On Thursday, June 22, “The Young and the Restless” will air a standalone episode filled with classic flashbacks dedicated to the legacy of John Abbott and his portrayer, the late Jerry Douglas.
To help celebrate, the show has cast the late actor’s wife, author and television personality Kym Douglas, to play a woman named “Zelda Wilford,” who is said to share a special connection with the Abbott family.
For more than 30 years, Jerry Douglas portrayed Abbott patriarch John Abbott. The actor passed away on November 9, 2021, just three days shy of celebrating what would have been his 89th birthday – November 12, 2021.
In a statement announcing the actor’s death at the time, then-executive producer Anthony Morina said of Douglas, “Jerry came to ‘Y&R’ in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits. Our show was lucky to have an actor of his caliber join the ‘Y&R’ cast and introduce the audience to the iconic Abbott family. His contribution to the legacy of ‘Y&R’ as Abbott family patriarch, John Abbott is still felt to this day. He will be sorely missed.”
One month before his passing, the actor was joined by on-screen children – Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott), Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) and Beth Maitland (Traci Abbott) – at Maggiano’s Restaurant at The Grove near the Television City studio where the soap opera is taped in order to celebrate the actor’s 89th birthday in advance. Lauralee Bell (Christine Blair) and Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren Fenmore Baldwin) also attended.
Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Douglas graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Brandeis University where he played quarterback for the school’s team on a football scholarship. Upon graduation, Douglas launched his acting career and quickly adapted into the entertainment world as both a screenwriter and a playwright, developing projects with Josh O’Connell through their production company, O’Connell/Douglas Productions.
Jerry Douglas and Kym Douglas were married for nearly 37 years.
“The Young and the Restless” is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.