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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  1. Joe Petitjean says:

    My prayers go out to u and your loved one’s

  2. Alexcia says:

    She was by far the most lovable hell-raiser in television history. From day to day “Mrs. Chancellor” gave us all so much to talk about. She will always remain a television icon. She can never be replaced and will be greatly missed♥♥♥

  3. lynn says:


  4. Dahlenk says:

    Adieu Sweet Duchess! You will be so missed! But never forgotten!

  5. Janell says:

    I am so sorry. She was a great actress an will truly be missed . May my prayers and thoughts go out to the family. May god bless you on this day.R.I.P Jeanne Cooper.

  6. Freeman Jean says:

    I like sooo many of you , feel like I just lost a family member. Y&R will never be the same.My thoughts and prayers go out to her family on and off screen. RIP. Mrs C

  7. d.johnson says:

    I am very hurt to hear this news i loved her i want to send my prayers to her family and cast at young and the restless she will really be missed.

  8. Very sad to hear the loss . I have watched her play on the Y&R for 40 years my grandmother got me watching when I was just a Kidd. Will sure miss her . Rest in peace.

  9. Hope McDonald says:

    She has been with me all of MY life….. I’m 30 years old and as long as I can remember, I watched as my Grandmother and Mother watched. :o) I’m so sad and sorry for this loss. Yound and the Restless will never be the same. It almost makes me not want to watch it anymore. She made the show. My prayers go out to the family and friends. She was dearly loved and will be missed by millions.

  10. Loretta Gedge says:

    God Bless you all …RIP MRS.C

  11. Max says:

    Rip…….you will be missed!

  12. Lori says:

    Rest in Peace!!! Everyone here will remember you forever. You were a great actress and everyone loved you. Say Hi to my Dad when you get to heaven. Hugs and Kisses and good thoughts go out to your family and friends.

  13. D.ward says:

    There is only one Katherine Chancellor and she should be laid to rest along side Jeanne Cooper. the Young and the Restless will never be the same.

  14. Brenda Oates says:

    Sorry to here of Jeanne passing, she will be missed so much on young and restless,I watched her for years,and felt like I knew her, God Bless RIP jeanne!

  15. Kay Groninger Sampson says:

    Such a fine dignified lady- you will be sorely missed. May you rest in peace.

    Kay Sampson – May 8, 2013 4:40 pm Eastern time

  16. cathleen tabor says:

    cathleen tabor rest in peace i love watching you on the young and the restless my thoughts and praters go out ti the family

  17. Querilous says:

    Jeanne Cooper Restless no more. May you RIP. You will be missed.

  18. Wilma Chavis-Vass says:

    I am very saddened of the news of Jeanne Cooper, she was truly an icon. I am a Y&R faithful fan and she will surely be missed. May God be with her family, and her many fans who morn her passing. God Speed Dutchess!

  19. Diane Vandrei says:

    I was so sadden by the news of her passing. I feel such a great loss as do all the viewers. Jeanne was so wonderful to watch and there will never be another Mrs C. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  20. Londra Graham says:

    Rest in Peace.

  21. Dexter Cason says:

    We all will miss her on the Soaps, I watch her every times she on A big fan.

  22. Yvette Duplechain says:

    Another Angel got her wings. Sadly missed but smiling for all the awesome years. Prayers to your family!

  23. Gerry says:

    May God Be with You Jeanne You Will be Missed.God Bless You Kid’s

  24. Barbara says:

    May you Rest In Peace Jeanne Cooper. You will be missed by everyone who watched the show, you were amazing in that role. May God Bless your Family and Cast, comfort them in their time of need. Our prayers and thoughts go out to you all. Barbara

  25. austintexas1961 says:

    It is indeed a sad, sad day for fans of soaps. My condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.

  26. Rose Long says:

    I will miss her smiling face, always looked forward to seeing her on Y&R, don’t know if I can watch anymore :(

  27. Kat says:

    So sad !! !I was watching when they showed her facelift on the show, thinking how brave !! Ironically, I saw her a day our two ago on a black and white episode of “The Twilight Zone”. It was a episode set in the Old West. She was, then and now, beautiful !! Rest in peace Jeanne, AKA , Mrs. Katherine Chancellor !!

