After six years in The Young and the Restless, Melissa Claire Egan is calling it a day and confirms she is leaving the daytime soap.
Egan took to social media to make the official announcement and to express her gratitude to the cast, crew, and fans of the CBS soap.
"This isn't goodbye," she promises on her Twitter. "Truly. Just goodbye for now."
— Melissa Claire Egan (@MClaireEgan) January 31, 2018
Egan's parting words gave fans some hope that the actress will return as Chelsea in the future.
For six years, Egan played the mysterious Chelsea Lawson on the CBS soap opera to great success. In 2013 and 2014, the actress received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Chelsea on Y&R.
Actress Goes For Primetime
Days before the official announcement, there were already rumors of Egan's possible departure from The Young and the Restless.
Multiple sources told Daytime Confidential that the actress wants to try looking for roles outside of daytime dramas. She's particularly keen about primetime and film opportunities.
Egan was reportedly inspired to leave after seeing her former co-star Justin Hartley's career peak. Hartley now stars in the primetime hit show This Is Us.
"Missy sees how much success Justin is having with This is Us, and she wants to get out there and see what can happen for her," one of the insiders said.
The Young and the Restless is not Egan's only experience in soaps, previously having played Annie in ABC's All My Children. She also dabbled in primetime with limited appearances in Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill.
Daytime Soaps Deal With Cast Changes
Egan's unexpected departure is not the only cast announcement that shocked soap opera fans.
Just a week ago, sourced confirmed that General Hospital bumped Genie Francis from series regular to recurring status. The daytime veteran has been playing Laura Spencer since 1976, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007.
"She did not want to leave the show as a series regular," her agent Arthur Toretzky told EW. "It was not her choice to leave."
General Hospital reportedly declined her contract extension.
In hopes of changing the showrunners' minds, fans put together a petition to reinstate the iconic actress as a series regular. The petition on Soap Hub already garnered more than 20,000 signatures.
In response, Francis tweeted a message of gratitude to her fans for their support.
I would like to thank all my wonderful fans for their support. It has made me feel so much better. — Genie Francis (@GenieFrancis) January 23, 2018