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'This One Hits Hard': Young & Restless's Elizabeth Hendrickson Shares Billy Miller Memories and a Personal Message to the Late Star

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Soap fans were stunned by the news of Billy Miller's death at just 43 years of age that broke on the day that would have marked his 44th birthday. So we can only imagine how devastating it was for those who knew him well, worked closely with him, and loved him. Young & Restless' Elizabeth Hendrickson was all of the above.

Hendrickson and Miller played opposite each other for years as Chloe Mitchell and Billy Abbott on the soap, and together gave what may be the rawest performances of their careers as grief-ravaged parents when their beloved daughter Delia (Sophie Pollono) was killed on screen.

Although they hadn't worked together for some time, Hendrickson and Miller had kept in touch after he left Young & Restless for General Hospital and primetime, and the unexpected news of his death sent her reeling. In her words, "This one hits hard."

The Young & Restless mainstay took to social media to share not only memories of Miller but a message to him as well in her Instagram story. It began with the deeply personal, "We were co-stars, we were friends, we were more than friends. We were complicated at times." She went on to say, "What never changed was my love for you. I'll always love you, Billy (BJ)."

Moving forward in the missive, Hendrickson uses the nickname BJ for Miller as she shared photos of some of their best times together, including at the Daytime Emmys, where she was sporting quite the spray tan. She recalled, "Pretty sure you made fun of my awful tan that hadn't been washed off yet. That was you. But then you'd say something charming and funny to make me forget about punching you. Ahhh, the memories."

Explaining she was "holding [the memories] close to my heart right now," Hendrickson added, "My heart is with everyone you left behind… So many people loved you."

Of their first Emmys together — at which they presented (a bonding experience, we're certain! — Hendrickson said, "We were wild, crazy kids. So much fun."

Noting Miller's penchant for having a good time, Hendrickson reflected, "You always made sure we had a party. You threw the best parties ever. You just wanted everyone to have a good time and be celebrated for all the hard work. That's just who you were."

She remembered that on the occasion of one of his "best" Daytime Emmy wins, he "rented out the penthouses in Vegas," adding, "Typical BJ." Hendrickson was so proud of him that night. His victory "was so deserved."

Taking a more personal turn, Hendrickson recalled the "quieter moments and the soft and beautiful side" of Miller. She reflected that he "always had my back even after everything we went through," noting, "There were still times I wanted to punch you in the face [laughing emoji inserted here], but all in all, if I ever needed anything, I know I could have just called or sent a text."

The Young & Restless star's next words were heartbreakingly simple, "I'm really going to miss you, BJ."

She quipped that she hopes he's "throwing heaven the most epic party and lighting it up like you did on this earth." That thought was accompanied by a photo of Miller hamming it up with a cigar between his teeth and that mega-watt smile.

Hendrickson next remembered what happened right after she got the news. She was at dinner (we can't imagine) and had to leave. She recalled, "When I left dinner after I heard the news, this little blonde boy came running around the corner holding his grandfather's hand. He had light-up cowboy boots. Made me think of you… a sweet Texan boy at heart always." In a heartrending aside, she mused, "I always thought you would have so much fun being a father. So much love to give."

It turns out, he felt the same way about her. Hendrickson shared one of her last text sessions with Miller, in which he told her, "You make a great mom. You are where you should be, and it makes me happy to see. For what that's worth."

We have to thank Hendrickson for sharing such a beautiful glimpse into the Billy Miller that many of his fans didn't get to see behind the scenes. We send her all the love as she processes this difficult loss.

According to a statement from Miller's manager Marnie Sparer, "The actor was struggling with manic depression when he died."

"He is survived by his mother, Patricia, sister Megan, brother-in-law Ronnie, nephew, Grayson and niece, Charley. He also leaves behind a great many friends and colleagues who will miss his warm personality, generous spirit, and genuine kindness."

If you are so inclined, donations in Miller's name can be made to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children at https://scottishriteforchildren.org.

Take a moment, if you'd like, to look through Miller's co-stars' messages and remembrances in the photo gallery below.

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