Michelle Stafford

Kevin Winter/ACMA2013/Getty Images

A fan favorite is leaving Genoa City behind.

Michelle Stafford is leaving the long-running CBS soap The Young and the Restless after 16 years, a source close to the show exclusively tells E! News.

Stafford's exit follows the recent passing of beloved Young and the Restless star Jeanne Cooper, whom the show will pay tribute to with a special on Tuesday, May 28.

Nominated 10 times for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series category, Stafford took home the award in 2004. She also won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1997.

Stafford played fan favorite Phyllis Summers on The Young and the Restless. After joining  the show in 1994, she left in 1997 before returning in 2000. (Her role was taken over by Sandra Nelson.)

Are you sad to see Stafford leave? Sound off in the comments!

PHOTOS: From Soap stars to superstars!

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