“The Young and the Restless” is one of the longest television dramas on American television. Since its premiere season in 1973, the show has focused on two main families at a time, exploring their relationship with each other, which are expertly written to meld typical rivalries, unconditional support, and reconciliations between family members after fall-outs. Over the decades, new viewers have joined old viewers who started watching the show when it first aired, in following the experiences of the families. While newer audiences pick up on the premise of the show over time and get to know the core families, most do not know the show’s initial core families, such as the Brooks family, which was one of the initial families around which the show was concentrated when it first started. Here is what happened to the Brooks family.
Stuart and Jennifer Brooks
The Brooks were a middle-class family living in the fictional city of Genoa. They were a typical family of six; Stuart Brooks, the family patriarch, his wife Jennifer, and their four girls. Stuart Brooks owned a publishing company – “The Genoa City Chronicle.” He was a devoted husband to Jennifer, and an even more devoted father to his four daughters. From the first episode, Brooks was portrayed as a kind man who helped people when he offered Brad Elliot a job at the newspaper without hesitation, and supported his relationship with Leslie. However, his good heart often had people taking advantage of him.
Stuart’s wife, Jennifer, was the quintessential wealthy wife of the 1970s. She was a devoted wife to Stuart and a good mother to their children until she crossed paths with her ex, Bruce Henderson, and decided to leave Stuart for him. Stuart had a heart attack after learning of his wife’s decision and, in a typical television drama web, Henderson was the cardiologist who was called in to consult on Stuart’s case. Jennifer put her plans on hold and took care of Stuart but filed for divorce and left him for Bruce as soon as he recovered. Years later, while living with Henderson, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She went back home to Stuart, who accepted her and took care of her until she passed away. Jennifer’s death started the eventual exodus of the Brooks family from the central position it had enjoyed in the show since 1973.
A widowed Stuart found solace in the arms of Liz Foster, a woman who had worked hard to raise her children alone after her husband abandoned them. Stuart and Liz were connected in more ways than their growing relationship. Liz’s son, Snapper Foster, was dating and later married Stuart’s third daughter, Chris. Stuart disapproved of the relationship from the start after Snapper, a doctor, stood Chris up several times, cheated on her openly, and had a child with his mistress causing Chris to have a miscarriage. His relationship with Liz and the relationship between the Brooks and the Fosters was complicated further when Liz’s daughter, Jill Foster, seduced him and tricked him into believing that he had got her pregnant. Ever the honorable man, Stuart went from pursuing a relationship with Liz to marrying her daughter only to discover that she had concocted the pregnancy story to get herself hitched to a wealthy man. Eventually, Stuart managed to escape Jill’s snare and married Liz Foster. Unfortunately, he passed away a short while later after 10 years in the show, the second member of the Brooks family to leave the show.
Stuart and Jennifer’s first-born daughter, Leslie was a quiet, shy, and reserved woman who kept to herself and all parts of herself hidden. Leslie was a talented pianist who only came out of her shell when she was playing the piano. Over the years, she had perfected her craft and developed the ability to put her soul into her pieces, often having crowds go quiet in awe whenever she played. Besides music, only one person could get Leslie out of her shell. The mysterious Brad Eliot, who appeared to the town and took a job at the Brooks’ publishing house, drew Leslie out of her reclusive life and formed a beautiful friendship that bloomed into a mellow but solid relationship over time. For some time, the couple was happy until Leslie’s sister, Lorie, decided that she wanted Brad for herself.
Lorie went into full relationship sabotage mode by trying to seduce Brad and preying on her sister’s insecurities when Brad refused to yield to her seduction. One day, when Leslie went to New York to play at an event, Lorie convinced her that she slept with Brad. Leslie had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for weeks before anyone in the family rescued her. Stuart and Jennifer institutionalized her at a facility close to home and helped her recover. Meanwhile, Lorie had sunk her claws into Brad and manipulated a marriage proposal out of him. Leslie came home after months of treatment to the news of the engagement. However, Brad, who was later revealed to be a disgraced doctor whose license was taken away after defying protocol and operating on his son, broke his engagement to Lorie after finding out what she had done to Leslie. He rebuilt Leslie’s trust in him by supporting her dream of owning a space where she could play the piano.
