Meg Bennett, ‘Young and the Restless’ Star, Dies at 75

Meg Bennett, who most famous played Julia Martin on “The Young and the Restless,” has died of cancer, media reports indicate. She was 75.

Bennett began her career in 1975 on “Search For Tomorrow” before she moved to “The Young and the Restless.” In later years she worked as a writer for “General Hospital” and wrote 197 episodes of the show.

The actress was born Helen Bennett in October 1948, and changed her name to Meg after she pursued a career in the entertainment industry because another Helen Bennett had already worked in Hollywood. Bennett explained to Daily TV in 1985, “She was a Vogue model who never made if as an actress, but she was on record as having that name at Screen Actors Guild. There couldn’t have been two of us. And Margaret Bennett is my mother’s name, so I became Meg.”

She grew up in Pasadena, California, and attended Northwestern University. In a 1975 interview with The Reading Eagle newspaper, she said she began her career as a model—something that would her get a break on a game show.

After moving to Manhattan to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, Bennet noticed there were open auditions for Bill Cullen’s “Three on a Match.” She was asked to join the show as a contestant, but there was a stipulation. “The hitch was that I couldn’t be an actress,” she explained.

“But I hadn’t done any acting. My claim to fame was modeling in the background of a Coke television commercial,” Bennett continued. “So I told the man I was a fashion mannequin.”

“It was only a minor fib,” she admitted. “Once Life magazine asked me to model a sequined tennis outfit.”

From there, Bennett joined the original cast of “Grease” on Broadway before she was cast on “Search for Tomorrow.” She stayed with the soap opera for three years.

Bennett played the role of Julia Martin on “The Young and the Restless” for six years, and during that time she would also adjust scripts. Bill Bell, who created the series, asked her to join the show’s writing team.

“I could actually hear the dialogue in my head. And Bill gave me critiques. He told me how to build scenes. He is very accessible, very supportive. He’s also very un-Hollywood,” she said to Daily TV. “I’d been acting on the show for almost two years when this happened, so I knew the characters.”

Bennett also aspired to write for herself. She told the outlet at she planned to take a break from the soap opera and work on a screenplay. “I’m not sure which is more gratifying – writing or acting and fortunately I don’t have to make a decision to opt for either. I wonder if doing just one or the other would be enough,” she said.

“I’ll admit, acting makes me a little crazy sometimes : you wait to audition. You wait for the part. When you’re writing, you’re in control. I can initiate things on my own when I’m writing. When I started my hiatus, I decided to keep a journal, and I filled one in three weeks. I guess that says there’s a lot in me that needs to come out.”

In 1993 Bennett joined “General Hospital” as both a writer and actress. She won a Daytime Emmy for her work on the show two years later and was nominated several times. The set is also where she met her husband, Robert Guza, Jr., the nine-time Daytime Emmy winner and co-creator of “Sunset Beach.”

Bennett is survived by her husband, “Sunset Beach” co-creator and writer Robert Guza, Jr., two stepdaughters, four grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

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