'Young and the Restless': Jeanne Cooper's on leave, so her stand-in is ... EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: Brian Putnam/FilmMagic.com; Monty Brinton/CBS

Katherine Chancellor is going to look a little different in the coming weeks. EW has learned exclusively that Michael Learned — best known for her Emmy-winning role on The Waltons — will fill in for veteran actor Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) on a temporary basis.

Cooper needed time off for medical reasons — rest assured, she’s okay — but the producers needed to continue her storyline so Learned will pick up the slack until the veteran soap star can resume taping in November. Cooper, who turns 83 on Oct. 25, has played Katherine for 38 years.

“Michael Learned is an accomplished actress and we are grateful that she is able to fill in for Jeanne Cooper for this short time,” said Executive Producer and Head Writer Maria Arena Bell in a statement. “Jeanne is an integral part of our show and we look forward to her imminent return.  We have great storyline coming up for Mrs. Chancellor.”

Learned, whose first day of taping is Wednesday, will appear on the CBS sudser beginning Nov. 10. She’s no stranger to the daytime scene: Just last year, she appeared on General Hospital, and before that, One Life to Live and All My Children.

Comments (284 total) Add your comment
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  • Jessica

    There is only one person who can really be Katherine Chancellor! I hope she’s okay!

    • CJ

      They should’ve pulled a “Joan Crawford” and stuck Corbin Bernsen in a dress to play the role.

      • Lisa

        LOVE this! LOL!!

      • VickyE

        My thoughts exactly!

      • cregis

        Great comment, I remember when Joan filled in for Christina , wasn’t it Guiding Light? Anyway, that was bizaar.

      • Linda

        Fabulous and funny idea!

      • Robert

        It was Another World, I think.

    • DJ

      Agreed! No one!

    • Cindy

      Jeanne looks wonderful for @83 and I hope she recovers quickly. I agree she is one of a kind!!!

      • Mac

        I’m hoping she’s just taken a plastic surgery break, she’s had a few over the years (one was worked into her storyline). Praying it’s nothing serious, we all love her around here.

      • Mary N. Groemm

        I have been watching this show since the age of 10. Now I am 48 and a Grandma… I do wish Jeanne well and can’t wait for her return…Very much missed… Hugs from across the miles who also is a loyal viewer of The Young & The Restless. ~Mary

      • kgb

        She’s one of the ugliest 83 year old women I have ever seen. To each his own.

    • lucreasesanders

      please let me know how jeanne cooper on the young and the restlessis doing.

    • conk

      Amen, sister!

    • Judy

      I agree completely with Jessica and others, she could never be replaced. Hoping she will return sooner than later!

      • Dottie

        Hurry back, beautiful Lady! May God watch over you. Dz

    • belinda

      I so miss jeanne cooper! She is the only one who can play the role of Katherine. I’ve enjoyed since the 1st episode! I’m sending prayers her way and gope for her return soon! Its just not the same!!!

      • moi47

        moi47 i have also watched y&r since day 1. loved the chemistry between her n the original jill. complete hatred lol. when i see michael learner, i keep waiting 4 her 2 say “good nite john boy” lol

    • anita word

      There is no one that can take Jeanne Cooper’s place as Mrs Chancellor on Y & R but Michael Learned is a great actress >she can fill her shoes for a bit, but I certainly hope Jeanne gets well soon, but plenty of rest and healing before her return.. She is greatly missed in the show.. She is quite a vibrant character , and loved by all her fans!

    • Carla

      we want our beloved Catherine back! Please be ok.
      Michael Learned is a great actress but after so many years a change is hard to swallow!

    • DJ


    • Arlene

      when will katherine be coming back
      it’s not the same with her gone

    • deaconlady

      I am so glad that jeanne cooper is ok, she is such a classy lady and that role she play fits the role that she really is, hurry back jeanne no one can play catherine temp or full time, I have nothing against ms. learned but it is not the same even for a short time, we miss you and hope that you get the needed rest.

    • johnna

      I can Honestly say that you have not given Micheal the best look she has ever had!!! She is doing a GREAT job filling Kay’s spot!! I am soooo sure she is as BEAUTIFUL now as she was as our mom on the mountain!!!!

  • lisa g.


