Young & Restless fans questioning why Christian LeBlanc’s Michael Baldwin suddenly left the canvas are finally getting some answers — but not necessarily the ones they were expecting. It turns out the popular actor has been in a private battle with cancer and he’s just now speaking out about the ordeal.
Young & Restless viewers were puzzled when LeBlanc’s hot-shot attorney character, Michael, suddenly left the canvas just as he was needed by his onscreen BFF, Phyllis (Michelle Stafford). The impulsive redhead had just returned to Genoa City after faking her death and desperately required legal assistance as she prepared to face the consequences of her crimes.
Fans were stunned when Heather (Vail Bloom), the ex-love of Phyllis’s son Daniel (Michael Graziadei), turned up and announced that she would be representing her former mother-in-law in lieu of Michael. The explanation given was that Michael had flown off to Singapore where he was helping his mother Gloria (Judith Chapman) out of a jam she’d managed to get herself into overseas. Totally believable, mind you, but odd given that Michael had been very much a part of the Phyllis vs. Diane (Susan Walters) storyline up to that point.
As it turns out, LeBlanc had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, in June. He left the show to undergo treatment.
As frightening as that sounds — and it was — soap fans who love a good twist and a happy ending, will be pleased to hear that LeBlanc’s story, thankfully, has both of those elements.
In a new interview with 4WWL, LeBlanc divulged that not only did he start noticing symptoms in the lead-up to his diagnosis, but eagle-eyed Young & Restless fans did as well.
One of the first signs was that the wedding ring the star wears as Michael fell right off of his finger — he was losing weight. He recalled, “My nose started bleeding on set at some times,” and his left eye “got a little wonky”. Why? There was a tumor in his sinus cavity pressing on his optic nerve. He laughed, “Fans caught it. I was getting people saying, ‘Your eye is a little Jim Carrey that way’.” The actor explained that if he hadn’t gone in for an eye exam it may have progressed more, which would have been unspeakably awful as it’s a “very fast cancer”.
Confessing he’d “never spent a day in the hospital in my 65 years,” LeBlanc confirmed that his treatments were successful, he is in full remission, and eating “like it’s your job” per doctor’s orders as he’d lost 35 lbs in two months.
Conveniently, LeBlanc eating “non-stop” is part of a fundraiser the star is involved with for cancer support in Louisiana hosted by Little Big Cup in Arnaudville. Check out the full interview with the Young & Restless treasure below:
All of us at SOAPS send our love to Christian LeBlanc — we’re so happy to hear he’s in remission and that he’ll be back on our screens as Michael Baldwin when Young & Restless celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday!