Traci Abbott Connelly
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|Traci Abbott Connelly|
|The Young and the Restless character|
|Portrayed by||Beth Maitland|
|Duration||1982–96, 1999, 2001, 2006–|
|Introduced by||William J. Bell|
|The Bold and the Beautiful|
|Home||New York City, New York|
Traci Ann Abbott Connelly (formerly Romalotti and Carlton) is a fictional character from the American CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. Created and introduced by William J. Bell, the role has been portrayed by Beth Maitland since 1982. Traci is the youngest daughter of John Abbott, Sr. (Jerry Douglas) and Dina Mergeron (Marla Adams).
The character was initially a short-term role that would last three months, Maitland impressed the series' producers and was placed on contract, and she remained through 1996. Traci was known for her relationship with Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian), which caused a heavy rivalry with Lauren Fenmore (Tracey E. Bregman). She is also known for her marriages to Brad Carlton (Don Diamont), with whom she had a daughter, Colleen Carlton (Tammin Sursok). Since 2006, Maitland has remained on a recurring status with the soap opera. Described as a fan favorite by Soaps In Depth, Maitland's portrayal has garnered praise, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1985.
Maitland won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Traci in 1985. Originally intended to be a short term contract role lasting three months, Maitland impressed the producers. She stayed with the show on contract from 1982 to 1996. She reappeared in 1999 for a brief appearance, and since 2001 has appeared sporadically on a recurring basis. On March 20, 2007, Traci made an appearance on the show's sister soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. In 2009, Maitland recorded a song that served as the background music for Traci's daughter, Colleen Carlton's funeral. The song was entitled "An Angel's Lullaby." Since Maria Arena Bell became a writer for the show, Traci was seen more often: "It got to the point where the show stopped calling altogether and I thought my soap ship had sailed. But, after Maria took over, I suddenly had 30 episodes when [Traci's daughter] Colleen died — the biggest storyline I'd had in over 10 years. I don't have those problems any more. I feel like an honored member of the cast. The climate has changed."
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Since the death of John Abbott, Traci has become the family rock. Although she is the second youngest Abbott sibling, Maitland says, "Traci has kind of moved into his spot to make everyone accountable in the Abbott universe. She's the conscience everyone has to 'fess up to." When her niece, Abby Newman (Marcy Rylan), began acting out to her parents, Tracy acted as a mediator between her siblings and her niece. Maitland said, "Traci sees all of Abby's nightmarish behavior, the drinking, the manipulative pranks, the naked-heiress stuff, as what it really is — a cry for help."
Like many of Genoa City's privileged youth, Traci Abbott attended boarding school until her return home in 1982. She had low self-esteem because she was overweight, and her older sister, Ashley Abbott, was more glamorous and successful than she was. Traci became the president of rocker Danny Romalotti's (Michael Damian) fan club, and she decided to attend college locally at Genoa City University in order to be near him. She became a singer in Danny's band, and she fought for his attention with Lauren Fenmore (Tracey E. Bregman). In addition, Traci's mother, Dina, returned to town for the first time since she left Traci as an infant. The stress caused Traci to become conscious of her weight, and Lauren exploited her to get Danny's attention. Traci became addicted to diet pills while in college, and she would often sing (to the melody of Turn to Stone by Electric Light Orchestra), "I turn to pills, when I'm feeling ill, I turn to pills". Her addiction culminated when she found out that Danny and Lauren were engaged. She got high, crashed her car and sustained serious heart damage. After her recovery, she went onstage at one of Danny's concerts to speak about the dangers of drug addiction.
Then, Traci began seeing her college professor, Tim Sullivan. When she found him in bed with another student, she became suicidal. She tried to kill herself, but Christine "Cricket" Blair (Lauralee Bell) saved her. Traci then found out that she was pregnant with Tim's child, and Danny Romalotti wanted to marry her to give the baby a family. They married in 1984, but Danny's former flame, Patty Williams (then played by Andrea Evans), was angry because Traci stole Danny. She pushed Traci down a flight of stairs, causing her to miscarry. Traci decided to annul her marriage to Danny, and Patty left town shortly after. Traci then got involved with groundskeeper Brad Carlton (Don Diamont). The two were quickly married in 1986, but Brad chose his budding career over his wife. Traci left town to continue her education at Stanford University. During their separation, Brad had an affair with Lauren Fenmore, and Traci reconnected with Tim Sullivan. Still, Brad ended his romance with Lauren when Traci came home. In order to keep her in Genoa City, he agreed to have a baby with her. When Traci found out she was pregnant again, Brad's insane ex-wife, Lisa Mansfield, kidnapped Brad, and she tried to make Traci believe that Brad didn't love her anymore. Lisa's scheme caused Traci to have a second miscarriage. When Brad was freed, he worked to win Traci's heart, but instead, Ashley Abbott worked her magic, and she stole Brad from her younger sister. Thus, Traci and Brad divorced in 1989. She went on to write two best-selling books, Echoes of the Past and Epitaph for a Lover. The former novel was based off her life of living in Ashley's shadow.
Ashley eventually left Brad for Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). Brad spontaneously married Cassandra Rawlins, and he inherited her fortune when she died in a fatal car accident. He then returned to Traci, and they were re-married in 1991. Traci was pregnant again soon after, and she kept the secret from everyone except her father because she wanted Brad to love her without obligations to their child. Soon, Brad grew close to Ashley again when her marriage to Victor fell apart. Still, Traci finally told Brad about their child, he refused to let her raise their child alone. Traci gave birth to Colleen Carlton in 1992. Colleen's birth did not help Brad and Traci's failing marriage, and they divorced later that year. Traci's publisher, Steve Connelly, moved to Genoa City, and the two soon began a romance. Brad became jealous, but he realized that Traci was truly happy. Then, Traci moved to New York with Colleen, where she married Steve in 1993. In 1994, Traci visited Brad at the hospital when he had a heart attack. Before leaving town, she got into a heated argument with Lauren Fenmore, whom she blamed for Brad's heart attack. In 1996, Traci returned to Genoa City when her father considered remarrying her mother, Dina Mergeron.