  • jfms777

    If they had to (temporarily) replace her, they got a really fine, multiple-Emmy awardwinning actress. Smart choice.

    • Eliza

      Why would they have to replace her? They write around characters all the time.Storylines stop and start all the time too.

      This is crazy, I can’t believe MAB is using JC’s illness as an opportunity to do more of her stunt-casting! How about waiting until JC gets better?

      • SueN

        The scripts were already written some time ago. They can’t go back and do complete rewrites for weeks of shows.

      • Eliza

        They don’t have to re-write weeks of the show, they have quite a few s/l’s without her in it they can continue on with. They have over a week to modify and/or push back Kay’s part in her s/l,. They can have other characters Kay associates pinch hit for her. Very do-able they just don’t want to do it.

      • Rob


        I totally understand where your coming from but those days on daytime soaps are long gone. What your talking about would amount to large amounts of money that the soaps just don’t have, even Y&R. Didn’t Melody Thomas Scott find herself written out after she used up her contracted number of days…if she would have gone over that, the show would have been paying more money to Scott that just wasn’t budgeted. Also, soaps are shot so quickly now that there isn’t even time to rehearse. I applaud Y&R for keeping Jeanne Cooper so active in its storylines and not just window dressing. I applaud Jeanne even more for wanting to continue to do it. Get well soon Jeanne!

      • Country Girl

        For starters it’s not known how serious her illness is.
        If she can’t or doesn’t return they have an excellent replacement in Ms Learned. I wish LC the best and
        hope she does return soon. But you can’y just stop
        the show. As they say the show must go on!!

    • Job

      nce choice , ML is always a pleasure to watch …and others will look good playing opposite her as she ‘s a team player …and what a cool role for her ..How different is Katherine chancellor from Ma Walton and many of her other roles? It will nice to see her glammed up …

  • CooleyAnnmarie

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    • Cooley sucked me

      Your roommate’s mother-in-law is doing web porn and she’s only making $87 an hour? Damn, she isn’t very good, is she?

    • taye

      Cooley Annmarie are u serious that makecash4.comlet me know works

    • s

      Who cares!!! Maybe u should find some filthy web site to post ur crap!!!

    • Gina


  • Angel

    I hope Jeanne makes a speedy recovery!

  • Flip

    Perhaps it’s time for Jeanne to retire. Kay has become such a horrid shrew in the past couple of years, I can’t even stomach watching her anymore.

    • Tom

      I agree. I think there are a lot of Kay fans who would agree with us. I would rather Jeanne/Kay go out with some dignity, on top, rather than the bitter shrew Kay has become.

      • Deb

        SSSooo don’t…we could care less!

    • bootsycolumbia

      I agree, reluctantly. I love Jeanne Cooper and I used to love Katherine Chancellor. But the way she used Devon to get at her son just really pissed me off, and her friendship with Victor is pissing me off too. I hate the way she’s become so manipulative lately. I hope the writers soften her up a bit.

    • Mac

      She’s going to change shortly. Son came to see her today, with an eye toward mending fences – his “shrink’s” suggestion. Looking for things to get better because they both want what’s best for Devon.
      Katherine will probably come back a softer, gentler person (with a new facelift). Keep hope alive!!!

    • Roxy

      What is wrong with you? She needs to be a little nicer, but she is a strong character for the show.

  • jack

    my sisters friend makes $59 every hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her income was $6626 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here CashHãrd.cøm

    • Diane

      YOU are a LIAR

    • Gina


  • Simon

    I bet Katherine Chancellor is gonna look different when Jeanne Cooper comes back to the role too. Hello facelift!

    • Flip

      She’s had two already! Can she truly have another one??

      • Sammie Jo

        sure, some have multiple surgeries.
        I think one of hers was just a skin peel, that might be the case this time.

      • CJ

        The joke used to be”if she has one more facelift, she’ll have a beard!”

    • Manny

      BOOB JOB?

    • Brian

      I’m old enough to remember when she had her first facelift and the show filmed her actual surgery and wrote it into the show and aired it.Back then it caused quite a sensation…..

