In the candid chat, Thomas discussed being raised by her grandmother, who she claims pushed her into stardom at any cost.
According to Thomas, her grandmother allowed men to sexually abuse her in order to further her acting career, which she began at the age of eight. “I think in her naivete,” said Thomas, who talks further about her rough upbringing in her new memoir, Always Young and Restless. “I think she felt that whatever had to happen in order to get ahead in show business would be okay.”
“She would get there and watch -- I would see her doing it with [my] wild eyes [expressing,] ‘Do you see what's happening here? Please save me,’” she continued. “And there would be no saving.”
The soap star said while the situation with her grandmother worsened as she reached her teenage years, she ultimately became stronger from the experience.
“Her behavior got worse and worse and worse, so by the time I was a teenager it was just madness,” Thomas said. “It taught me strength, that's for sure. I knew I had to be strong to survive her and it was not easy, but you learn perseverance.”
That perseverance lead Thomas into a long and successful acting career, spanning almost six decades. In Always Young and Restless, she discusses her professional ups and downs and shares how she was almost cast as Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch back in the day!
“Maureen McCormick and I were friends,” she said. “But I was either too short or too tall. And, that was it with me. I mean, it was very cut and dry. That's it.”
Thomas went on to land a role in another daytime soap -- that of Nikki Newman in The Young and the Restless, which she has now been starring in for 40 years.
The cast is now back to work after being shut down by the coronavirus pandemic for 17 weeks. However, Thomas told ET that the set isn’t as steamy as usual due to health and safety precautions.
“So far, I have not witnessed any love scenes, so I have a feeling they're not going to do any until a little more down the road,” she said.
“That will never happen,” she added, when asked if she might find herself kissing a Victor Newman stand-in doll for Eric Braeden, who plays her screen husband. “There is no stand-in that would look enough like him … not happening!”
Off-screen, there’s still a lot of love for Thomas -- she has been married to The Bold and Beautiful supervising producer, Ed Scott, for 34 years. “We're still married. We're still happy,” she said.