When Rick Hearst's (Matt Clark) character on The Young and the Restless was killed off in May, it looked like the end of the actor's run on the show. The exit was storyline-dictated -- and it was a move that the writers and Hearst's fellow castmates weren't necessarily looking forward to.
Hearst had earned critical praise for his portrayal of the evil Matt Clark and the actor was a fan favorite. So the writers decided to do something new, something that had never been done on Y&R before: the brought back Matt as the figment of another character's imagination.
Now that that character - Tricia McNeil - is slated to leave the show herself, that sort of leaves Hearst once again hanging in the balance.
The soapcentral.com message boards have been crowded with postings about the show's supposed plans to find yet another way to keep Hearst around. One of the most common threads has Hearst returning as Matt's look-alike.
A spokesperson for the show, however, declined to comment on the internet rumors or the status of Hearst's contract with the show.