When Jeanne Cooper first stepped into “The Young and the Restless’” Genoa City as Katherine Chancellor back in 1973, soap opera history was made. Written by show creator William J. Bell specifically to convey controversial storylines that would boost weak ratings, Katherine was everything the wealthy wife of Phillip Chancellor II shouldn’t be: a drunk, a heavy smoker and a bit of a slut who had illicit affairs with stable boys. Despite the character’s many problems, fans fell in love with Katherine — as well as the actress who so effortlessly brought her to life.
“She was one of a kind and she held my hand for 35 years. She helped me be a better actor, husband, parent, and friend. My life was so enriched having known her. She was such a loving, kind soul. With Jeanne, there was no judgment, no rules. She loved you for you. She always had time for you and was so gracious with her love. For me, she was a personal giant, an sublime example of how to behave on planet Earth. I will miss her more than I can describe. I will say with certainty, that Heaven just got a hell of a lot more interesting! ….God’s speed, my dear friend. I love you,” said Doug Davidson (Paul Willliams, “The Young and the Restless”) in a statement released to Soap Opera Network.
“She was an absolute joy to work with. We never did a scene without having laughs. After a painful struggle she has finally found peace. I will miss working with her a lot,” said Eric Braeden (Victor Newman, “Y&R”)
News that “The Young and the Restless’” Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) passed away this morning has rocked the entertainment community, and the beloved actress’ colleagues have responded with an outpour of memories, loving words and final farewells via Twitter. Soap Opera Network has rounded up all of the sentiments written so far, which include kind words from her “Y&R” co-stars and beyond.
In a statement released after word spread on the passing of Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless,”), Bradley P. Bell (executive producer, “The Bold and the Beautiful”), the son of the late William J. Bell, who co-created both “Y&R” and “B&B”) with wife Lee Phillip Bell, said, “Jeanne Cooper - A genuine person, gifted performer, good friend to all. Never before and never again. A true artist and legend. She will be missed. My thoughts and my love are with her family.”
In her final words on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” as Katherine Chancellor (aired on Friday, May 3), Jeanne Cooper says to Jess Walton‘s Jill Abbott, “I believe I can manage. Thank you, though,” when Jill asks if Katherine needs help getting up the stairs. Katherine’s final word was “Goodnight” as Jill watched her climb up the steps. Word of Cooper’s final scene came to light courtesy of “Y&R” script editor Brent Boyd on Twitter.
As word of Jeanne Cooper‘s (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”) continues to spread, her family has released the following statement:
“A beacon of light guiding us all toward humanity, humility, and equality has been extinguished but a shimmer of it will always remain as reminder from her to us all of a kinder world that is here for us each to embrace feed and make flourish in a way her truest work has just begun for us to honor her vision and make that her legacy. One of the last great Broads in our business – Jeanne Cooper (84 years old) - Mom – is now stirring up trouble in great beyond.”
“The CBS Daytime family mourns the loss of our matriarch and beloved Jeanne Cooper. Her legacy will live on in our hearts forever,” read CBS Daytime’s tweet after news of Cooper’s (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”) passing spread through social media.
Angelica McDaniel, Senior Vice President, CBS Daytime, added, “Jeanne Cooper was a TV icon who touched millions and will live on in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
In a statement released to Soap Opera Network, Jill Farren Phelps, executive producer of “Y&R,” said, “It is with immeasurable sadness and our deepest condolences to her family, that ‘The Young and the Restless’ mourns the loss of our beloved Jeanne Cooper.”
It is with great sadness to report that Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”) has died. The 84-year old actress, who has been in and out of the hospital in recent weeks, died this morning in her hospital bed with her daughter by her side.
“Mom passed this morning. She was in peace and without fear. U all have been incredible in your love. In her name share it 2 day with others,” said Cooper’s son, Corbin Bernsen, in a message posted on his Twitter page just a short time ago. He later added a longer message to his followers on Facebook (see below).
“RIP Jeanne Cooper (1911-2013) Dead,” read an inappropriate tweet by tweeter @BravoMaxine, which was tweeted to twitter accounts @ebraeden @melodythomassco @victoriarowell. The tweet received a response from Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters, “The Young and the Restless”) who said, “A special lady & great Native American actress.” Thankfully, we can report that Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”), who was actually born in 1928, is very much alive as stated by Eric Braeden (Victor Newman, “Y&R”), “Contrary to some statement, Jeanne Cooper is doing better and sitting with her daughter Caren by her bedside!!”
After being released from the hospital this past weekend, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”) was sadly readmitted on Wednesday. With posts on Facebook, Cooper’s son, Corbin Bernsen, has been keeping friends and fans all around the world up-to-date on his mom’s current condition and things aren’t looking good. The actor said in one of his recent postings, “Please know that I’m not saying my mother’s life has ended, it hasn’t, but no matter how you slice it, she is in the final stages, whether it lasts an hour, day, month or years. I had to say ‘goodbye’ to her tonight ‘just in case’ as I’m traveling tomorrow to Vancouver for ‘Psych.’”