|The Young and the Restless character|
|Portrayed by||Scott Reeves|
|First appearance||June 26, 1991|
|Last appearance||December 5, 2001|
|Created by||William J. Bell|
|Introduced by||Edward J. Scott|
Ryan McNeil is a fictional character from the American CBS Daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. Created by William J. Bell, the character was portrayed by Scott Reeves, who made his first appearance On June 26, 1991 as a businessman who wanted to "work his way to the top of the corporation ladder". The character gained popularity upon his relationship with Victoria Newman (Heather Tom), which initially received criticism due to the characters' age gap. He was also involved with Nina Webster (Tricia Cast) and the insane Tricia Dennison (Sabryn Genet).
Reeves, who described Ryan as a "go-getter" who was "shrewd" and a "charmer", found his seduction storyline with Victoria hard to "play out" considering her age. In October 2001, the actor announced his exit from The Young and the Restless, stating it was to pursue other projects. The producers kept quiet about the storyline surrounding his exit, although confirmed that he would depart "in a big way". Within the story, Ryan prepared to remarry Victoria but Tricia, his ex-wife, attempted to shoot her and Ryan took two bullets and died from the injury. Throughout his time on the soap opera, Reeves became popular with fans as one of the genre's leading men, garnering multiple awards and nominations.
Reeves first appeared as Ryan in May 1991, on contract. In March 2000, it was announced that Reeves had signed a three-year contract deal with Sony Pictures, which would have furthered his portrayal until 2003. However, by August 2001, reports began to surface that Reeves had been released from his contract and would be exiting in a "storyline dictated" departure, during the November sweeps period. In October, Reeves officially announced his exit from the soap opera, stating it was to pursue other projects. The producers kept quiet about his exit storyline, although stated that he would leave "in a big way". His character died on the episode dated November 27, 2001.
Upon Ryan's introduction to the series, arch-villain David Kimble had just departed, leaving the manipulative character of Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) "mellowing". This is why Reeves was brought in, to fill the void, and portray a character which he best described as "cads". A businessman, Ryan wanted to work his way to the top of the corporation ladder. While Reeves is a family man, The Toronto Star characterized Ryan as "rake" and a "soap seducer". While he was still a newcomer on the series, Reeves stated he was having a "great time" playing the role. He described Ryan as a "go-getter" who was "very shrewd—and a real charmer". "He gets what he wants", the actor explained to the Daily News of Los Angeles.
Months into the character's duration on the series, he manipulatively seduced businessman Victor Newman's (Eric Braeden) teenage daughter Victoria (Heather Tom). Reeves found it challenging to play out this storyline. He stated, "You have to make up something, a situation in your mind, and play off that. I try to remember people I've known, or stories that I've heard about people who've been like [Ryan]". Eventually, Ryan and Victoria were married. Their marriage ended after Victoria's refused to consummate it due to her fear of sex, resulting in Ryan beginning an affair with Nina Webster (Tricia Cast). The series' creator William J. Bell said that Victoria knew Nina still loved Ryan and suspected that the marriage would not last, and that "in Victoria's mind, the threat is still there". Of Victoria's refusal to consummate her marriage, yet desperateness to get her husband back, Fort Worth Star-Telegram said, "She's divorced, rich and hates sex. And now she wants her husband back. As soap operas go, Victoria Newman's plight [...] is standard daytime fare. But Victoria has one characteristic that many of her counterparts don't - she is only 17".
