Alex Donnelley, best known for originating the role of Diane Jenkins on ‘The Young and the Restless,’ has had a diverse career since her departure from the soap opera over 20 years ago.
After her time on the show, Donnelley ventured into film roles, securing minor parts in movies such as “Cruel Intentions 3,” “Miss March,” and “Drillbit Taylor.” While her acting gigs have been sporadic, she has also taken on the role of a mother to her two children, whom she shares with her ex-husband, musician Robert Lamm.
Donnelley’s portrayal of Diane Jenkins on ‘The Young and the Restless’ began in 1982. Initially intended as a short-term character, Diane’s presence on the show was extended due to popular demand. Her tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with Jack Abbott (played by Peter Bergman) became a central focus of her storylines.
Diane and Jack’s relationship began as an affair while Jack was married to Patty Williams (portrayed by Stacy Haiduk). Although Diane later married Andy Richards (Steven Ford), her feelings for Jack resurfaced, leading to another affair. Diane hoped for a future with Jack and divorced Andy, but Jack refused to marry her, breaking her heart.
After a period in Europe, Diane returned in 1996, rekindling her romance with Jack. However, Victor Newman (played by Eric Braeden), Jack’s rival, managed to win Diane over and they got married, much to the dismay of Victor’s ex-wife, Nikki Newman (portrayed by Melody Thomas Scott). Diane’s desire to have a child led to shocking revelations when she discovered that Nikki had convinced Victor to have a vasectomy.
During a tumultuous period, Victor divorced Diane and remarried Nikki while she was on her deathbed. Seeking revenge, Diane plotted against the couple. Learning that Victor had frozen his sperm, she decided to get artificially inseminated and gave birth to Kyle Abbott (played by Michael Mealor). However, a DNA test revealed that Kyle was not Victor’s biological son.
Diane made several departures and returns to the show over the years, leaving town on various occasions. Since her last appearance in 2001, Alex Donnelley has pursued other opportunities in the entertainment industry, with intermittent acting roles and a focus on her family life.