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Michelle Stafford leaving ‘General Hospital,’ returning to ‘Young and the Restless’

Michelle Stafford attends the 2018 Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 29, 2018 in Pasadena, Calif. David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Soap fans are reeling over some big moves from actress Michelle Stafford, who has left General Hospital and will return to The Young and the Restless to reprise the role of Phyllis Summers Abbott.

Stafford, 53, originated the role of Phyllis on Y&R, playing the character for 16 years before leaving the show in 2013.

According to a report from Daytime Confidential, Stafford’s contract with GH was up, and while contract negotiations went “down to the wire” the two sides “just couldn’t make a deal.”

READ MORE: Eileen Davidson exiting ‘Young And The Restless’ once again

Learning that Stafford was now free from her contract, Y&R reportedly jumped at the opportunity to bring her back as Phyllis, and offered her a deal to return.

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Stafford rejoining Y&R, however, is bad news for Gina Tognoni, who has portrayed Phyllis since 2014.

“Sources reveal Tognoni has been let go at Y&R,” reports Daytime Confidential.

Tognoni confirmed her Y&R exit in an Instagram post, declaring that she’s “beyond grateful for the creative experience” that the show has provided her.

With Stafford no longer playing Nina Reeves on the show, her onscreen love interest is understandably not thrilled with her departure from GH.

“I’ve never wanted so much to believe in ‘fake news,’” wrote James Patrick Stuart, who plays Valentin Cassadine, upon learning of her exit.

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READ MORE: ‘Young & the Restless’ cast ‘devastated’ by Kristoff St. John’s death

No word yet on when fans can expect to see Stafford’s return to Genoa City.

‘The Young and the Restless’ airs weekdays at 4:30 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Global.

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