To know you've made it in the world of soaps is to know that your character is instantly recognizable just by his or her first name. And there are few characters more recognizable than Victor, the mustachioed villain Eric Braeden has played on "The Young and the Restless" since 1980.
Braeden is the only actor to have ever played Victor, a part that was intended to run for only a very short time but that soon developed into one of the most important roles on the show. Since then, Braeden has been behind any number of dastardly deeds on "Restless," including imprisoning a romantic rival in a bomb shelter, disposing of wives and lovers whenever he tires of them and being accused of any number of murders. His character has also appeared on the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
Born in Germany, Braeden saw his father, mayor of his native hometown, imprisoned at the end of World War II as a Nazi party member. He died shortly thereafter, when Braeden was 12. The actor came to the U.S. and was dismayed to be constantly cast as a Nazi (as he was in the 1960s TV series "The Rat Patrol").
But Braeden eventually found his way to the role that would make his career. He's starred in films — including a supporting role in "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" and playing millionaire John Jacob Astor in the box-office smash "Titanic"— and guested on other TV shows (such as "How I Met Your Mother"), yet his acting career will always be inextricably tied to Victor Newman. He won a Daytime Emmy for the role in 2007.