Jeanne Cooper, who played matriarch Katherine Chancellor on CBS’ hit soap The Young and the Restless, has died. She was 84.
Cooper, who has starred in the daytime series since its first year in 1973, had been in and out of a Los Angeles hospital recently due to an undisclosed illness. Her actor/son Corbin Bernsen had been informing fans of her condition via Facebook, where he confirmed her death today. “My mother passed away this morning just a short time ago, peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep. I was going to visit this afternoon, thought I had time. Reminder to self – time is a precious thing. I too am at peace however. I said my goodbyes several times over during the last few weeks.
“I’ll go one last time now for a gentle kiss a final farewell for this lifetime,” he continued. “She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision… won! And while her light finally gave into the wind that gives flight to all our journeys, there will always be a glimmer left behind by what she stood for. I will speak about that more in coming days, months I suppose. I will certainly dedicate what remains of my life to continue her purpose of honesty, equality, humility, empathy and love.”
No cause of death was revealed.
It’s unclear for now how the CBS soap will address Cooper’s passing. The series is currently six weeks ahead of schedule and her storyline recently involved her character successfully undergoing surgery for a brain tumor.
“Jeanne Cooper will be remembered as a daytime television legend and as a friend who will truly be missed by all of us here at the Network,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, in a statement. “She was the longest-running cast member on daytime’s No. 1 show, bringing indelible charm, class and talent to every episode. On behalf of everyone at CBS, we send our condolences to Jeanne’s family, as well as the legions of fans she has amassed during her record 39 years on The Young and The Restless, and throughout her career.”
President Steve Mosko of Sony Pictures TV, which produces the soap for CBS, also released this statement: “Jeanne Cooper was a legend in daytime and a beloved member of our Y&R family. She touched the lives of millions, who watched her every day over the past 40 years. We send our sincerest condolences to her family as we also celebrate her wonderful life.”
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