Article published in Dropline.biz on May 2, 2005

ActressMichelle Stafford “Young, Restless, and Beautiful

By Sarah D. Goldstein (co-authored Dino M. Zaffina)

Nominated for a third year in a row for a Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series,” Michelle Stafford is in the running to win back-to-back awards. Stafford received the coveted award in 2004 for her role as Phyllis Summers Abbott on CBS’s The Young and the Restless.

This talented actress originally joined the cast in 1994. Just three years later, Stafford was awarded the Daytime Emmy Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” after two consecutive nominations. She is no stranger to awards, receiving three consecutive “Soap Opera Digest Awards,” which are decided by the daytime television viewers.

The 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Friday, May, 20, 2005, (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on CBS.

This 5’7,” red hair, and blue eye Virgo beauty is an accomplished actress in all areas of the business. Michelle has worked on feature films, television (episodic and sitcoms), and has performed on stage. Some of her recent film credits are Double Jeopardy with Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones, Vampires Anonymous, Attraction, opposite Tom Everett Scott, and Lost co-starring Bodhi Elfman. Her television credits include a series regular role on Aaron Spelling’s Pacific Palisades, and numerous guest starring roles on shows such as Judging Amy, Frasier, JAG, Diagnosis Murder, and Strong Medicine.

Stafford has also appeared in several stage productions. Her roles include a Los Angeles production of The Heartbeats in Waltz Time, which was directed by Tony Award winner, Charles Durning, and Savage in Limbo, also directed by Durning, for which the Los Angeles Times touted her as “the sensational Michelle Stafford.”

Michelle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where she continues to reside.  She is a daughter of a lawyer, father and mother who was an executive at MCA/Universal (Universal Studios). Although she had an open door into the Motion Picture and Television Industry because of her mother’s position, Stafford was intimidated by the thought of becoming an actress.

After high school all her fears dissipated when she discovered that she had a brain tumor.  Without hesitation Stafford had brain surgery and fortunately for her, her family, and her fans the tumor was found to be benign. Michelle had just gone through one of the most horrific experiences a person could ever go through. This experience resulted in a profound fearlessness in ways she can’t express.

Shortly thereafter, Stafford began working as a model. She lived in Japan, France, and Italy. Italy was her favorite, holding a special place in heart. Michelle says, “It brought me out of my conservative shell.”

Besides falling in love with the Italian language, this accomplished linguist also discovered a hidden desire to act. Michelle did not waste and time. Upon returning to Los Angeles, she enrolled in acting classes and signed with an agent. Almost immediately, Stafford began auditioning for roles.

The first theatrical job she landed was on the soap opera Tribes. After the show ended Michelle took to the stage in the two plays directed by Durning. She also was hired by many advertising agencies to act in commercials. This strong-minded woman used every opportunity to lay a foundation for what was yet to come.

Stafford’s life changed when she was auditioned for the role of Phyllis Summers Abbott on CBS’s The Young and the Restles. Michelle is so well-liked by her fans that during her self-imposed 3–year hiatus, the show continuously received mail inquiring as to her return.

Stafford is a celebrity that believes in the importance of volunteering time for charities. She has donated money, time, and her name to organizations such as Citizens Commission for Human Rights and The Hollywood Education and Literacy project. Michelle feels that it is important to volunteer her time “because eventually you come to the realization that you have to help. Are you part of the solution or the problem, or are you just sitting on the side eating a cheese sandwich watching your world deteriorate? I’d rather do something to change conditions. That one person I help could help two, and then they could help three others and so on and so on… I mean, I don’t want to get on my soap box, but… It’s important.”  

When Stafford is not working, she enjoys playing and watching sports. She is an avid hockey fan of eighteen years, and has appeared as a hockey correspondent on Fox Sports Network’s The Best Damn Sports Show, Period. Michelle loves to lounge around her house with her Rottweiler and Golden Retriever.

Some of Stafford’s likes that her serious fans would know, but many may not are:

  • Chocolate or Vanilla? – Vanilla
  • Sunrise or Sunset? – Sunset
  • Bath or Shower? – Both
  • Mountains or Beach? – Beach
  • Coffee or Tea? – Both
  • Dog or Cat? – Dog
  • Walk or Ride? – Walk
  • Hamburger or Hotdog? – Hamburger
  • Comedy or Drama? – Comedy
  • Beverly Hills or Manhattan? – Manhattan
  • Sleeping in or Staying up late? – Sleeping in (It’s my favorite thing to do in the world.)
  • Clothes whore or Shoes whore? – Clothes whore
  • Gold or Silver? – Silver
  • Basketball or Baseball? – Hockey
  • Bloomindale’s or Walmart? – Walmart
  • Big Paycheck or Big Award? – Big Paycheck
  • Cake or Candy? – Cake
  • St. Barts or Paris? – Paris
  • Shopping or Sports? – Sports
  • John Lennon or Paul McCartney? – John Lennon
  • Forgive or Forget? – Forgive, always forgive!
  • Participating or Watching? – Participating

Michelle Stafford’s Mantra is: “Dance like nobody’s watching, Work like you don’t need the money, and Love like you’ve never been hurt.”

For more information on Michelle Stafford visit her official website at www.mstafford.com.

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