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In 2001, Donnelley left again in what was supposed to be a storyline dictated departure, however, the role was later recast with Susan Walters.
Diane has had relationships with business tycoons Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Victor Newman (Eric Braeden).Diane Jenkins is a fictional character from the American CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless.The role was first portrayed by Alex Donnelley, who debuted in 1982.Diane was initially a two-day bit role, but was developed into a long-term character.Donnelley left the role two years later; returning briefly in 1986 before returning to the role fully in 1996.The storyline was also harshly criticized for progressing too slowly, as it was a six-month period before the revelation that Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) murdered Diane in self-defense.
A guest appearance Donnelley made on Simon & Simon attracted the attention of the series' casting department, and she was eventually cast in the intended short-term role of Diane.
The role was later expanded and Donnelley signed a three-year contract. In 1996, Donnelley returned to the role fully, remaining for an additional five years until it was announced that she would exit in a storyline dictated departure during the February sweeps period of 2001.
Diane has a son with Jack, Kyle Abbott (Lachlan Buchanan), who was initially supposed to be Victor's son before his sperm sample was switched.
Donnelley described Diane as "taking herself much too seriously", while Walters criticized the character for existing solely to advance another character's storyline.
Former head writer Maria Arena Bell was heavily criticized for the writing for West; Zap2it said Bell missed an opportunity to focus on Diane's rivalry with Jack.
In 2011, within eight months of joining the cast, West was let go and the character was killed off two months later in a whodunit murder storyline.