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Jack Abbott: 1989 - 1993
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Jack Abbott: 1989 - 1993

November 27, 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of Peter Bergman's tenure on The Young and the Restless as Jack Abbott. Jack has been, over the years, a cad, boldly ambitious, calculating, charming, loving, loyal, disloyal and just plain hard to peg. But one can always count on two things from John Abbott's (Jerry Douglas) eldest son. Jack will always be a mover and a shaker, and he will always be on the lookout for that next big conquest, whether it be a woman or a business deal. Smilin' Jack will be ready to seal the deal!

In honor of Peter's 20 years as Jack Abbott, we will feature an overview of Jack's rich history in Genoa City under Bergman's reign. Each week in November, we will look back on Jack Abbott's deeds, both naughty and nice, and finish up with an in-depth interview with 3 time Emmy® winner Peter Bergman.

Here's the first of a five-part series:

Jack Abbott: 1989 – 1993

Jack grew nervous when Victor's investigators found a connection between him and the publishing company that published Ruthless, the tell-all best seller written by Leanna Love under the pen name Nora Randall. Abbott hired the writer to expose Victor's dark side. He decided to get out of town, taking a ski trip with Lauren Fenmore. Lauren spotted Brad Carlton's crazy ex, Lisa Mansfield, who was keeping Brad locked in a cage at the ski lodge. Suspicious, Lauren followed Lisa to her room and pushed her way in to find Brad. Lisa promptly locked Lauren in the cage as well. The crazy blond turned on the gas and left them to die, only to bump into Jack on the way out. Mansfield pulled a gun on him, and he wrestled it away. Lisa took off, and Jack rescued Brad and Lauren.

Victor eventually discovered that Leanna was the writer behind Ruthless and that Jack was instrumental in getting the book published. His revenge was to quietly buy up Jabot stock until it belonged to him. When Victor revealed Jack's role in the fiasco to Ashley, she disowned her brother. Newman wasn't satisfied with turning the siblings against each other. He used his influence to have all the banks refuse loans to the Abbotts so they would be unable to buy their company back. Finally, Victor forced Jack to report to Brad, who was the one person he hated as much as Victor. Eventually, a battle ensued bringing Jack's father, John, literally to his knees as he suffered from a heart attack during a bitter board meeting and fought to win back the company he spent his life building. Victor, who had the deepest respect for John, pulled back, and Abbott pulled through to battle another day.

Jack soon found himself attracted to the one thing that Victor Newman valued the most—Nikki. But Nikki was about to wed Jim Grainger. Jack loves a good challenge and began lavishing her with gifts. Victor was dead set against anyone marrying Nikki but himself. The race was on! Jack beat Victor to the punch, promising Nikki a life beyond her wildest dreams. Victor would not back down and offered Jack a chance to win back Jabot, but he would have to give up Nikki. When the feisty blond found out that she was a pawn in an outrageous game of one-upmanship, she threw Abbott out of their home and her life. And when Jack missed the deadline to sign the agreement, he lost Jabot again. Later, Jack was able to redeem himself in Nikki and Victor's eyes when he rescued Victoria from drowning in the family pool. Nikki welcomed Jack back into her arms. She soon realized that she would never love Jack as deeply as she loved Victor. It was a fall while horseback riding that caused Nikki to miscarry her and Jack's baby that proved to be the beginning of the end to their union. Meanwhile, Nikki became addicted to painkillers, thanks to the injuries she endured from her fall. Jack convinced her to enter a rehabilitation facility in New York. Nikki failed to kick her addiction. Victor finally stepped in and threatened to take Nicholas and Victoria out of her home if she didn't have back surgery and stop abusing painkillers and alcohol. Her good friend Katherine Chancellor advised Nikki that if she were never true to her feelings for Victor, then she would never reach the road to recovery.

Both Victor and Jack blamed the other for Nikki's problems. The battle between the business titans hit full throttle when Jack teamed up with Brad to try to takeover Newman Enterprises. When Victor found out, the two faced off, and Victor collapsed, gasping for breath. As he lay dying, Jack coolly stepped over his body and left the room without assisting him. Later, Jack's conscience got the best of him while dining with Nikki, and he called the paramedics. Nikki wondered whether Jack had something to do with Victor's collapse. When faced with his own mentality, Victor proposed to Nikki, who asked for some time to break the news to Jack. Jack, distracted by thoughts of Nikki and young Nicholas, got into a car accident and landed himself in the hospital. Nikki rushed to his side. Victor was angry that he lost to Jack again but realized that Jack ultimately saved his life. He assigned Jack over Jabot with a warning not to cross him again. Ashley, tired of Victor's manipulations and residual feelings for Nikki, asked for a divorce, much to Jack's satisfaction.

Jack found himself seething over the fact that his father had invited Jill Abbott back into their lives. When the lovers remarried, Jack was only appeased by the fact that he believed that Jill signed a prenuptial agreement. At least she wouldn't be able to steal the Abbott family fortune. Jill had other plans. She schemed to have a child with John. Jack tipped off his father about her plan and John scheduled a vasectomy, but the night before, she got John drunk and seduced him. Later, Jill was delighted to find out she was pregnant! She gave birth to William Foster Abbott, or Billy as he was affectionately known. She hoped that his birth would bring her closer to John.

Meanwhile, Jack and Nikki were expecting a bundle of joy of their own, but Nikki's baby was still born after she took a tumble down the stairs after a struggle with Victor. The couple made the heroic decision to donate the baby's organs, and in a heartbreaking moment, Jack held the baby who had received their baby's heart. Later, when Jack learned of Victor's involvement, he ordered Nikki out of his life, telling her that she would never love him the way she loved Victor Newman. Their marriage finally ended. After a fiery car crash, Victor was presumed dead, and Jack finally assumed control of his family company. Victor allowed everyone to believe he was truly dead, as he had grown close to a blind woman named Hope Adams. A news report changed everything, when he heard that Jack had taken the helm of Newman Enterprises, Victor began planning to reclaim his company. He sent out anonymous invitations for a "gathering of great significance" that would be held at the Colonnade's private dining room. When he revealed himself to the awestruck guests, Genoa City's finest gasped! Jack and John privately wondered what the tycoon might do next.

For more history on The Young and the Restless, check out the Y&R Forever site.

Next week: Jack Abbott: 1994 – 1998.

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