Interview With 'The Young and the Restless' Star Tracey Bregman

Everything You Need to Know

Tracey Bregman
CBS

Tracey E. Bregman has made a name for herself as department store heiress Lauren Fenmore on "The Young and the Restless." She first played the role—for which she won a Daytime Emmy in 1984—from 1983 through 1995, returning in 2001. She is still there in 2018.

Born in Munich, Germany, Bregman lived in London, England, until the age of 10 before relocating to Southern California. She studied acting with Francis Lederer at American National Academy of Theater Arts and at the Lee Strasberg Institute and currently studies with Gene Bua and Ivana Chubbuck.

Bregman launched her acting career as Donna Temple Craig on "Days of Our Lives." Other credits include the afterschool special "The Girl with E.S.P.," the television movies "Three on a Date" and "Sex and Mrs. X" and the 2017 movie "Misogynist." In addition, she was a series regular on "Second Family Tree" with Ann Archer and James Spader and guest-starred on the TV series "The Fall Guy," "Gavilan," "Fame," and "The Love Boat."

Bregman also has co-written the children's book "When I Dream..." with Toni Bull Bua.

The actress revealed oodles of details about her life, including from her childhood, teen years, and first big break to her love of her horses and pets, in this exclusive interview.

Q: Did you have a nickname growing up?

A: I had several nicknames, actually. My mom used to call me "Mugwump." Actually, I don't know where she got it from. It's [American] Indian. It translates to "leader of the tribe." And all my dance friends used to call me "Galaxy." When I was a teenager and I was dancing, I was part of this dance group. They all called me "Galaxy."

Q: What were you like in high school?

A: It's very funny, because I went to an event with my dear friend Gina Rugolo-Judd, who is an actress/manager, and someone asked that same question. She started telling a story and I was like, "Oh, my God. I am never going to live this down." We went to a girls' school. I've known her from seventh grade. I moved here from the U.K. in the middle of the fifth grade. In seventh grade, I went to Westlake School for Girls, which is now Harbor-Westlake.

Because I had just come from England and I spent my entire life in uniform—to this day I have a problem wearing grey and white—it was all I wore. Instead of just having a skirt option on the uniform, they had pants. I was the only one in school that wore the pants. Because I had just come from England, I used to wear these scarves that were sort of like an ascot. I don't know how my mother let me go to school that way. My English accent was leaving.

So she was telling the story. I was very proper for my English upbringing. I always felt like I was on the edge of the two groups. I was part of the popular girls' clique but never felt like I was 100 percent in it. I also had one foot in the nerd group.

Q: What are your favorite books, movies, and song?

A: [Books include] "Beach Music" from Pat Conroy [and] "The Eighty-Dollar Champion." [Favorite movies are] "When Harry Met Sally" [and] "Terms of Endearment," [and favorite song is] "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.

Q: Who are your favorite actors and actresses?

A: I love John Cusack and Leonardo DiCaprio. Then, I love Sandra Bullock.

Q: What is your favorite workout?

A: Riding my horse. And I do Pilates.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: Dressage and hiking. I ride my horse five to six days a week.

Q: What are your favorite charities?

A: I donate a lot to very diverse companies: Operation Smile, March to the Top. A lot of animal charities as well.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Pizza. My favorite is a gluten-free crust at Spruzzo's. That's a little restaurant out by us [in Malibu] that has the best gluten-free pizza ever.

Q: Before you became an actress, did you have any odd jobs? 

A: I've been working since I was 11, but during the actor's strike, I did retail. Oh, my. God. It was standing eight hours a day that I find unbelievable. I have true respect for people in retail. I worked at Shannon's. My friend is Marvin Shannon. He was friends with my parents and he had a store in Westwood. I think I was horrible. I'm pretty sure I was horrible, but he was nice because he knew my family.

Q: What was your first big break? 

A: "Days of our Lives" when I was 14.

Q: Do you have any tattoos? 

A: I can tell you what it is; I just can't tell you where it is. It's a very small, flying angel holding a red heart. I got it for my 30th birthday. I thought it was very radical.

Q: What is your favorite storyline for Lauren?

A: I think the coming together of Michael and Lauren, especially with the infatuation from Kevin. The love story of Michael and Lauren, realizing they were the ones that were in love, while they were trying to help his brother, I thought was beautifully, beautifully written. I really loved it.

Q: What are you afraid of?

A: I am afraid of small planes. My father [producer Buddy Bregman] was supposed to be on the plane with Mike Todd. He got a phone call literally as he was walking out the door that saved his life.

Q: What makes you smile?

A: My kids, my animals, and my boyfriend. That kind of is a funny order. I probably should say my kids, my boyfriend, and my animals. Sorry. (laughs)

Q: When was your first kiss?

A: My first kiss was on camera on "Days of our Lives." It was so embarrassing. I had to do my first kiss when I was 15. He was over 18 and he was a smoker. I thought I was going to die. My character Donna got pregnant. We ran away. We were on a motorcycle. It was right around that fake musical show that we did. We were raising money for a CAT scan.

Q: What is your favorite article of clothing?

A: I know exactly what to tell you. It's my leather jacket. It's been to every destination.

Q: Do you have any pets? 

A: I have four dogs. I have four chickens and I have a horse. I live on a little ranch. I actually have animal stalls enough for about 75 animals, but I will not be filling them.

Q: Do you have a favorite motto or quote?

A: "If you cannot be kind, at least have the decency to be vague." It's a sign I have in my dressing room.