  28. This has not come as a shock to me. I realize she was struggling and declining for some time now. I also really never thought she would actually leave us. Or maybe it was just a hope. She was a strong and gutsy broad as she would say. I have watched her faithfully from day 1 on Y&R . She will be so so missed. So Mrs C you rest now and enjoy your restored Health and we will see you again some Day . Rest in peace Dear Lady… <3

  29. Syrece Williams says:

    Thank u Mrs C for all the years you gave to us. You made us forget our problems and live in your world for 1 hour. I loved you sassy give them hell ways. Someday we will see each other again. Take your rest… To the family we are praying for u.. Remember she is at peace and that is what we all want… Blessings

  30. I am very sad to hear of Jeanne Cooper passing today. I loved her beyond words and watched her all my life on the Young and the Restless. She was fanstastic and will be missed more than I can say. There is only one Katherine Chancellor and those shoes are going to be hard to fill and I hope they do not even try. Rest in peace my sweet Katherine and you will be missed so much by me. You brought so much enjoyment to my life all these years. Thank you for the memories. My condolences to the family and cast of the Young and the Restless.

  31. Linda says:

    So sorry to lose such an icon…I will surely miss watching you daily, but know you are now in a better place..

  32. Sharon Hudson says:

    I was very sorry and sad to hear when I got home from work today that Jeanne Cooper passed away, I had tears and thought how awful is this I had been watching Y&R since I was a teenager back in the 70’s and I truly hope they DO NOT try to replace her cause it isn’t right and No one can be Katherine,Not Michael Learned either. I send my Heartfelt sorrow’s to her Family and her Soap Family & Friends. R.I.P. Jeanne, I will surely always remember and Love you. God Bless You.

  33. Amy says:

    Soap opera legend…she was fantastic. R.I.P., Jeanne Cooper. Condolences to her loved ones.

  34. JoAnn Weiss says:

    My deepest sympathy to Jeanne Cooper’s family. She will be missed by all of her adoring fans who wished they could be just like her. She can never be replaced. Prayers, hugs and love.

  35. natasha says:

    We will miss you miss c I have been watching the y and the r since I can watch tv with my mother R.I.P well all miss you

  36. ashley clapper says:

    She will be missed I loved her she was one of my favorites. The Y&R will never be the same since she won’t be on there. You will be missed and loved but never forgotten jeanne cooper.

  37. Susan Butterfield says:

    I feel like I’ve lost a dear friend…you have been in my home almost every day for 40 years, my aunt introduced us in 1972….you will be dearly missed….

  38. A says:

    Thoughts are with her family. RIP Jeanne.

  39. R.I.P Jeanne you will be deeply missed and may God be with your family and friends. You will never be forgotten.

  40. Gillian says:

    Saddened by the news of Jeanne Cooper’s death. She was a legend, as were Ana Lee, Ruth Warwick, James Mitchell and John Ingle – all greats that are sorely missed on the daytime canvas. Thank you for the years of enjoyment you gave us as Mrs C. God bless & RIP.

  41. Lottie Roy says:

    I was sad to hear that Jeanne passed away today. I Have watched the Y & R for over 35 years, she was the best. I will miss you so much. My prayers go out to the family.

  42. Goodnight Jeanne Cooper…. Mrs. C made such a difference to Daytime TV, Her absence will be felt and noticed on Y&R and to everyone that knew her personally. Her courage to conquer untraveled paths on TVand in real life made a difference all around! Her final scenes are very ironic and fitting with her usual grace and style… Goodnight Catherine Chancellor

  43. Angela Perrett says:

    AS I watched you in Hospital on day time , my heart was hopefull for a recovery but God wanted you more. you will truly missed. Jeanne, you were spunky , love you. Angela

  44. catherine says:

    I grew up with Catherine chanselor on y&r for sure I will.miss her

  45. Barb Williams says:

    This is a sad day!!! RIP Mrs. C!!!! We will miss you terribly!!!! My condolences to the family!!! The Y&R will never be the same!!

  46. tanya says:

    Rest in peace you will be missed dearly.

  47. Cheryl Kozieracki says:

    I feel like I have lost a family member, I am crying I watched her on YR for a long time and
    it is hard to know she is gone God Bless you Jeannie we all will meet in a better place one day . My condolence to her family she will be missed by all .

  48. Andrea R says:

    So sad. I feel like a member of my family has passed. May you rest in peace Jeanne!
    Katherine…..keep them guessing in heaven!

  49. Migdalia says:

    I been watching Y& R since it televised. I will surely miss Mrs. C. My heart goes out to her family and the Y&R family. God Bless may she rest in peace.

  50. moonbunny28 says:

    R.I.P Jeannie Cooper. It’s going to be weird watching The Young And The Restless tomorrow with her still on and when she’s no longer airing anymore.