Bryton James is getting ready to celebrate a huge milestone. The 34-year-old actor is commemorating his 17-year anniversary on “The Young and the Restless.” James joined the cast of the CBS soap opera in 2004 in the role of Devon Hamilton. Since then fans have watched him go from a supporting player to one of the show’s leading men.
What some fans may not know is that prior to becoming a soap opera actor, James was a child star. In fact, he was part of one of ABC’s most popular Friday Night programs.
Richie On ‘Family Matters’
Since the age of two, Bryton has been in the entertainment industry. He started off as a model with magazine ads and a few commercials. At the age of four, he got his big break when he was cast as Richie Crawford on the ABC comedy “Family Matters.”
Bryton’s character was the son of Rachel Crawford. Richie stole the show with his cuteness, and often found himself getting into mischief with neighbor Steve Urkel. After actress Telma Hopkins left the series her character Rachel was written off, but Richie remained part of the show until its series finale in 1998.
Recently, James had an on-screen reunion with his former TV mom. Hopkins guest-starred on an episode of “The Young and the Restless” playing a private investigator who helps his character. It was James himself who pitched the idea of having Hopkins, a longtime fan of the soap, in a storyline. The duo had so much fun with their reunion and hope to work together on more Y&R episodes.
‘The Young And The Restless’ Newcomer
Nearly six years after “Family Matters” went off the air, James traded in primetime for daytime. In June 2004 he was cast as Devon Hamilton on “The Young and the Restless.” When Devon’s first introduced, he’s a homeless teenager who’s taken in by Neil and Drucilla Winters.
Becoming part of one of the show’s core families was a huge moment for Bryton and his character. Throughout the years, viewers have watched him and his character grow into an integral part of the soap opera. From the moment he was cast in the role, Bryton was determined to give it his all. “I immediately just wanted to get better every day and do the best I could to add to the show,” the actor explained.
Bryton has earned praise and two Daytime Emmys for his role. This year he received another Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Viewers will have to tune into the June 25th broadcast to see if James takes home the gold.
The character of Devon has been through plenty of ups and downs throughout his 17 years on the show. Early in his run, Devon had to deal with growing up in foster care along with losing his hearing. Devon also received a blast from his past when his troublesome mother Yolanda comes to town, and he discovers he has a younger sister named Ana.
Devon’s family tree would be a big part of Y&R. Years later, he learned that his biological father was Tucker McCall, which made him Devon Katherine Chancellor’s grandson. Soon tragedy would strike Devon’s family. First, his adoptive mother Drucilla was presumed dead after falling off a cliff. Then his grandmother Katherine died, leaving the bulk of $2 billion dollar estate to him. In 2019, tragedy would once again strike the Winters family when patriarch Neil passed away.
Aside from heartache with his family, Devon’s love life doesn’t fare well either. His wife Hilary Curtis is injured in a car wreck, which causes her to suffer a miscarriage. Hilary would later die from the injuries she sustained.
After mourning Hilary’s death, Devon slowly moves on and begins a relationship with Elena Dawson. However, their romance is plagued by drama including the appearance of Hilary’s long-lost twin Amanda Sinclair, with whom Devon forms a connection.
Bryton’s Personal Life
James’ personal life isn’t quite as dramatic as his Y&R character. The actor divorced his wife Ashley Leisinger in 2014 after three years of marriage. James found love again with his Y&R co-star Brytni Sarpy, who also plays his love interest on the show. The two have been together since May 2019, and occasionally share photos on Instagram.
Bryton shares a close bond with his co-stars, especially Christel Khalil, who plays his sister Lily. The two are good friends, and Bryton is the godfather of her 11-year-old son. James also shared to tight bond with his on-screen dad, the late Kristoff St. John. After St. John’s passing in February 2019, James posted a heartfelt tribute to his mentor, “As one of the lucky people to have experienced Kristoff’s spirit, love & talent first hand… I can only say thank you for loving me, guiding me, protecting me.”