‘Young and the Restless’ star Peter Bergman opens up about Billy Miller’s ‘heartbreaking’ death

Playing Jack Abbott  — the patriarch of the Abbotts, the first family of “The Young and the Restless” — for 34 years, Peter Bergman has grown to have a second set of kin.

“Those people get a very special place in my heart,” Bergman, who is up for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the 24th time at the 50th Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday — which will broadcast on CBS and stream on Paramount+ live at 9 p.m. ET.

So the three-time Daytime Emmy winner took it hard, right along with the rest of the “Y&R” cast, when Billy Miller — who played Jack Abbott’s younger half-brother, Billy Abbott, from 2008 to 2014, died by suicide at 43 in September after years of battling bipolar depression.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking,” Bergman, 70, told The Post. “It is literally like losing a member of your family.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Peter Bergman of his former “Young and the Restless” co-star Billy Miller’s death by suicide. CBS
Billy Miller and Peter Bergman on “The Young and the Restless.” CBS

In fact, the “Y&R” cast planned to remember Miller at their holiday party on Thursday, the day before the Daytime Emmys, in Los Angeles.

“We still care about it. We’re still talking about it.”

Miller was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and also starred on “General Hospital” as Jason Morgan and Drew Cain from 2014 to 2019. After his 592-episode run on the ABC daytime soap opera, Miller appeared on “Suits,” “Truth Be Told” and “NCIS.”

“Y&R” star Peter Bergman (in 2013) is up for Outstanding Lead Actor for the 24th time at Friday’s Daytime Emmys. Getty Images

After playing Dr. Cliff Warner on “All My Children” for 10 years, Bergman has now been at “The Young and the Restless” since 1989. But because of his sense of family at “AMC,” it was a tricky transition for him.

“My job at ‘All My Children’ ended before I was ready,” said Bergman, whose supercouple romance with Taylor Miller’s Nina had ended. “They kind of decided, ‘If Nina is not going to be here, why do we need Cliff?’ So they decided to let me go.

“It was heartbreaking,” he continued. “That was my first daytime family, and I was so invested in it all. And I got this job on ‘Young and the Restless,’ but my heart was still in Pine Valley [with [‘AMC’].”

Billy Miller in 2013. CBS via Getty Images

But after the first of his 24 Daytime Emmy nominations was for “All My Children,” Bergman went on to amass 23 more at “The Young & the Restless.”

Now he is the big daddy of Y&R” — the highest-rated of the three soap operas remaining on network TV (along with “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “General Hospital”) — which celebrated its 50th anniversary in March.

“I have a kind of deep responsibility for my family members on the show,” he said. “The same way Jack does.”

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