When a soap actor dies, there’s at least a fifty-fifty chance that they’re not really dead. While they surely expired on-screen, it’s entirely likely that they were suffering from a contract dispute, a feud with a writer or another actor on the show, or decided to leave the show to pursue a career in the movies.
Fan-favorites are always liable to turn up again as a long-lost twin, a clone, or having just recovered from amnesia brought on by a brain tumor. The Young and the Restless fans would love to see the return of Jana Hawkes.
Jana died from one of those pesky cranial conundrums in 2011, and Y&R fans would love to see her return, no matter how wacky the storyline.
Jana Hawkes led an interesting life
Expat Brit Jana turned up in Genoa City in August 0f 2006, a random sort of character with an interesting backstory. She had most recently been a nanny in London and was a free-spirited sort, artistic and creative and independent.
Like so independent that while everyone else in town lived in spacious and well-appointed apartments, Jana holed up in a camper by the lake and scootered to work at the Crimson Lights coffeehouse. She was quite the trendsetter, sporting colored streaks and decorations in her hair before it was cool.
In true soap fashion, she and her boss, Kevin Fisher, found they were simpatico and started a relationship. In another soap trope, she stockpiled her own blood so she could stage a disappearance, stage a fake death, and kidnap Colleen so she and her father, Milan, could search for hidden Nazi treasure in the Czech Republic.
As any Y&R fan knows, when there’s treasure and nefarious doings afoot, you can be sure to find Victor Newman in the thick of it. Sure enough, Jana and her dad were in a race against Victor and Brad.
Kevin and Colleen bond during the ensuing shenanigans
Jana locked Kevin and Colleen in a cooler during the Nazi treasure caper, and they fell in love, much to Jana’s distress. She also tried to pin the kidnapping on Kevin, but only because she loved him. Then she disappears. Several months later, she has cyberstalked his computer and shows up telling him she did it all for love, and he forgives her for all her crimes, which happen to include murder.
At the GC police station, Jana suffers a seizure because she’s on a soap and bad characters always have a brain tumor that excuses their wretched choices. She needs brain surgery.
Kevin has decided he loves her more than he hates her, so blackmails his mother into giving him the money for her surgery.
Of course, Jana has already married Kevin in her mind and they have a couple of kids, so why not bankroll the surgery to bring her back to sanity? And by the way, Colleen and Kevin downshift to being besties in support of Jana.
The only problem was, the surgery left Jana devoid of any emotion, and in a desperate attempt to feel something, she slept with Ryan after she bailed him out of jail, and Kevin caught them. After a quick fling Kevin went back to Chloe, Jana kidnapped Lucy and Delia as the beginning of her plot to kill Kevin and Chloe, but the joke was on her–she died of a brain aneurysm before she could shoot either of her intended victims.
Why ‘Young and the Restless’ Fans Love Jana
Y&R fans loved to hate Jana, and would probably keep rooting for her if she were to come back from the dead. This would mean a quick demise at her new gig, the role of Gwen on Days Of Our Lives.
Emily O’Brien, the actor who played Jana and is now Gwen, joined the DOOL cast in 2020. In the years between soaps, O’Brien had roles in a few movies and did some voice-over work. But soap characters never actually die, they just go to a new network.
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