William "Will" Bardwell was a fictional character on The Young and the Restless, portrayed by Ted Shackelford.
In February 2006, John Abbott finally remembered what happened the night Tom Fisher was shot-- that he, not his daughter Ashley Abbott who pulled the trigger. Determined not to let his daughter take the rap for a crime he committed, John called in District Attorney Will Bardwell and told him everything. Will was suspicious at first, believing that John was merely trying to protect his daughter, but a lie detector test revealed that John was telling the truth. John was sentenced to seven years in prison.
William investigated the death of Carmen Mesta with the help of Detective Maggie Sullivan. D.A. Bardwell came to Michael Baldwin's office to share with Michael all of the evidence the D.A.'s office had gathered. Paul Williams was on hand to inventory the evidence, which included a security tape from Carmen's building. Bardwell told Michael that he believed that Devon Hamilton murdered Carmen, and he added that he had convicted murderers on less evidence.
He then investigated the tainted Glo-Again face cream, which seemed to result in a death.
In June 2006, Jill Abbott decided to join an online dating agency and was shocked to discover that Will was her anonymous date. Will was involved in a love triangle between Jill and Gloria Fisher, whom he met at a grieving spouse support group. Gloria romantically pursued Will. Her interest in him was certainly strengthened by her knowledge that of his inheritance. He also dated Ashley for a time. In the past, William was married to a woman named Miranda Bardwell, a well-known fashion editor. When he slept with Jill in December 2006, it was his first physical relationship since his wife's death several years earlier.
In June 2007, William married Gloria. New evidence arose in the Glo-Again scandal and most of Jabot Cosmetics employees were subject to DNA testing. Soon after, he suspected Gloria was the culprit. She was very hesitant to give a DNA sample for the case.
Gloria was asked to appear as a judge on the reality show Extreme Catwalk, but Jack Abbott found ways to keep her off the show so she would not further sully the Abbott reputation. On the set, Kevin started to walk in on Gloria and Evan Owen having a 'close' moment, but Jill stopped him by saying, "I wouldn't go in there if I were you." Turning away, Kevin tried to bribe someone into giving him a swab of DNA! Just then, Kevin saw Jill leading William to Gloria's dressing area and Kevin called Gloria with a warning! When William entered the area, Gloria ran into his arms, leaving Jill irritated that William didn't catch Gloria and Evan in the act!
The fashion show started with Nigel Barker introducing Gloria and Jill as judges. Falling into their roles, Jill and Gloria gave the contestants some advice until Gloria announced her engagement to William on live TV! After they cut to a break, Gloria told Jill they played their roles perfectly, but Jill was clearly aggravated with her co-host! During another commercial break, William told Gloria the lab technician was there and asks her to go with him to submit her DNA during the break! Seeing Kevin waving to her, Gloria said she needs to go to the bathroom first. After much persuasion, Gloria finally gave her DNA sample. She got her son Kevin Fisher to get a fake sample. Shortly after, with William watching on, as Gloria was pretending to swab her cheek, Kevin handed her a saliva swab from behind and she handed it to the tech! Upon handing her sample over, she performed a sleight of hand trick with her sample, switching it with the fake. Of course, her test came back negative. However, when dining out, William watched Gloria's friend Evan do the same trick. He figured it out and feared for the worst.
At The Club, while meeting with the producer of Extreme Catwalk, William scolded Gloria for not submitting her DNA. Just as she promised to do it in the morning, Evan arrived to watch Gloria's television debut! Just then, Jill arrived for the taping of the show. After introductions with Evan, on his way out, William told Jill, "I think Evan was expecting more from Gloria," leaving Jill with an idea! Seated at a table, Evan told Gloria he wanted more for his help in snagging William for her! Although Gloria said it'd be a while before she had access to William's money, Evan suggested she repay him in jewelry!
When meeting Gloria at The Club, William staged a hug in which his watch got caught in her hair. Pulling the hairs he needed for her DNA sample, he ran the test anonymously. It was positive. He confronted Gloria with the test results and she admitted it. However, during their argument, William suffered a stroke. While William was in hospital, Michael and Kevin were able to get Gloria's test results. An unknown copy, however, remained at the lab, where Detective Sullivan found it. She then took over William's cases and was determined to find out whom was the positive match.
After holding him against his will while she attempted to change his mind about reporting her activities surrounding the face cream, she decided to turn herself in for contaminating the face cream so that Will would stop stressing himself and his condition would improve. Seeing that she truly loved him, William stopped Gloria from turning herself in, but eventually succumbed to his stroke and died anyway. William died on July 18, 2007 of complications of the stroke. Shortly after, Gloria found a letter saying that his uncle's company had recently left $50 million to William, which was then given to Gloria. She decided to use some of the money to throw him a wonderful celebration of his life.
At his wake, his identical twin brother Jeffrey showed up and expressed to Gloria how sorry he was that they didn't spend more time together. Jeffrey schemed to get William's money. Jeffrey presented Gloria with a box of mementos that William sent him before he died. The box contained a jar of the contaminated face cream. Gloria then became convinced that Jeffrey knew of her crime. Gloria played a game of cat-and-mouse with Jeffrey. Their manipulations of each other lead to two marriages and to the two of them falling in love.
- Jeffrey Bardwell (twin brother)