In 1999, When the Abbotts reclaimed Jabot from Newman Enterprises, Traci returned home to join in the family celebration. In 2001, Traci came home after she learned that Steve cheated on her. At first, Colleen did not believe her mother, but she turned on Steve when she learned the truth. Traci became close to Brad during her stay at home, but he was married to Ashley at the time. Traci decided to forgive Steve and work on their marriage, but Colleen became disgusted with her mother's "almost-reunion" with Brad. She rebelled against Traci and Steve until she was expelled from school for smoking marijuana. Then, Traci decided to send Colleen to Genoa City to live with her grandfather John Abbott. In 2006, John Abbott had a stroke, and Traci rushed to his bedside. John died soon after from complications from the stroke, and Traci truly began to see the hardships that her family faced while she was away. John's widow, Gloria Abbott (Judith Chapman), was hated by all of John's children. Traci was shocked to learn of the animosity that spread through her family, and she was also unaware of her siblings vendetta with their stepmother.
In 2007, Colleen was trapped in a burning building that was set on fire by Jana Hawkes (Emily O'Brien). Traci rushed to support her daughter, and she also reconnected with her sister, Ashley. Traci returned later that year when Jack dealt with the fallout from a fraud scandal. The next year, Traci was present at the Jabot Cosmetics annual stockholders meeting. She offered her support to Brad in his bid for CEO of the company, but Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard) was appointed CEO in a turn of events. Several months later, Traci came home to attend the "funeral" of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper). In reality, Katherine's doppelganger, Marge Cotrooke, had died. At the funeral, Traci ran into her mother, Dina, and the two argued about Dina's lacking role in Colleen's life. In addition, Lauren Fenmore apologized for the way she had treated Traci those many years ago. Traci went back to New York, but she returned again at Christmas to visit Colleen. She also shared a touching moment with Brad, and he called her "the one who got away." Several days later, Brad tragically drown after he saved Noah Newman from a frozen pond. Traci stayed in town to attend Brad's funeral, and then she returned to New York.
Colleen was kidnapped by Patty Williams. Upon escaping, she fell into a lake, and she almost drowned. She was rushed to the hospital, only to be declared braindead. Patty shot Victor Newman when he attempted to help save Colleen from the lake, and Colleen's heart was donated to him at Traci's request. Traci's brother, Billy Abbott, organized a celebration of Colleen's life that all of her friends and family attended. All of the mourners present released red balloons to honor Colleen while Beth Maitland's song, "An Angel's Lullaby," played in the background. Traci and Steve stayed in town long enough to be present for the christening of Ashley's "daughter", Faith Colleen Abbott. Faith became Traci's goddaughter, and she wore Colleen's christening gown for the ceremony. Adam Newman (Michael Muhney) became Faith's godfather, but in a turn of events, he schemed to make Ashley believe that Faith was her child. In reality, Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) were Faith's biological parents. Adam stole Faith from Sharon at birth, and he passed the baby off as Ashley's baby. In reality, Ashley had a hysterical pregnancy, and she never actually gave birth. This dark point in Ashley's life occurred after Traci and Steve went back to New York City. Traci also returned to visit her family for Christmastime. In 2010, Colleen's best friend, Lily Winters (Christel Khalil), had recently overcome a battle with ovarian cancer. Lily could not bear children, but she and her husband, Cane Ashby, were able to conceive through a surrogate mother, Mackenzie Browning (Clementine Ford). When Lily and Cane's twins were born, Lily asked Traci to be their godmother in honor of Colleen, and Traci happily accepted. In 2011, Cane was shot to death on the steps of a church, and Traci attended his "funeral." In reality, Cane's twin brother, Caleb Atkinson, was killed on the church steps. Lily believed that she was having hallucinations because she was seeing Cane's "ghost." Traci was the only person to sympathize with Lily when everyone else thought that she was insane.
Traci's older brother, Jack Abbott, was preparing to marry Genevieve Atkinson (Genie Francis). Traci returned to Genoa City to spend time with Genevieve and her sister, Ashley, before the ceremony. On the day of the wedding, Patty Williams took Genevieve's wedding dress, and she crashed the wedding. She shot Jack when he realized who she was, and Jack refused to marry Genevieve because she bought his prized company, Beauty of Nature. Traci stayed by Jack's beside in the hospital while the doctors told him that he may not be able to walk again. Traci returned in August for Jack's wedding to Nikki, and invited her sister Ashley to come home with her. Traci also returned to support Abby when Victor Newman supposedly died. Victor had been suffering amnesia and was involved in an explosion. As a result of Victor's "death", Jack was forced to sell Beauty of Nature, and Traci urged Jack to be careful in his business deals.Traci would return shortly thereafter as she moved back to the Abbott Mansion, and became a thorn in Jack's latest relationship with Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford), who recently moved in with Jack. Eventually, Traci gave her blessing, but an accident left Phyllis in a coma and she left for Georgia for experimental treatments. Traci briefly hinted to Jack that her return to Genoa City was sparked by issues with her marriage to Steve following Colleen's death.
- Passalacqua, Connie (August 23, 1985). "Soap scoop: Daytime Emmys need improvement". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta: (Postmedia Network Inc.). p. 89. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "About Y&R: Who's Who in Genoa City | Traci Ann Abbott Connolly". Soap Central. www.soapcentral.com. Retrieved December 19, 2012.