“The Young and the Restless” has been daytime TV’s number one rated drama for almost three decades. Today marks the 45th anniversary of when the show first premiered back in 1973 when Richard Nixon was in the White House and the price of gas was 38 cents a gallon. The show will celebrate this historic anniversary with a week-long run featuring the return of beloved characters. Some of the cast members still meet yearly for a Christmas party and nobody is more excited to get everyone back together than Tracey E. Bregman.

Bregman plays Lauren Fenmore on “The Young and the Restless and won an Emmy for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in 1985. Bregman chatted with CBS Local about her acting career, her favorite memories from Y & R and what fans can expect this week.

How did you get started in acting?

Tracey Bregman: I just got lucky. My father knew an agent. I walked through the living room and they said if I ever want to work, let them know. I wanted to work, but my mother said absolutely not. She wanted me to finish school and I negotiated that I could work on school holidays. That’s what happened. I worked on school holidays and I was able to do my first job on a holiday. Then I did “Day of Our Lives” and I was hired for two days and then did it for two and a half years.

What were your initial expectations on “The Young and the Restless”?

TB: I was just so excited to get a job. I did it on the holidays, so my mom couldn’t say anything.

You’ve had a great run on the show and won an Emmy. What has been most memorable about your experience?

TB: Not only have I had the best time being able to do what I love every day, but I was able to be a mother and work. And I also had a family with my Young and Restless mates.

What is the greatest challenge of playing that character?

TB: The greatest challenge was having to do physical fights. You expect the emotional stuff in all of that when you’re acting, but it was doing all the fight scenes that was challenging.

Why do you think “The Young and The Restless” has lasted for 45 years?

TB: It’s been at number one for 29 years. It’s very extraordinary and you don’t always get this opportunity. This is like the needle in the haystack opportunity.

This week the show is celebrating its 45th anniversary. What can fans expect when they tune in?

TB: We are doing that today. I’m excited because my favorite thing is seeing the cast. We don’t always get to see each other. We last saw each other at a Christmas party.

Finally, what has made your experience on “The Young and The Restless” so special?

TB: I worked with extraordinary actors and was apart of a tremendous production. I’ve been nominated for awards five times in all different categories and won once and it was a really wonderful experience to go through that.

“The Young and The Restless” airs weekdays on CBS from 12:30pm-1:30pm EST and 11;30am-12:30pm PST.

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