Jeanne Cooper, Young and the Restless Icon, Dead at 84: 'She Was in Peace and Without Fear'

Jeanne Cooper Dead at 84Daytime-TV grand dame Jeanne Cooper, who played The Young and the Restless‘ Katherine, passed away on Wednesday morning after being hospitalized, off and on since April, for an undisclosed illness.

Cooper’s elder son, actor Corbin Bernsen, shared the sad news on Twitter, saying, “She was in peace and without fear. You all have been incredible in your love. In her name, share it today with others.”

Bernsen just last week updated his mother’s fans via Facebook, upon her latest return to the hospital: “I said goodbye to her [Friday], and even then not fully meaning it or expecting that would be the last time I saw her. But now it will have to do, as we enter this weekend letting her final voyage begin…. I don’t want her in pain. I don’t want her in fear or agony…. So I’m giving her this weekend — take the holiday, Mom, make it yours, let it take you where it will. My final words to her last night were, ‘I’ll see you again.’ And I will, either here or there.”

Best known for her nearly 40-year run on CBS’ Y&R, which launched in 1973, Cooper’s career began in the 1950s with a role in the Western The Redhead from Wyoming. She then launched into a long string of roles on TV anthology series — including ABC’s Crossroads, NBC’s Tales of Wells Fargo and CBS’ Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater — and dramas such as The Adventures of Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Wagon Train and multiple appearances on Perry Mason, The Big Valley and Ironside.

On Y&R, Cooper played high society doyenne Katherine Chancellor (as well as, now and again, her lookalike Marge Cotrooke). The actress famously invited the daytime drama to weave in storylines mirroring her own life, including a mid-1980s facelift (the show used footage from Cooper’s actual procedure) and a recurring bout with alcoholism. The character of Kay also crossed over to sister sudser The Bold and the Beautiful for two episodes in 2005.

Over her career, Cooper amassed 10 Daytime Emmy nominations, winning once in 2008 after earning a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She also netted two Primetime Emmy nods, including for her turn as son Corbin’s L.A. Law mother.

Cooper took a brief medical leave from Y&R in October 2011, at which time her part was temporarily recast with Michael Learned (The Waltons).

The actress is survived by her three children, Corbin, Colin and Caren.

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399 Comments
  1. CathyB says:

    Truly sad to hear the news of Kate Chancellor(Jeanne Cooper) passing. I grew up watching this soap opera with my mother, and til this day I record each episode faithfully and watch every evening. Mrs C is truly an ICON!!! My deepest condolences to her family.

  2. Tenal long says:

    I just heard on my face book god be with everyone at y and r Ms(c)will all be missed god bless her family too

  3. Marcy says:

    So sad to hear this, They’ll never be able to replace her as Katherine.

  4. RIP Jeanne Cooper from Y&R. I really loved her character. The show will definitely be different without Mrs. C. My prayers go out to both her biological and TV family. May God comfort your hearts!

  5. Deeply saddened. I am still crying. So sad. RIP Jeanne Cooper. I miss you so much.

  6. Robert says:

    Sad, but expected news. She was a great actress and a true soap opera legend. YR will never be the same without her. Katherine Chancellor was one of the best. Will really miss seeing her fights with Jill and friendship with Nikki.

  7. tonie joyner says:

    I grew op watching Mrs. Chancellor and have loved Y&R ever since. Rest in peace!

  8. Sharon Kay Dunn says:

    feel as if I’ve lost a friend. prayers for the family

  9. margaret wurth says:

    RIP MRS C

  10. JOY Lynette says:

    Thank you so much for being in my everyday life. I’ve watched you since I was 4 years old. Your work was astounding and you touch my life. I love you I miss you already! You’re a good one! Sympathy and heartfelt love for the family during this difficult time.

