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Longtime fans may be excited to see some familiar faces back in Genoa City, but newer viewers may find themselves wondering who is Leslie Brooks on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS? Well, that’s where we come in! The character of Leslie was introduced back in 1973 when the soap debuted, and was played by Janice Lynde. After she left in 1977, Victoria Mallory took over until 1984, but Lynde reprised her role when Leslie returned to Y&R for a visit in 2018.
The daughter of Jennifer and Stuart Brooks, Leslie was an accomplished pianist, although her focus on her music made her introverted and single. She eventually fell in love with Brad Eliot, who inspired her to go on tour as a concert pianist. However, her jealous sister, Lorie Brooks, manipulated Brad away from her and the heartbreak caused Leslie to have a nervous breakdown during a concert in New York City. She was found wandering through Central Park and was institutionalized for weeks before she was located and rescued.
Janice Lynde's Leslie married Tom Hallick's Brad in 1975. (Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images)
Having learned what Lorie did, Brad dumped her and returned to Leslie, encouraging her to buy Pierre’s Restaurant and turn it into The Allegro, a nightclub where she could perform. They also married, and afterward, Leslie returned to performing around the world. In Paris, she encountered Lance Prentiss, an old friend who professed his love for her. Loyal to Brad, Leslie turned him down but set him up with Lorie. Realizing he was going blind, Brad tried to push Leslie away but reconsidered when he learned she was pregnant. Unfortunately, he accidentally caused her to miscarry, and in his grief, divorced her and left town. Brock Reynolds tried to help Leslie get over Brad, but she turned down his marriage proposal. Brad returned, his eyesight having been restored by surgery, but Leslie rejected him again.
Leslie’s world fractured once more when Lorie released her book, In My Sister’s Shadow, about their troubled relationship and she had another breakdown. Lance comforted Leslie, and though she was able to get him to return to Lorie, she ended up pregnant with his child. She married Lance’s brother, Lucas, and pretended that Brooks Lucas Prentiss was his. Unfortunately, Lucas and Lance’s manipulative mother caused friction between the brothers and also in Leslie and Lucas’ marriage, leading to divorce.
Victoria Mallory's Leslie had a rocky relationship with Tom Ligon's Lucas. (Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images)
When Lorie learned the truth about Brooks’ paternity, Leslie had another breakdown and was struck with amnesia. While out of town, she had a romance with a bar owner named Jonas, and when she ran into Lucas, didn’t recognize him. He brought her back to Genoa City, but she didn’t know who anyone was, including her own son, so she signed custody of Brooks away to Lorie.
After regaining her memories, Leslie tried to fight for custody but lost to Lorie. And when Lance learned he was the boy’s father, he rejected both Leslie and Lorie for lying to him. Leslie then got involved with attorney Robert Laurence and they were making plans to marry when his ex-wife, Claire, returned to his life and he decided to make a go of his marriage for the sake of their daughter. Leslie returned to touring in Europe and wasn’t seen again until 1984 when she and her sisters attended Victor and Nikki Newman’s wedding.
Leslie has returned in 2018 for a visit with her sister, Lorie, to catch up with old friends and hopefully to create some new drama. Stay tuned to see what happens next, and for more Y&R news, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!