While working in the mail room at Newman Enterprises, Ryan met Victoria Newman (Heather Tom), the daughter of the company's founder and CEO, Victor Newman. The two fell in love and married to Victor's dismay, however, Victoria refused to consummate their relationship and Ryan cheated on her with Nina Webster. Victoria divorced him, and he then moved in with Nina and her son, Phillip Chancellor IV (Thomas Dekker), and he later married Nina out of obligation. He eventually developed genuine feelings for Nina, however, she fell in love with novelist Cole Howard (J. Eddie Peck). After Nina was rejected by him, she had a nervous breakdown causing Ryan to sleep with Tricia Dennison (Sabryn Genet). Nina then tried to commit suicide and shot herself in a struggle with Ryan, and he was arrested for her shooting. Nina suffered short term amnesia, and although she regained her memory and exonerated Ryan, they divorced. Ryan then ended up marrying Tricia, much to the disapproval of her father Keith Dennison (David Allen Brooks). However, Tricia was very jealous of Ryan's relationship with Phillip, who accused her of breaking apart his family. In desperation, Tricia stopped taking her birth control pills and they conceived a child, to which Ryan was against though warmed up to the idea. When she miscarried, Tricia saw it as her punishment for deceiving her husband.
Tricia then became obsessed with destroying her sister Megan Dennison's (Ashley Jones) relationship with Tony Viscardi (Nick Scotti). She ran down Tony in Megan's driveway, in which it was suspected Tricia did intentionally. Eventually, all the Dennisons left town including Tricia, who left Ryan to move to London, England. Six months later, Tricia returned to Genoa City and asked Ryan to take her back, in which he refused as Victoria became interested in him again. Tricia turned to Carter Mills, who was really rapist Matt Clark (Rick Hearst). He used her, leading Tricia to attempt suicide but Ryan was able to stop her. After Ryan and Victoria reunited, Victor had Tricia move in with him to keep her away from them. They decided to get remarried, and on their wedding day, Tricia arrived in wedding dress identical to Victoria's, locked her in a closet and took her place at the altar, where she held Ryan at gunpoint to remarry her. Victor broke Victoria free, who entered the chapel where Tricia shot twice at her, but Ryan jumped in front to save her life. Eventually, Ryan died from the gunshot wounds, leaving Victoria devastated and alone. Shortly after, Ryan appeared to Victoria in a dream where they said their vows, and she awoke with a ring on her finger.
A syndicated article that appeared in The Fort Oglethorpe Press described Ryan's attempts to seduce Victoria as "a path that's fraught with peril and which forces the good-natured actor to search hard for inspiration". Over his duration on The Young and the Restless, Reeves became popular with fans, and his performance was met with acclaim from his peers. In 1994, he garnered a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Younger Actor. In 1997 and 1998, he earned Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor. The following year, he received a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Upon learning of the actor's decision to quit following ten years on the soap opera, Herald Journal said it was "hard to believe" that one of "daytime's most popular young leading men are leaving the fold". Fans of Reeves hoped that the show's writers would play "the ghost card" for him to return to the series.
- Hirsch, Lynda (March 27, 2000). "Genet and Reeves will return in Y&R roles". Sun-Sentinel.
- Havens, Candace (May 21, 2000). "Real transitions for several soap stars". The Durant Daily Democrat. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- J Kroll, Dan (August 17, 2001). "Scott Reeves, Ryan out at Y&R". Soap Central. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Havens, Candace (October 21, 2001). "Hunks depart; Passions scores down under". Herald Journal. Pioneer News Group. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Laid-back lad loathsome as a lout". The Fort Oglethorpe Press. November 13, 1991. p. 6. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- Novakovich, Lilana (October 21, 1991). "Family man plays soap seducer". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "The Soap Box". Los Angeles Daily News. MediaNews Group. July 7, 1991. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Reichardt, Nancy M. (June 14, 1992). "Soap Scoops". Gainesville Sun.
- Gable, Donna (January 4, 1992). "On `World,' land gets in the way of love". USA Today. Gannett Company: 3.
- Gable, Donna (September 10, 1992). "'Young and the Restless' tackles a real-life fear: Sex". USA Today. p. 08.D.
- "Can daytime dramas get a bigger share of the teen audience by giving more time to teen characters?". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The McClatchy Company. August 4, 1993. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- "'Days of our Lives' big soap winner". The Gadsden Times. Halifax Media Group. February 6, 1994. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- J Kroll, Dan (January 10, 2002). "Reeves returns to Y&R -- but not to work". Soap Central. Retrieved April 20, 2013.