Nikki and Victor's forty year love affair elevates The Young and the Restless

"Episode #12847” Coverage of the CBS Original Daytime Series THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Eric Braeden as Victor Newman and Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki Newman. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
"Episode #12847” Coverage of the CBS Original Daytime Series THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Eric Braeden as Victor Newman and Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki Newman. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Nikki and Victor's many connections have helped to define The Young and the Restless for decades. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first marriage presents a time for all fans to reflect on this epic relationship. What began as a love match during their younger days evolved into a relationship highlighted by many moments of restlessness.

Douglas Austin served as a sidekick for Eric Braeden's character when both men were introduced in 1980. Michael Evans' persona was a con man who rescued Katherine Chancellor after she jumped off a yacht. Douglas came to Genoa City, Wisconsin, and unsuccessfully tried to form a relationship with the Grande Dame.

Evan's character must be mentioned because he led Victor to Nikki, a then-dancer at The Bayou. The Colonel was enchanted with Melody Thomas Scott's character and believed Victor would be as well. That meeting proved profound, as Victor was love-struck, and the rest became soapy history.

The first of three marriages

Thomas Scott joined the cast in 1979, making this year her 45th anniversary. She replaced Erica Hope, cast as the original Nikki in 1978. Braeden was hired in 1980. So, one of daytime's most famous couples did not form quickly but took years to build toward.

The perceived love of Victor's life was not Julia. She was his first wife when he moved to town. Katherine hired the man Jack later dubbed 'The Moustache' to run Chancellor Industries in the years following the death of her husband, Phillip Chancellor II.

Nikki was involved with Paul Williams during the early days of both legacy characters, but they never married. However, she had three husbands before Victor.

Breakups, betrayals and other loves

The '80s was a decade of extravagance, achieved aspirations, and daytime chaos. Victor left Chancellor Industries and founded Newman Enterprises. His bond with Katherine proved beneficial beyond business. GC's leading lady took Nikki under her wing and taught her to embrace the upper-crust Midwestern life.

Nikki became the mother of Victor's first two children, but Victoria was not her first child, and Nick was not her first son. Dylan McAvoy was revealed years later as Paul's child, born in 1973. That was the year the show debuted and five years before that, Nikki was introduced to the audience.

Victor first cheated on Nikki with Ashley Abbott. That dalliance did not initially lead to marriage. However, he returned to Ashley at the start of the next decade.

Leanna Love, who penned Victor's infamous biography, Ruthless, married Victor after he divorced Nikki in 1988. Adam, Victor's younger son through Hope Wilson, was born in the '90s but was SORAS'd (soap opera rapid aging syndrome) to have been born in the '80s, making him older than Abby.

Ashley reunited with Victor and had his child, Abby. He divorced Leanna and married Ashley for the first time in 1990. So, Nikki and Ashley became part of one of The Young and the Restless' greatest triangles.

Jack developed into Victor's most fabulous foil as he married Nikki for the first time in 1990. Nikki miscarried their first child and lost a second, John Abbott III, who died after she fell down the stairs at the original Ranch. Victor's inadvertent involvement in that tragedy cemented Jack's loathing of him.

Victor and Ashley divorced in 1993. He was remarried to Nikki from 2002 to 2008 but divorced her and remarried Ashley in 2009.

Thomas Scott's 2020 release, Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America's #1 Daytime Drama, and Braeden's 2017 release I'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime Drama, are worthy reads. Among many interesting, shared points, comments about the off-screen friendship the actors and their spouses share and preferring that Nikki and Victor be happily married rather than fighting or apart are enlightening.

Challenges overcome due to love

Nikki recently pointed out to Victor that they are not celebrating forty years of marriage. He countered the woman he lovingly calls "My baby” by telling her they first married four decades ago and have never stopped loving each other.

Health challenges, including Nikki's multiple sclerosis and Victor's rare blood disease, have sometimes served as the impetus for romantic revival. Faked illnesses and more severe issues, like Nikki's revived battle with alcohol, have often tested but have never fully broken this enduring bond.

Both characters have been targeted for death on numerous occasions. Victor was presumed dead decades ago, which led to him meeting Hope in Kansas and having Adam.

Regardless of what has happened, bitter words, or whatever moral or legal lines have been crossed, Nikki defends her husband as much as he does her. From acrimony to bliss, the passion this pairing has for each other is undeniable.

Nikki and Victor are fondly referred to as Niktor by adoring fans. They undoubtedly are each other's greatest loves. The indelible and historical characters will remain this soap opera's arguably greatest all-time couple.


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