On Tuesday, May 28, CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” will air a special tribute episode honoring the life of the late Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor). Cast members, friends and family of the beloved actress will gather on set next week to shoot a celebration of the life of Cooper, who passed away this week at the age of 84. Cooper, who portrayed Katherine Chancellor for more than 39 years, was the show’s longest-running cast member.
“Jeanne Cooper was one of a kind. No one who has ever known her would disagree with that statement. Her life force and energy were legendary. Many a time I marveled as she outlasted the rest of us on late night shoots. She was a moving, inventive, and powerful actress. She was a loving mother and grandmother. She was part warrior, part rabble rouser, part truck driver and part Diva, all wrapped up in one Great Lady. Most of all, to me, she was my friend and I loved her. For the last 26 years, hers was the face I most wanted to see when I came to work. Hers was the energy I most wanted to bounce off of on stage. Hers was the voice that kept me in stitches . And because of all that, hers is the presence I will never in my life forget,” said Jess Walton (Jill Abbott, “The Young and the Restless”) in a statement released to Soap Opera Network on the passing of co-star Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor).
As a tribute to Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless), who died today, MeTV will feature episodes of “Bonanza” and “The Big Valley” in which she guest starred tomorrow, Thursday, May 9 from 2:00- 4:00pm.
On today’s episode of CBS Daytime’s “The Talk,” the co-hosts paid tribute to the life of Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”), who passed this morning with her daughter by her side. Sheryl Underwood, a longtime fan of “Y&R,” was working to hold back her tears while Julie Chen spoke the beautiful words in celebration of Cooper’s life.
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.”