Saturday, September 1, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #3 Victor & Nikki From THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

COUPLE: Victor Newman & Nikki Reed Foster
Victor: Eric Braeden
Nikki: Melody Thomas Scott
YEARS: 1981–present

Victor first saw Nikki when he went to a show at the Bayou club with his best friend, Colonel Douglas Austin (Michael Evans).   Victor became enamored with Nikki, wanting to instruct her on the "finer things in life," but the two of them eventually slept together.  Victor turned his attention to romancing Lorie Brooks (Jaime Lyn Bauer) while Nikki had a relationship with Kevin Bancroft.  When Nikki became pregnant, she was not sure who the father was, but married Kevin believing him to be the bio dad.  Then Lorie dumped Victor, revealing she was only using him to get her true love's (Lance Prentiss) company back.  Eventually the truth came out--baby Victoria was indeed Victor's child.  Nikki and Kevin divorced and Nikke ultimately married Victor (the first of many times the two would wed over the years).

Over the past 28 years, Nikki and Victor had another child together, Nicholas, and married and divorced many other people (Ashley Abbott, Hope Adams, Diane Jenkins, Jack Abbott, David Chow and many more).  They faced as many obstacles as any couple in soap history from family revelations, crazy ex's, kid drama, medical issues (including fake medical issues), being presumed dead, Nikki's drinking and on and on.  But the two of them could never stay away from each other for long.  Most recently, Victor married his former daughter-in-law, Sharon (don't ask!), the same week Nikki married his arch-nemesis and her ex-husband, Jack.  But when Victor went missing, Nikki took off on her wedding night to go look for the only man that will ever truly have her heart.

They remain a popular couple on a show that has been No. 1 for the past 24 years.  The pairing of Victor and Nikki helped Bill Bell's well-written and marvelously-produced Y&R take that final step to reaching and staying at the top.   Their passion, sexiness, emotional turmoil and never-ending drama kept viewers tuned in. Sadly, the many backstage changes in the writing/producing teams over the past decade have not always been kind to the couple (or many other characters), but the solid foundation created by Bell helps many fans keep a rooting interest.  The back and forth has been going on for 31 years now and counting.

Having encountered soap fans from all over the country over the past five years, it's clear not everyone knows the names "Eric Braeden" and "Melody Thomas Scott" but they usually know "Victor" and "Nikki".   Even in the middle of Times Square doing a "Soaps on the Street" feature not long ago, we showed tourists, many international, a photo of Eric Braeden and asked them if they knew who it was.  A large percentage replied: "Victor Newman."

Braeden has picked up eight Daytime Emmy nominations over the years winning once, and received a Special Fan Award nomination in 2002 as part of America's Favorite Couple.  He has three Soap Opera Digest Award wins to go along with nine additional nominations.  He also won a People's Choice Award in 1992 for playing the role of Victor.   Scott, meanwhile, is one of the most overlooked performers in Emmy history.  Other than that Special Fan Award, she has only been nominated one time for an Emmy, by her peers, in 1999.  She did win a Digest Award to go along with five other nominations.   Both finished in the Top 40 of our 50 Greatest Actors and Actresses countdowns in 2010.

From Patrick Erwin (A THOUSAND OTHER WORLDS): Victor and Nikki were definitely a must-see couple for much of the '80s. The emotionally distant Victor and the emotionally damaged Nikki took turns loving and hurting each other. They remain a fascinating study in unhealthy relationships and how passion can overrule common sense!

- Victor sees Nikki stripping; Victor & Nikki's first kiss (1981)
Victor and Nikki's first weddding (1984)
Eric Braeden classic clips
Melody Thomas Scott classic clips

Share your thoughts on Victor and Nikki in our Comments section below or on our message board.

- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actors: The Complete List
- 50 Greatest Soap Opera Actresses: The Complete List
- THE COMPLETE LIST: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History


  1. Just like Josh & Reva, know ones fights like them besides Victor & Nikki

  2. Nikki and Victor are the crowing achievement in Bill Bell's long and stellar career. It's just too bad no one else who has ever written "The Young and the Restless" understands them so well.

  3. I loved Victor and Nikki! I only watched Y&R for about 5 years in the 80's, but I always loved them and followed their story!