Fans of The Young and the Restless have seen hundreds of alluring characters grace the screen since the show first aired in 1973. Paul Williams, the hunky bad boy and son of police detective Carl Williams, was a fan favorite right from his debut in 1978. The iconic character was portrayed by Doug Davidson for more than 40 years. Find out what happened to Paul and the actor who played him. 

What Happened to Paul Williams on ‘The Young and the Restless’?

Doug got his start in acting in 1977 in the drama film Fraternity Row. His life changed one year later when he landed the role of Paul. Throughout the series, Doug found himself thrust into a slew of juicy storylines, including Paul’s love triangles with other key characters like Nikki Reed and Christine Blair. 

A June 2012 episode of the long-running soap opera saw Doug take his acting skills to new heights in an unforgettable scene with his onscreen son, Ricky, portrayed by Peter Porte. During the episode, Paul and Ricky were involved in an intense standoff to save character Eden Baldwin. The tear-jerking scene ended with Paul shooting Ricky and watching him plummet to his death. 

What Happened to Paul Williams on ‘The Young and the Restless’? 
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Peter’s sendoff from the series certainly delivered the shock factor that longtime viewers absolutely love. Doug earned an Emmy Award in 2013 for ​​Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series after the episode aired.

“I would like to thank the viewers,” the Mr. Write actor said during his speech at the ceremony. “They have been more than fans, they’ve been like family to me. They’ve supported my character in some very difficult times.”

In addition to becoming one of the longest-serving actors on the series, the soap opera icon began hosting The New Price Is Right in 1994. While Paul was certainly one of the most recognizable and familiar characters on The Young and the Restless, Doug announced his shocking departure from the program in the years that followed his Emmy win. The news came after he went from a main cast member to a recurring character.

“My contract was not renewed in January, and I went on recurring status, but as it stands now I have only two shows left to air and no new dates,” he shared during a September 2018 interview with Soap Opera News.

Though Doug’s last few episodes of the series aired in the months that followed, fans still held out hope that he would one day make a return to the program. Thanks to their support and opinions voiced by his costars, the beloved actor did end up making a couple more appearances on the series in 2019 and 2020. However, he did not end up returning to the program full-time. 

You guys are amazing,” the California native gushed about his supporters on Twitter in August 2022. “I don’t think there is a chance of a return, but your love and support is so incredibly beautiful to me.”