      • Rosemary

        I’ve missed her.alto they picked a good actress to play in her,while she has taken time off. I don’t think she could take Jean Cooper’s place. She is one of a kind. No more then you could get Mrs Chancellor to play Lib on the waltons!! Both are irreplaceable!!”can’t wait for the real Mrs C to come home, your loved and very much missed!! Erin needs her mother! We love you too!

      • Becky

        Her facelift was groundbreaking daytime television. What a brave lady!

        I watched an old Ponderosa the other day and she was on it along with Gina Rowland. Young and Beautiful, the both of them!

    • Linda

      I remember when she had her 1st facelift and it was featured on the show. That was in 1984 or ’85. Why do I remember? Because it gave me the courage to get my 1st facelift in May of 1985. Jeanne is 20 years older than I and I figured if she could do it and live so could I!

    • Reba

      You are right; she has done it before!!! No harm in trying to look your BEST!!!

    • Tomas


  • DJ

    Um, if Cooper needs to leave for a short time then so should Katherine. Only one lady can play that role. Period. End of sentence.

    • Linda

      I agree!

    • lou hoak

      Get well soon Jeanne I truly miss your character, you can not be replaced even by a walton, and she is an excellant actress as well, perhaps a little moonshine from the walton mtn can get ya back in shape, no pun intended, just wanted to say cant wait to see you back on the show….god bless

    • Country Girl

      You can’t stop the storyline in mid air and expect all the fans to understand. These actors are getting paid to act not sit on the sideline and wait for an actress that is sick to come back. I love JC and wish her well. But i also love ML and should there have to be a replacement she would be the one to go with. Get will Miss JC you are truly missed…ML thanks for doing a fine job for JC. I don’t want JC to quit she will know when her time is uo to say so long…Let’s leave that subject alone.

    • lucy

      I totally agree! There’s no one that can take her place! She is one of a kind! <3

  • Steve

    I agree that they shouldn’t recast. These characters are billionaires, but they are always at home. Why can’t a subsidiary of Chancellor Industries in Europe need her attention so the character goes overseas for awhile? Is that so hard? They have a huge cast that quick rewrites should be doable giving other stories a chance to flourish.

    • Country Girl

      I agree i don’t want a recast either. I love JC as KC.
      But life happens and if she doesn’t recover the show has to do what they think best. Having her go overseas for work stops the storyline dead in it’s tracks. This story line with Tucker and Devon is happening now. I want to know why Murphy isn’t shown more often. I love him for Ms C.

  • Barack Palin

    Much as I love Michael Learned Jeanne Cooper is so iconic in the role of Katherine Chancellor that it seems like a travesty to have someone else playing her. They should have Katherine go out of town until Miss Cooper can return.

    • howie

      i agree to that niki was gone for awhile they didnt replace here Jeanne is the only one that can play the part she mad the y&r!! GET WELL SOON!!
      we miss ya

  • gigi

    This should be interesting. Michael Learned is a wonderful actress and I also enjoy her playing the eccentric jewlery designer on General Hospital. I’m sure she’ll do great. I hope Ms. Cooper recovers soon.

  • amy

    Agree! No one should play Katherine but Jeanne! They never had anyone take over for Susan Lucci! It’s just stupid and wrong!!!

    • Diane

      Well you certainly cant compare susan lucci to Jeanne Cooper. Jeanne is a fantastic actress. But Susan Lucci is HORRIBLE. SHe’s a PUKEY actress.

  • Cindy

    I love Jeanne Cooper! I can’t fathom anyone else playing the role of Katherine Chancellor. That role is hers and should be hers alone. Why cant they write her a rehab stint like they do for everyone else? Hurry back Duchess!!!

  • Karen

    Get well fast Jeanne! And I agree, No one should stand in for her. PERIOD!! And for all of you complaining about Katherine, REMEMBER, It’s the HORRIBLE writers making her this way! Ever since Maria Bell took over alot of our favorites have gone to hell!

    • DJ

      Yea Y&R hasn’t been all that great since about 2008.

    • Penn

      That is what I’ve been thinking, too…this Y&R barely resembles the great show it used to be.

    • JJ

      Totally agree. The writing has gone from great to stupid.

      • kay ross

        I so agree that no one can take Jeanne Coopers place and I am a little worried that she might not be back. Also, The writing has gone down hill and not stayed true to the characters. However, I love Victor, he can do no wrong!!!

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