Eric Braeden, the outspoken star of The Young and the Restless, is graciously opening up about his his upcoming tell-all, I’ll Be Damned, which is scheduled to be released on February 7, 2017, though pre-orders on Amazon have been available since April. February also marks another milestone for the mustachioed thespian. It will be the month in which he celebrates his 37th anniversary as Genoa City’s most-feared tycoon and patriarch, Victor Newman.
Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) Photo credit: Abaca
The autobiography is being published by Dey Street Books and was written in collaboration with Lindsay Harrison, who is notable for also assisting the late Jeanne Cooper (ex-Katherine Chancellor Sterling/Marge, Y&R) with her tome, Not Young, Still Restless.
Victor and leading lady Nikki (Braeden with Melody Thomas Scott)
Photo credit: Getty Images CBS Archive
“The most interesting and sometimes upsetting was [my] childhood and youth, growing up in the most cataclysmic war of all time,” Braeden recalls in Soap Opera Digest, “The first years in America were interesting but tough times, as well. What I enjoyed most was reminiscing about all the wonderful actors I’ve worked with, from Marlon Brando to Betty White (ex-Ann Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful) to Mary Tyler Moore to Gunsmoke to Mission: Impossible, all of them. And, of course, my [memories] of working with Jeanne (Cooper, ex-Kay). I had enormous affection for her. I know how tough it is to maintain a career in this business and I have great respect for her for that. She and I always laughed together. We had an enormous amount of fun.”
Braeden was also recently candid in a web video, circulated by The Charlotte Observer, where he spoke up about the emphasis he still places on working out, even at age 74, and he revealed his vulnerable side recalling what became of his hometown during the war, as he regretfully states, “In 1941 my town was bombed to smithereens.” He also opines his position on the corporatization of soap operas: “[It] is not for the better.”
The memoir also digs into the reasons why a one-shot villain like Victor Newman was expanded by Y&R creator and then-headwriter, the late Bill Bell, into a central character, that is now arguably a daytime icon. Braeden states that he even once considered abandoning the Y&R ship, but Bell persisted in writing a backstory detailing the tycoon’s upbringing in an orphanage. The story moved Braeden enough that he decided to stay with the CBS sudster for the long haul.
“It was an emotional ride. One inevitably lives life on a daily basis and sometimes you don’t take the time to reflect, and when you do look back upon certain periods in your life and discover deeply buried emotions, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing there was someone to edit it [laughs],” Braeden coyly teases in Digest, where he also offers his uncensored opinion on Victor’s recent history, storylines that are not the best-written, Y&R fans, and his possible retirement.