There’s never a dull moment in the life of Michelle Stafford. This was one of the positive comments made by Michael Morgan of TV Guide after watching episodes of Michelle Stafford’s web series, The Stafford Project. The series which premiered on Youtube in the first week of August 2013, was launched by Michelle herself and tells of her real-life struggles and challenges. Indeed, one cannot but agree with Morgan on this description of Michelle. It is not just by watching The Stafford Project, but also by paying attention to her real-life outside the screens.
If you are unfamiliar with Michelle Stafford, then you may be surprised to know that her fame is hardly linked to the Stafford Project in any way. She first became famous in 1994 when she joined the cast of CBS Daytime soap opera The Young And The Restless where she took up the character of Phyllis Summers which was initially meant to be a temporary role. However, Michelle Stafford did so well that she landed a contract to star in the role on a permanent basis.
An Insight Into Michelle Stafford’s Early Life
Michelle Stafford was born on September 14, 1965, in Chicago Illinois. However, she was raised in Montrose, California after her family moved there while she was still an infant. Starting out as a model, Michelle pursued her career right after high school.
During this time she had the opportunity to travel around the world including trips to Japan, France, and Italy. After her time in Italy, she realized her inner desire to become an actress.
Her first documented screen appearance was in 1990 in FOX soap opera titled Tribes. Although the series ended after airing for only three months, Michelle still featured in more soap operas than any other genre since then.
After Tribes ended, the budding actress tried her hands on stage acting at the Los Angeles Theater which included two plays directed by the famous director Charles Durning. Michelle also took part in a couple of small films until 1994, when she was chosen to fill the role of Phyllis Summers in The Young And The Restless.
Exploring Her Journey As ‘Phyllis Summers’
At first, Phyllis Summers was supposed to be a short-lived role but Michelle Stafford performed so excellently that the producers thought it wise to increase the character’s appearances. The producers had to sign a contract with Michelle to get her to star in the role.
With that contract signed, Michelle acted as Phyllis Summers on The Young And The Restless for three years. In 1997, she had to leave the show for an undisclosed reason. Between April 1997 and July 2000, Michelle was replaced by Sandra Nelson who bears a close resemblance to her and who is a year older. During her three years break from The Young And The Restless, Michelle received a lead role in a FOX soap opera named Pacific Palisades.
Sadly, there was a repeat of her experience with the other FOX soap opera, Tribes, and Pacific Palisades was canceled after only thirteen episodes. Michelle Stafford also had minor roles in a couple of TV series and feature films until the mid-2000s when she returned to continue as Phyllis Summers on The Young And The Restless. However, Michelle left the show once again in 2013.
Starting from 2014, Michelle began starring as Nina Clay (née Reeves), the wife of Dr. Silas Clay on the ABC show General Hospital. Through the years, the show’s fame increased rapidly with more and more people noticing the joyful presence of Michelle. In 2019 however, just when she had begun to stamp her footprints on the show, the two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner left General Hospital.
Here’s Why She Left General Hospital
After Michelle left the TV show, General Hospital, rumors began to fly that she was sacked from the show. However, a report from Daytime Confidential revealed that Stafford’s deal with the show was over. The two parties started a new negotiation that would have seen her continue on the show, but the outcome couldn’t be decided; thus a deal wasn’t reached.
With Stafford free, The Young And The Restless allegedly grabbed the opportunity to bring her back as Phyllis. Fortunately for her, the deal went through and actress Gina Tognoni who was cast in the role during the time Michelle was away was let go.
Since leaving the cast of General Hospital, Michelle has been reprising her most notable role as Phyllis Summers on The Young & the Restless. Her role has translated into one that can’t be overlooked and arguably one of the most lively characters on Daytime TV to date. This has helped grow the show’s audience significantly with over 20 million people around the world watching the show daily.
What Has Michelle Stafford Been Up To Away From The Cameras?
Despite her apparently busy schedule, Michelle still finds time for her personal hobbies and interests including business, philanthropic engagements, travel, and the culinary world.
As an activist, she speaks up for human rights through groups as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Literacy Projects, and The Hollywood Education. Her engagement in this philanthropic field has won her an honor from the National Foundation for Women Legislators. She is also doing great as a businesswoman, launching a skincare product line in 2016 named Skin Nation.
The skincare products (including Refresh Face Wash, Scrubalicious Exfoliator, The Best Toner Ever, Super C Serum, Renew Face Cream, Rejuvenating Eye Gel, and more) are made of naturally gluten-free ingredients and are certified cruelty-free by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
How Much She Has Earned From Her Career?
Michelle’s career as an actress has fetched the actress several awards and nominations (which include two Daytime Emmy awards and three Soap Opera Digest Awards). Her TV presence has also brought her an impressive fortune. She also makes sizeable profits from her skin products known to be organic and safe for all skin types.
Recently, the actress is reported to have a net worth of $15 million. She’s also reported to own a luxury home in Glendale, California which she bought for $ 1million in 2012.
Find Out More About Michelle Stafford’s Family And Love Life
Michelle Stafford’s web series The Stafford Project revealed that Michelle is a single mother of two. Several other sources corroborate this information citing that Michelle got her two kids via surrogacy.
At the moment, Michelle Stafford is unmarried and it doesn’t seem like she has ever been as there is no record of Michelle ever walking down the aisle. Her first child (a daughter) is named Natalia Scout Lee while her second child (a son) is named Jameson Jones-Lee. The fact that her children have a common surname different from hers has incited curiosity from fans and the media alike. The identity of this ‘Lee’ that her kids share a surname with remains a puzzle.