Leslie and Lorie Brooks make a surprise return to Genoa City.
Just as Brad and Leslie were rebuilding their relationship, Lorie revealed his true identity but the revelation only brought the couple closer until Leslie went on tour and met Lance Prentis. Initially, she resisted the wealthy bachelor’s charms but gave in when Brad demanded a divorce after he was diagnosed with a condition that would leave him blind. When Leslie turned down his demand to end their marriage, he mistreated her, hoping to drive her away, but she fought for their love. He changed his mind when she conceived their child, but hit her by accident, causing a miscarriage. Unable to deal with the pain he had caused the love of his life, Brad filed for divorce and left the city. He came back once more and attempted to rekindle things with Leslie, but she was tired of his antics and turned him down. When he left the city for good, the opportunities for the plot advancement of Leslie’s story started to decline, setting her up to become the third member of the Brooks family to leave the show.
Lorie was the troublemaker of the Brooks family. The show’s audience got to watch her devious ways when she tried, and almost succeeded, in ruining Leslie and Brad’s relationship. Lorie’s comeuppance came when she fell head-over-heels for Mark Henderson, the son of the man for whom her mother left her father. Lorie and Matt were engaged and about to wed when Jennifer revealed Bruce was Lorie’s father too, making Lorie and Mark half-siblings. A devastated Mark broke the engagement leaving Lorie nursing a broken heart. Leslie met Lance Prentiss around the same time, and introduced him to Lorie. Initially, Lance was interested in Leslie, but fell in love with and married Lorie. Lorie’s marriage made for an entertaining story full of drama, betrayal, separations and reconciliations, and an accusation for murder, which was later proven to be fabricated by her mother-in-law. Eventually, the writers reduced Lorie’s airtime, setting her on the path that would bring an end to her story.
Leslie and Lorie’s sister Chris, was the second member of the Brooks family, after their father, to become entangled with a member of the Foster Family. At 19, Chris was working with her father at the newspaper when she entered a relationship with Snapper Foster. Snapper was working part-time to afford medical school and help pay for his younger brother’s education. The Brooks family patriarch opposed Chris’s relationship with Snapper, who often canceled their dates, claiming to have fallen asleep. Besides, Snapper was having an affair with a waitress. Unfazed by the affair, Chris dreamed of having a family and children with Snapper until one day when she fell victim to rape. Fortunately, her sisters and Snapper helped her work through the trauma, and she married him. During their marriage, Snapper got his mistress pregnant and the news caused Chris, who was pregnant at the time, to lose her unborn child. Devastated, she left Snapper and started working as a social worker, but the couple reconciled, eventually had a child, and moved to London, bringing a close to the chapter of another member of the Brooks family in the show.
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The lastborn daughter of the Brooks family had her own share of drama on the show. As a college student at Genoa City University, she had an affair with her college professor, Jack. Jack’s wife found out about the affair and threw Peggy out of the apartment Jack had set her up in. Rattled, Peggy went to Chris’s apartment but suffered the fate of her sister when she was raped. With her family’s help, Peggy reported the incident and identified her attacker. However, much to the fury of the family, the attacker wasn’t convicted after arguing that Peggy gave in willingly. After recovering from the trauma of the incident, Peggy visited Jack, who had divorced his wife already, and married him in secret. However, the marriage ended when Jack, who was tired of waiting for Peggy to recover emotionally to consummate their marriage, forced himself on her. Peggy divorced him immediately and traveled down a path that led her to meet another man and follow him to Washington D.C., bringing her story to an end.
The End of an Era
With Stuart and Jennifer dead, some of their daughters leaving Genoa to start afresh elsewhere, and the rest settling into new roles as wives and parents, the curtain fell on the Brooks family’s time on “The Young and the Restless.” Besides, by then, most of the actresses who played the four daughters originally had left the show, and replacing them over and over robbed their stories of their authenticity. Fortunately, the Brooks family’s time on the show is immortalized on film. You can watch all their episodes on CBS and Paramount.