Stafford has won two Outstanding Lead Actress Emmys for playing the role and is nominated again this year. She first appeared in 1994, left in 1997, then came back in 2000.
If Stafford leaves Y&R, will you be sad to see Phyllis go?
Stafford told Soap Opera Digest she'll miss the fans the most.
"I would like to personally confirm to the fans that yes, I have decided to leave THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. It has been a glorious 16 years and one of the greatest rides of my life. The constant support and love from the fans is not lost on me. I think I'll miss you the most."
Stafford wraps up her run in mid-June.
Today (June 19) is Stafford's last day on set.
Said Stafford on Twitter: "I will air on the show through July into the beginning of Aug! There is much more to see!! VERY fun story with many twists!! Trust me!"
UPDATE #3 (July 26):
In the new issue of Digest, Y&R's Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) breaks her silence about the real reasons she left the show, how she'd feel if she was recast and what she plans to do now.
She also talks about how TPTB reacted to her decision to say good-bye to Genoa City.
"No one tried to make me stay, but in their defense, I was pretty definite about going," she says. "And I did it so there wouldn’t be any drama, so that they knew I wasn't going to play a negotiation game. I really care for everyone at the show. I established long-lasting relationships with them. And I wanted it to be all above-board. So I think they knew I was serious."