Eileen Davidson (born on June 15, 1959 in Artesia, California) is an acclaimed Emmy Award-nominated American soap opera actress and former model.
Davidson started her career as a model in Mexico City and California, eventually adding commercials and print work in Europe. Her agent had recommended that she take acting classes to get work in commercials, but she took to acting so well that she was sent out to auditions for acting roles.
She originated the role of Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless in March 1982, beating out more than 100 candidates. The character of Ashley became a front-burner character, and Davidson became an integral part of the show. She quit the show in February 1989 and the producers took her recommendation of hiring a look alike actress named Brenda Epperson Doumani, whom Davidson had discovered at a charity function.
Davidson first tried her hand at primetime television; unfortunately, her show, Broken Badges (1990-1991), flopped. She returned to daytime when she assumed the role of Kelly Capwell on Santa Barbara from May 1991 until the soap's cancellation in January 1993.
She was next offered the role of Kristen Blake on Days of Our Lives in May 1993. As originally conceived, Kristen was a heroine, who had an Achilles' heel in that the show's super villain, Stefano, had raised her after the death of her parents.
Head writer James E. Reilly, who assumed head writing reins in 1993, began to make Kristen more of a villainess. Reilly eventually developed an outrageous second role for Davidson, having her play 'Susan Banks', a Kristen look-alike. Reilly eventually penned three more for her to play (Sister Mary Moira, Thomas, and Penelope).
Davidson enjoyed the challenge, but after playing multiple characters, she decided to take a breather and leave the show. Her character, Kristen, was supposedly killed by Susan, although it was shown later that she left the country, to possibly taunt the citizens of Salem once more. All of the related characters were subsequently written out in April 1998.
After a year-long vacation, she returned to her role on The Young and the Restless in March 1999. In December 2006, Davidson told TV Guide that she was fired from Y&R because of lack of story line. Her last airdate as Ashley was January 11, 2007.
Ken Corday called Eileen Davidson about a week before she was fired from Y&R to get permission to use a picture of her on Days of our Lives. The picture, which featured Davidson as Susan, was shown in December of 2006.
It has been confirmed that Davidson has signed a three year contract with Y&R's sister soap The Bold and the Beautiful. Davidson is once again playing her Y&R character Ashley Abbott. She first aired on March 9, 2007.