By Deanna Barnert
The Young and the Restless’ beloved Mamie is back and ready to rumble for her family. After what portrayer Veronica Redd calls an “energetic workout” on set, the soap veteran talks coming home to Genoa City after almost two decades off canvas and teases the fun to come with the Winters, the Abbotts, and anyone who tries to cross them.
“Put on your seatbelts,” teases Redd. “Mamie is taking no prisoners – and it is a ride!”
A ride that was, as it turns out, complete unexpected. 19 years after Redd’s character sailed off into the sunset, she was touched to be invited back for the shows 50th Anniversary episodes and all too ready when the show asked her to pop in for another visit this fall.
“Then they just kept adding more episodes,” recounts Redd, who returned to canvas September 27, 2023. “And I’m thrilled. I just jumped right back in it was like nothing. I had missed my family – the cast members. You know, when you’re on a show like this, you probably spend more time with this family than your blood! It doesn’t matter when the last time we saw each other was. The bonds are solid. It’s wonderful.”
When Redd first assumed the role from Marguerite Ray in 1990, her resume already included a groundbreaking run as a trans navy veteran on The Jeffersons, as well as appearances on Good Times, Eight Is Enough and in movies like Clean and Sober. She went on to play Mamie – the housekeeper/surrogate mother to the Abbott family and auntie who brought Drucilla and Olivia to Genoa City – until 2004.
After leaving Y&R, Redd stepped into one of her most important roles – that of grandmother to her own kin. Now that her granddaughters are all grown up, however, she and her daughter are facing the proverbial empty nest, so the timing for Mamie’s return could not be more perfect.
While returning to Y&R feels natural, Redd does find herself missing her Genoa City other half.
“I hadn’t worked with Jerry Douglas (John Abbott) in 20 years, but when I started working on that set with Jack, Ashley and Traci, I would go home after and just feel so forlorn,” Redd confesses. “I miss Jerry. What a mainstay he was for me.
“The relationship Jerry and I played was one of deep respect,” she adds. “It was so homespun. Those two could not function in that household without each other. There wasn’t anything fishy going on – so when he kissed her, that was a big surprise!”
That unexpected kiss, for those who don’t recall, was the end of Mamie’s run in Genoa City – and the way Mamie landed her first million! Jill, who was never one to suffer competition, paid Mamie to get out of town and out of her way. The housekeeper had already been conformable enough to put Olivia through med school and after all that time with John, Redd imagines, Mamie has had no trouble spinning that payoff into more.
Now, she’s back, she’s fabulous, and literally getting into Jill’s business.
“Mamie’s got some scores to settle, and Jill is one of the major ones,” Redd teases. “I am excited to play with Jess Walton (Jill)!”
Jill may be Mamie’s first target, but she’s not the only one who needs to watch their backs now that she’s back in town. “While Mamie’s been out yachting around the world, there’s been people up here messing with her family,” Redd sniffs. “Mamie doesn’t play that. She’s here to protect and secure her family’s legacy.”
To be clear, Mamie’s always looking out for her Abbott kids, but right now, she’s got her eye on her great niece and nephew.
“She has not had a relationship with Lily or Nathan, as adults,” Redd explains. “And there’s a lot of things that were going on in their lives that she was not aware of – but she’s here to fix all that and give them a secure base for generations to come. She wants to make sure that Chancellor Winters company is solid!”
Redd, meanwhile, has enjoyed forging new relationship with actors like Christel Khalil (Lily) and Sean Dominic (Nate). “They are so generous and so capable,” she raves. “Some people think what we do is simple. No. We’re turning out a show a day, baby! We are tight. We are the Roman army. It’s amazing!”
While Mamie has come to town to protect her family and get into Genoa City business, Redd believes there’s certainly room for love.
“Both Ronnie and Mamie are always interested in romance—even if it’s somebody else’s, honey,” Redd cracks. “Mamie’s also gonna be happy with people who are in love – and when it comes to Jack, suspicious if it looks like somebody’s trying play him. She’s just got the biggest heart, and she’s just in love with love.”
With Mamie’s little visit seeming to get longer by the day, Redd is looking forward to the holidays… and whatever else Y&R might have in store for her and her character.
“As long as I am well and as long as I know my right foot from my left, I am here for whatever they need me for,” Redd concludes. “And I would love to be here for the long haul!”