Michelle Stafford is an actress best known for her role as Phyllis Summers Abbott on the soapie The Young And The Restless, since 2000.
Michelle grew up, and still lives, in Los Angeles, California.
Her father was a lawyer and her mother was an executive at MCA/Universal (Universal Studios). Michelle was very aware of and intrigued by the movie business just by virtue of her mother's vocation but was very intimidated by the thought of becoming an actress.
After high school Michelle found that she had a brain tumour. She ended up having brain surgery and the tumour was found to be benign. The experience changed her life and Michelle found herself to be "profoundly fearless in ways I can't express."
After this experience Michelle had an opportunity to model. She lived in Japan, France and Italy, but it was Italy she adored most. She says, "It brought me out of my conservative shell."
After living in Italy for a year, Michelle discovered a hidden desire to act. She went back to L.A., enrolled in acting classes, got an agent and started auditioning for roles.
Her first job was the teen afternoon soap opera called Tribes. She played the character Frankie. This was a very short-lived show but it gave her a start.
Shortly after Tribes ended Michelle started performing in theatre in Los Angeles. She starred in two plays directed by Academy Award nominated and Tony winner, Charles Durning. She did many commercials during this time and many guest appearances on TV shows.
Michelle's life changed when she was asked to read for the role of Phyllis on the number one US daytime soap The Young and the Restless. She won the role and also the accolades of viewers and critics.
During her first two years of the soap she earned an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress (after two consecutive nominations). She also garnered two consecutive Soap Opera Digest Awards for her acting.
Michelle was offered the role of Joanna in the FOX networks drama Pacific Palisades. After that show was over she guest starred on the Dick Wolf show Players, ABC's Two Guys and a Girl, she guest starred on JAG and Diagnosis Murder on CBS and had a recurring role on Pamela Anderson's syndicated series VIP.
Michelle also worked on Judging Amy and Frasier, and opposite Ashley Judd in the movie Double Jeopardy.
She gives a lot of her time to volunteer work, working with the Citizens Commission for Human Rights and The Hollywood Education and Literacy Project.