  11. Mrs. Geri Hameed says:

    Aweee… crap!!! I sooo loved this lady! She was amazing! Well, my heart is filled with sadness and I pray that God will take good care of this beautiful lady and that her family will be strong and remember all the good times that they had in this life with her…. All my love n hugs :(

  12. MelindaB says:

    R.I.P., Jeanne Cooper. She had a great career, but I’m sure her greatest pride was her family, both biological and the family that she worked with. My condolences to them all.

  13. Darlene Nickson says:

    Rest in Peace Ms.Chancellor,u will be missed greatly,and the Young and the Restless will never be the same without u.We will always love u Ms.C,u in a better place now,RIP Ms.C.

  14. carol clear says:

    I was so sad to read that Jeanne has passed away. Y & R will never be the same without her! She was a classy lady. She will be missed and so loved. I pray for the family so that they can grieve in private. I have watched the Y & R since the beginning. Rest in peace may God be with you always!

  15. Virginia Turner Ashby says:

    Rest in peace Mrs. Cooper. I will miss u so much. I have watched her since 1973 and loved all her scenes and her parts. Please know I will miss her so much. A very sad time. Take care. And know you are in my thoughts.

  16. Mary says:

    RIP Mrs. Copper. My prays go out to your family and friend. I am going to miss you.

  17. Kimberly Rogers says:

    R.I.P. Mrs. C Y&R will never be the same. I too grew up watching this wonderful lady. Its truly a sad sad day. My condolences to her family, she will never be forgotten.

  18. Franny says:

    I was so sorry to hear this very sad news! The other day it was a rumor and now it’s real and I wish it was still a rumor. It all happened so fast. Mrs C. Will be missed. My heart is heavy and prays with her family.

  19. Mary Craft says:

    we all will miss you,we all loved j. cooper, thanks for the wonderful times we shared with the young and the restless,with love mary e. craft.

  20. luann says:

    I’m so Sry to hear about Jeanne, I grew up watching y&r and she was always one of my favorites.. the show won’t b the same without her.. rest in peace my friend..

  21. ChiChi says:

    My sincere condolences to the family. We will miss you!!

  22. Dustin Blake says:

    Rip you will be missed. I’ve been watching y&r for aslong I can remember. My mom watched since it aired. This show is like part of our family. Going to my grandparents farm and all the relatives would be over and nana would turn on y&r. My thoughts go out to the family n friends. Xo

  23. marilyn ramsey says:

    May God be with her family in this time of grief and sorrow. I loved watching her in Y&R and really loved watching her in the movies and t.v. shows she was in. I always thought how pretty she is… As a matter of fact I was watching her in Have Gun – Will Travel when I heard of her passing today….. What a sad thing for us here on earth but a wonderful blessing for all those in Heaven…

  24. Lisa says:

    Wow…I am so saddened by this news…She will be greatly missed by all of her fans for “sure”! I’ve been watching her for “years” and “years”. Won’t be the same without her.

  25. dowell evans says:

    no cant replace Katherine on young and the restless im shocked that she passed my heart goes out to her family

  26. Brad Cooper says:

    I felt like i had found out that my own grandmother had passed when i heard the news.I have been watching Y@R since i was old enough to remember.Will miss seeing her face everyday.My prayers go out to the family and the Y&R family as well…RIP beautiful Mrs.cooper

  27. Jeanne is such abeautiful lady..I am so sorry for your lost. Prayers going out to the family and friends, she will truely be missed.

  28. Iam deeply sadden by the news, of mrs C……I will truly miss her on my fav soap opera Y&R…..Rip in peace Jeanne…..you will truly be missed, but never forgotten…..We Love You!

  29. George Robert Frey says:

    R.I.P. Jeanne Cooper. I have watched over the years Y & R. & i have enjoyed her work She was as good as her character. There will definatly be a tribute to her on the show because nobody will ever play that role again.

  30. Melody says:

    I am sooooo sad! I have watched Y & R since the beginning when I was 12 years old and I feel like I have lost a member of my family! She was one of the biggest reasons why. I am happy you are smiling down from heaven but heartbroken for your family and the many fans that are left without you.

