Joshua Morrow is celebrating 30 years on ‘The Young and the Restless.’ Will he do 30 more?

Joshua Morrow has been starring as Nicholas Newman on "The Young and the Restless" for three decades, but the actor's career almost went in a different direction.

Before landing the role of Nick in 1994, Morrow was *this close* to nabbing a coveted spot on the CBS soap opera's sister series, "The Bold and the Beautiful." Fate intervened, however, and dealt the young actor a crushing blow.

“'The Bold and the Beautiful' was my third audition ever and to get that close to something that was so tantalizing and life altering, and then to not get it, was pretty tough to rally from,” Morrow tells TODAY.com.

The disappointment was short-lived, though, and Morrow was soon asked to audition for "Y&R." The 20-year-old promptly scored the part.

"I’m incredibly grateful for the show. It changed my life forever, and I’ll never, ever take it for granted," he says.

Flash-forward three decades, and Morrow, 50, is now marking his 30th anniversary with "Y&R," an accomplishment the show will celebrate June 21 with a special tribute episode.

"The show has invested in me and my character very heavily for this long, and the fact that they’re willing to bring attention to this milestone by having the stand-alone episode just makes you feel incredibly appreciated," he says.

Getting to know his 'second family '

Newman Family. Mark Grossman, Allison Lanier, Rory Gibson, Melissa Ordway, Josh Morrow, Melody Thomas Scott, Eric Braeden and Amelia Heinle from
Newman Family. Mark Grossman, Allison Lanier, Rory Gibson, Melissa Ordway, Josh Morrow, Melody Thomas Scott, Eric Braeden and Amelia Heinle from

Morrow sums up the early days of his time on "Y&R" in one word: “exciting.” The experience was also quite surreal for the budding actor.

"I just sort of kept rolling in to the studio every day waiting for them to finally figure it out that I had been fooling them. They kept me around and I’m still stunned by it, but also incredibly appreciative and grateful. It’s been the role of a lifetime," he says.

The fresh-faced actor was cast as Nick, the son of Victor and Nikki Newman (Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott), and it didn't take him long to realize how lucky he was to be working with the dynamic duo.

“To learn from Eric Braeden how to be a dominating, strong leading Newman man was just so fortuitous. Melody Thomas Scott basically adopted me and made me her son," he says. "She was making sure I was taking care of my body and showing up on time and she cared about me. It’s just like having two loving parents. They shaped my career just by being present and by loving me."

Morrow describes the pair as his "second family" and says he will always be "grateful that they accepted" him with "such open arms."

"We throw around the term legends and icons all the time, but these two people literally embody that. They're as big as it gets, as talented as it gets, and they're just incredible. To be able to learn from them was just the break of a lifetime," he says.

Morrow explains he's "always" described "The Young and the Restless" as "the ultimate team sport."

"We root for each other. We pick each other up. We defend each other," he says.

"Y&R" viewers also quickly rooted for the young star from the beginning of his time on the series.

"The initial response from the fans was just staggering to me," he recalls.

Morrow took home a Soap Opera Digest Award for outstanding younger lead actor in 1996 and scored Daytime Emmy Award nominations for outstanding younger actor in a drama series each year between 1996-2000.

Three decades of storylines

Morrow has dabbled in an endless variety of storylines over the last 30 years, and he naturally has a few favorites. For starters, there's his character's love triangle with two on-again-off-again flames, Sharon Collins (Sharon Case) and Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford).

"Those two relationships really formed Nick’s entire identity," he says. "You have the Nick/Sharon, young Romeo and Juliet love story for the ages. And then you have the Nick/Phyllis affair that came from a horrible experience in Nick’s life (the death of a child), but turned into something so much more."

Michelle Stafford and Joshua Morrow from
Michelle Stafford and Joshua Morrow from

Nick has been romantically linked to many other women over the years, but he eventually found his way back to Sharon or Phyllis on many occasions.

“The key to this triangle is Nick's never going to not have the other woman have a place in his heart while he’s with the other woman," he explains.

It’s been quite some time since Nick and Sharon have been together, yet some die-hard fans are always hoping for a reunion. Morrow certainly understands and reassures us that the pair will inevitably get back together one day.

However, he's quick to add that Nick and Sharon have a complicated history and have both "hurt each other deeply." Because of this, he doesn't foresee the couple sailing off into the sunset together one day. "They’re not Nikki and Victor," he says.

Joshua Morrow (Nick) and Sharon Case (Sharon). (CBS)
Joshua Morrow (Nick) and Sharon Case (Sharon). (CBS)

Together with Sharon, Nick has three living children and one deceased child, Cassie (Camryn Grimes), who died as a teenager after a car accident. Morrow counts this tragic storyline as one of his favorites and least favorites.

“It was such a powerful story that nobody really wanted to tell. But it was a story that we’re still telling. We still tell that story and it touched every character on the show in incredible ways and it was just powerful and beautiful and heartbreaking,” he says.

In the years following Cassie’s death, Grimes appeared on the show in several flashbacks and eventually returned as Mariah, Cassie’s long-lost twin.

Josh Morrow, Camryn Grimes, center, and Sharon Case from
Josh Morrow, Camryn Grimes, center, and Sharon Case from

As a child, Morrow says Grimes was a “sparkly, incredible unicorn of talent.” Today, he still admires his on-screen daughter and "couldn’t be a bigger fan."

"She’s so important to me and she knows that I would slay dragons for her if necessary and do anything she ever asked," he says. "Truly an incredible relationship for Joshua and Nick."

Honing his character

Over the years, Morrow has infused more of his own personality into his character.

"The show lets me find ways to make Nick more like me daily. They trust me," he says.

Like Nick, Morrow says he has a "protective" nature when it comes to his family.

“The character of Victoria (Nick’s sister, played by Amelia Heinle) is probably Nick’s favorite human being, and he would put his life on the line for her. And I have three sisters in life that I would do the same for,” he says.

Of course, Morrow is also different from Nick in a few ways.

"Nick has sort of a sneaky, huge ego at times that I don’t have. He’s sort of a hothead, way more than I am," he says. "But we both love deeply. We both are very protective."

Staying young and restless

One of the most rewarding parts of Morrow’s job is the love and support from “Y&R” viewers, whom he lovingly refers to as the “Genoa City army.”

“Our fans are everything to us, and (we feel) incredible gratitude that they have decided to spend and contribute as much time as they have with us over the years. It’s sort of staggering the amount of love we get from them and it’s everything. We’re nothing without them,” he says.

Now that he’s been on the “Y&R” for so long, people frequently ask Morrow if he plans to stay on for another few decades. And while he doesn’t have a crystal ball, the star does have a few thoughts on the matter.

“If it works out that I’m here for another 20 years and that’s what I want and that’s what the show wants, then I’d like somebody to tell me a better life than that because I can’t think of one,” he says.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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