In the world of soap operas, it’s not uncommon to have a big star leave the show. After being on the show for years, the actor or actress may be ready to break away from the soap genre. One star who’ll soon be saying goodbye to her show is Melissa Claire Egan. News broke yesterday that The Young and the Restless actress is leaving the beloved soap opera.

The Daytime Emmy nominee joined The Young and the Restless, in 2011, shortly after her departure from All My Children. Egan portrayed the new character of Chelsea Lawson, who, over time, went from supporting actress to lead character. With the recent news about Egan, this leads to speculation about what’s going to happen with her character.

Chelsea's history

The former con artist came to Genoa City claiming to be pregnant by Billy Abbott. When a DNA test proved that Billy was the father, she agreed to let him and his wife Victoria adopt the baby. Chelsea would give birth to a baby boy named Johnny, whom Victoria and Billy raised as their own.

After the birth of Johnny, Chelsea began a relationship with Adam Newman, Victoria’s half-brother. The two married after a whirlwind romance, yet their lives were filled with constant drama. The biggest problem in their marriage was Adam’s devotion to his ex-wife, Sharon. Fed up with Adam’s relationship with Sharon, Chelsea left him. A few weeks later, she discovered she was pregnant. Wanting to keep Adam out of their child’s life, Chelsea lied that Dylan McAvoy was the father. However, Chelsea was forced to reveal the truth when her son Connor was diagnosed with an eye disease.

The crisis with Connor reunited Chelsea and Adam, but they would soon be torn apart once again. When Delia Abbott was run over, it was revealed that Adam was the driver. Billy kidnapped Adam, and then their car crashed into a ravine. Billy managed to escape, but it was believed that Adam died in the explosion.

A few months later it was revealed that Adam was alive and had undergone plastic surgery. Now going by the name of Gabriel Bingham, he returned to Genoa City. He managed to go unrecognized until his true identity was revealed. The hit and run charges were dropped, and Adam reunited with Chelsea and Connor. Yet, the family wouldn’t live happily ever after.

Adam’s father Victor sought revenge against his youngest son and teamed up with Delia’s mother Chloe to carry out his plan. Victor framed Adam for the murder of Constance Bingham and he was sent to prison. Yet Adam managed to escape from prison and made plans with Chelsea to flee the country. However, on the night they were to leave, the cabin exploded killing Adam.

After Adam’s death, Chelsea began a friendship with Adam’s brother Nick. Their friendship soon turned romantic as Nick moved in with Chelsea. Yet, their relationship could be destroyed by a secret they’re keeping.

What's next?

News of Egan’s exit stunned fans because Chelsea is a central character in the show. Viewers were hoping that an Adam return would be imminent so he could reunite with Chelsea, but now it looks like that won’t happen. Plus, there’s still the secret of Christian’s paternity [VIDEO] that she’s keeping from Nick. And she still doesn’t know the truth about Victor’s involvement in Adam’s death. So a lot of loose ends have to be tied up.

As for a recast, no word has been given on whether they’ll replace Egan. But at the moment, it looks like Chelsea is leaving for good. Fans are going to miss Melissa Clarie Egan on The Young and the Restless. However, a talented actress like her won’t have any trouble landing new roles.