehearsals! Eric is the one who just can’t stop laughing when something tickles him. And his laughter is so contagious that we are all reduced to tears!

Digest: Nikki had been sober for many years until the nefarious Aunt Jordan came along. What was your reaction when you learned that she was going to be pushed off the wagon in such a cruel and deliberate fashion?

Scott: I knew that a big storyline was coming up for me but I had no idea that it involved Nikki being forced off the wagon. When I was made aware of that I was thrilled. Not only would Nikki (and I) get to play drunk again (which has always been a fan favorite,) but it takes on another level by it not being Nikki’s fault that she has fallen off the wagon. Brilliant!

Melody Thomas Scott, Hayley Erin

Howard Wise/

Room For One More: Scott’s new on-screen granddaughter, Hayley Erin (Claire), “has fit right in with the Newman clan,” the actress proclaims.

Digest: You’ve shared some moving scenes with Hayley Erin (Claire). How have you liked working with her? Would you like to see Nikki and Claire get close?

Scott: I adore working with Hayley! She is so talented and has fit right in with the Newman clan. I look forward to seeing how Nikki’s relationship with Claire evolves.

Digest: Do you take pride (as you should!) in reaching such a rare milestone in this business as a 45th anniversary is?

Scott: Thank you. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for being able to make a living for over four decades doing what I love. I know a tenure as long as mine is very unusual for an actor and is something that I certainly don’t take for granted.

Digest: What message do you have for your legion of fans who have supported and adored you for all of these decades?

Scott: There would be no Y&R without the fans. They’ve embraced both Nikki and me from the very beginning. It’s quite an honor to be welcomed into the audience’s home for so many years. Thank you for your love and support. It means the world to me. XXXOO

To check out a photo retrospective of Scott’s run as Nikki, click here.