  31. Jeanne was such abeautiful lady. Prayers going out to family and friends. Jeanne will truely be missed. God bless you all.

  32. Vella ellers says:

    Such a gracious,elegant,giving woman!I am honored to have met her though briefly.Her career speaks for itself.She will be deeply missed on y& r

  33. So sad to learn of Jeanne Cooper’s passing. I have been a fan of hers since day one on Y&R and she will be greatly missed. I immediately recalled herr outstanding performance as a woman scorned who looked to alcohol as her crutch and I can still hear her quivering voice singing…….”I’m Going to Live til I Die”…… Here’s to you Jeanne Cooper….for a job well done.

  34. Rosemary says:

    My prayers goes out too the family. I have been watching the young and the restless since 1995.she will be missed

  35. KCC says:

    May she Rest In Peace. And may God comfort her family, friends and loved ones in this time of grief.

  36. dwayne says:

    R.I.P Jeanne Cooper ..YOU Will Be Miss..FROM THE LAND OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO WE LOVE AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU..

  37. Carole Lynn says:

    On informing my husband of her passing he asked- “on T.V. or in real life?”. Although irreplaceable, Jeanne Coopers legacy will be carried on in the reruns of her earlier works and in the hearts of her children and fans. Rest in Peace, Mrs. C- Ms. Cooper.

  38. Debbie Ellis says:

    R.I.P Mrs.C my prayers go out to your family n the Y&R family because they we’re your family as well my heart break for everyone n fan Debbie Ellis

  39. Winnie says:

    I am so excited to see 99 comments on this story [at the time I posted this]! Though she doesn’t need the comments to have her legend status, I think the number of comments within the short time since this story broke demonstrates it well. She is somehow both regal and a “tough broad.” It was nice of Corbin Bernsen to keep giving updates, when he certainly had a lot to think about and we weren’t entitled to the information by any means. While I “got to know” Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor (or as her fictional son, Brock called her, Duchess), I remember seeing her in The Twilight Zone and catching my interest there. Thanks, TVLine, for covering this.

  40. Carol Dabney says:

    Jeanne Cooper will definitely be missed. She was a legend.

  41. Joey says:

    This makes me really sad. I haven’t seen a whole lot of this show (22-year-old male), but I would occasionally watch it with my Grandma, and I was always amazed at how much energy she brought to her part. This show won’t be the same without her. I hope they do the right thing and write her character off in the best way possible, instead of recasting.

  42. Vickie says:

    I’d hear Mom on the phone gossipin’ away full tilt boogie w/one of her buds, titillated in eavesdroppin’ heaven only to discover they were smokin’ up the phone wires dishin’ about Mrs. Chancellor, Jill, Nickie, Jack and that notorius Victor Newman on Y&R! Gah!

    My mom and her “Church Gurlz” galpals will miss you, Jeanne “Mrs. Katherine Chancellor” Cooper. RIP.
    12 minutes ago · Like · 1

  43. Tim says:

    This is very sad. Have watched her on Y&R from day one and she will truly be missed. May you rest in peace.

  44. martygilltyler says:

    I will dearly miss seeing her. A great lady, wonderful actress, rest inpeace Jeanie. My prayers and thoughts go out to her family..

  45. nguber says:

    Reblogged this on iwatch2much and commented:
    Jeanne Copper was everything on Young & The Restless. R.I.P.

  46. brenda hollings says:

    I cry for you out of love and with the deepest condolences. Your mom will be missed by many. I love her soooo much. STAY PRAYERFUL!!!

  47. iberia watley says:

    My heart is broken over Ms. Cooper’s passing. She is a legend and will be missed.

  48. Melissa Ridner says:

    I just heard. So sad. She will be greatly missed. RIH.

  49. stella says:

    RIP Madame Cooper you were the best.

  50. Freeman Jean says:

    I was so sorry to hear abt. Jeanne Cooper passing away. I’ve watched Y& R since the day it started. I can’t imagine it without our Mrs. C !! My thoughts and prayers are with the family on and off screen. RIP