For 35 years, Melody Thomas Scott has graced our television screens as Nikki Reed Newman on the #1 daytime soap, “The Young and the Restless.” The character of Nikki has been a staple for so long that you cannot imagine the town of Genoa City without her. No one is perfect, and she did have her troubled beginnings, but Nikki was able to overcome the obstacles she had to face.
At the age of 8, Thomas Scott was first seen in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “Marnie,” where she played the young version of the title character. From there, she would have roles in television and film before taking over the role of Nikki Reed in 1979 from Erica Hope. Right at the start, Nikki was already getting in loads of trouble, and we fans couldn’t get enough of her.
From rivalries to relationships, cult membership to stripper haven, Nikki proved to be pure glamour, even if she was a lush at times. After killing her father, she was led to the arms of former bad boy Paul Williams, where the two had sex and she caught a venereal disease. The two even joined a cult, but she would soon leave that world and enter the world of exotic dancing. During her days as a stripper, a man would soon catch Nikki’s eye. That man was Christian Miller…or better known to many as Victor Newman, a powerful businessman who built his company from the ground up with no help but his own. Victor had an attraction to Nikki, and felt he could mold her into being the beautiful woman she is, inside and out.
Many fans wanted Victor and Nikki to get together. The two finally married in 1984, but the marriage was not smooth sailing. Victor was pining for another, and Nikki wanted to save her marriage, even if it forced her to lie about actually dying. I can’t hate you, girl. You did what you needed to in order to keep your lover. All in a day’s work in Genoa City.
A few years later, Nikki would come to fall in love and marry Jack Abbott. Even though they were together, Victor and Nikki could never stay out of each other’s orbit. During her marriage to Jack, Nikki began slowly drinking out of the bottle, and all I could say was, “Drink more, girl.” Melody has always been at the top of her game, but during that storyline in 1990-1992, she really brought it home. Drunk Nikki was one of my all-time favorite stories for Nik.
Remember the scenes where Jack and Victor fought in the office at Newman Enterprises? Well, Niks was pregnant, and she and Victor argued, which led her to falling down the steps at the Newman Ranch, and ended up miscarrying. Jack overheard Victoria and Nikki talking, which led Jack right into Victor’s office for a brutal confrontation. Poor girl could never catch a break.
After Jack and Nikki separated, along came a girl from the wrong side of the tracks herself. Sharon Collins blew into town and fell for Nikki’s youngest son, Nick. Boy, did Sharon rub Nikki the wrong way, and that rivalry continues to this day. Nikki definitely has had her share of rivalries. Mainly, it was between Sharon, Jill Foster, and Diane Jenkins. Her one true friend was Katherine Chancellor. If anything, I have always wondered how much did Nikki, and Kay for that matter, wanted to really be mother and daughter.
Diane Jenkins was definitely that thorn in Nikki’s side that just wouldn’t go away…until Nikki clubbed her over the head with a rock, anyway. When my poor Nikki was shot by Joshua Landers’ crazy wife, Veronica, Victor married Nikki on her deathbed. Of course, the marriage was illegal as he was still married to Diane. Diane and Nikki would always come to blows over Victor. Let me correct this…Nikki will come to blows with ANY WOMAN over Victor. She even snapped at Cricket after Victor was shot. I know Brad Carlton was not here for that.
Speaking of Brad, that man was the prime reason Nikki and Victor split yet again. It seems Nikki was having an affair with Bradley, and Victor would move back into the penthouse. Diane wanted Victor back, and what better way to do that than by having Victor’s child. OK…as crazy as that story was, it was entertaining to watch these women (Ashley, Diane and Nikki) want Victor’s sperm. I mean…they wanted his sperm! Who can say that and not laugh? I am writing this and chuckling. The catfight scenes with Diane and Nikki were superb! I think I was cracking up even more that the catfight went into the next day’s episode, and it was nighttime. How did they fight for so long with no one checking on them in the Jabot boardroom?
As a huge Victor and Nikki stan, I was excited to see them get married again in September 2002 in a lavish ceremony at the Colonnade Room. Gorgeous! A shame a lot of pitfalls came in the way of their marriage this go-around. For one, Sharon comes back to town, Nikki working with Bobby Marsino, and the Jabot/Newman war. You can understand why Nikki likes to down that hard liquor.
David Chow…yea, we won’t mention that.
How about when Nikki started hitting the bottle again? The Deacon/Nikki affair? Nikki’s almost marriage to Paul? I will always love to see Nikki take that drink, and have her go downhill again, but man! When she found out Deacon played her and worked with Meggie (never thought I would hear that name again), I know she was ready to raise some mad hell!
And now…we have Nikki dealing with her past…a son that was believed to be gone only to be in Genoa City. The former cult leader is back and wreaking havoc once again. What’s a girl to do? I’m sure that after 35 years, Nikki has learned a few tricks.
Fans cannot say that Melody Thomas Scott doesn’t have a vocal outpouring of support. When it appeared that the actress was no longer with the show, petitions came zooming across the Internet to save her job. I was devastated that she was gone, and couldn’t imagine seeing her off “Y&R.” How can you get rid of someone who has been at this job for so long and has been frontburner so many years? It struck me when I saw her name and picture off the opening credits while she was gone. I was celebrating when it was announced that Melody was back and better than ever at “Y&R.” What felt like several months felt like several years of a hiatus.
We have so many memories of Nikki Reed that I probably did not even get to, or even remember. However, I am sure many can fill in the gaps. For now, I want to say that what an honor it is to celebrate 35 years of love, heartache, and fun for Melody Thomas Scott. Happy Anniversary and here is to many more years in Genoa City.
All the best, Mel!