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

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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.

Comments (396)

  • R.I.P. Ms. Cooper/Ms. Chancellor. What a legacy you’ve left us.

    Comment by Cheryl Wright – May 8, 2013 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My heart goes out to Jeanne’s children, her Y&R family and her many fans. I am not a regular viewer of the show, but I remember her from when I watched with my great-aunt on summer breaks from school. As a daytime fan, I know there is no one in the current roster of soap actresses that can hold a candle to this legend. She wil live on in the hearts of soap fans everywhere. May she rest in peace.

    Comment by aeromel78 – May 8, 2013 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No one can replace Mrs. C. She was one of a kind. To her children May comfort come by knowing that she was love by her fans and she will be miss.

    Comment by Bessie Graves – May 8, 2013 03:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sad. YR will never be the same. Prayers to her family and friends. I hope she is at peace

    Comment by Amber – May 8, 2013 04:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My prayers are with the Bersen siblims. I have been a faithful fan of Y&R since the beginning. May your Mother rest in eternal peace and rest assure THIS MOTHER’S Day as future celebration of Mother’s Day her sweet Spirit is WITH YOU as always, until SHE WELCOME YOU HOME..

    Comment by Louise Miles – May 8, 2013 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Will be missed! RIP to a hero in soap operas!

    Comment by Bbarbara – May 8, 2013 04:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TO THE FAMILY OF JEANNE . i AM SO SORRY FOR the loss she was an inspiration to day time televishion and will sertinlly be missed.I don,t know another day time actress that was so amazing . I say ynr will never ever replace her,. She was a rock and a gem You cannever replace her.I loved her as an actress.

    Comment by sharon wallace – May 8, 2013 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tears …..RIP Mrs C

    Comment by Freisha J – May 8, 2013 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Deepest sympathies to her family .The story will never be the same R.I.P.Katherin.

    Comment by Barbara Disotell – May 8, 2013 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • RIP Ms. Cooper. I grew up watching you with my Mom. You will be terribly missed and not ever easily replaced on Y&R. You will never be forgotten. Loving thoughts and prayers of peace in your heart to the family.

    Comment by Shannon L Marker-Heinle – May 8, 2013 04:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So, So Sad & So very saddened to here about Mrs. C Jeanne Cooper’s passing. My thoughts & prays are with her family & her Y & R. I never met her in person but, I feel in some way she was part of my family. R.I.P. till I meet you one day the best place of all.
    No more worry, pain, or fight to stay here.

    Comment by Wanda – May 8, 2013 04:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You will be sadly missed MRS. C. R.I.P. Y ou are and always will be a daytime Icon. The Y&R will never be the same without you. You will be in our hearts forever.

    Comment by Cheryl Greaf Battles – May 8, 2013 04:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just heard the news, and I am so sorry for your loss,family and friends. She was one of the main reasons I watched Y&R all these years. So many I have loved left me within the last few years, and now Mrs. C. R.I.P. Jeanne, and I pray God comforts your family. I also hope they will do something special in honor of all her years on the show. Am so sad right now, but know she suffers no more, so I will be ok, and if you believe that, you will be too. God bless you all.

    Comment by Maria – May 8, 2013 04:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am so sorry for the loss of such a lovely actress. I have watched her since 1975. I will remember her in my paryers.

    Comment by Donna Strach – May 8, 2013 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She was a hoot. Loved her. RIP!

    Comment by GeoDiva – May 8, 2013 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeanne Cooper will be missed by all who knew her I never got to meet her but watched her for 30 years(since the beginning of Y/R) It won’t’ be the same watching Y/R and not seeing her she was a class act. My thoughts and prayers goes to her family, friends and her fans Jeanne you will be missed. God Bless Barb from Minnesota

    Comment by Barbara Rollins – May 8, 2013 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This was such sad news to hear today. I have watched her since I was a young child. I’m 52 now. She was the Moma of the show to everybody. I can’t imagine how sad the cast are. I know she always was so Glamarous lady. It will be hard to replace her for sure! When Michael ( from The Walton’s) did her role when she was on medical leave, she did the best on filling in for her. What ever happens to her role… My heart hurts for her family. May God bless you all in this time of sadness. Mrs. C is in a better place than we are and no more pain. Loved her so much!

    Comment by Vicki Collins – May 8, 2013 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sad to hear of Ms. Cooper’s passing. She is a true daytime icon. I am a third generation Y&R viewer and can remember Mrs. Chancellor on our set every day. She WAS Y&R! Your fans will miss you dearly. God bless your family.

    Comment by Lya – May 8, 2013 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sad R.I.P, you will be truly missed. My condolences go out to the family.

    Comment by Wilda Carrier – May 8, 2013 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rest in peace “Duchess” as Brock would say. You’re a grand lady and will be sorely missed.

    Comment by jojo – May 8, 2013 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of Mrs C., she will be greatly missed by everyone. Another Angel in Heaven.R.I.P. Mrs C.

    Comment by Margaret Legacy – May 8, 2013 05:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • R.I.P.Mrs.Cooper will be greatly missed ..May God bless your soul heart goes out to your kids, grandkids, castmates ,and fans . i hope the y&r will give you the respect and write your character off and dont try to replace you because you are irreplaceable ! y&r will not be the same ..ive been watching you for 40 years and i ve been praying for your speedy recovery when i first heard you was rushed to the hospital in april .. No more suffering and no more pain ..God Bless.

    Comment by Mellarie Chisholm – May 8, 2013 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • RIP peace and love to thefamily

    Comment by claudinedey – May 8, 2013 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So very sorry to hear of Jeanne Cooper’s passing. I have watched Y and R for many years and will miss seeing her. My prayers go out to her family and her TV family. No words can express what the heart feels at this sad time. May you all find strength in knowing others are sharing in your sorrow

    Comment by Linda – May 8, 2013 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • rip jeanie cooper

    Comment by claudinedey – May 8, 2013 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sad to hear about the passing of Jeanne Cooper. Enjoyed her very much on Y&R-also the many times she appeared on Perry Mason. Thoughts and prayers to her family.

    Comment by BL – May 8, 2013 05:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I also remember Jeanne Cooper on a couple episodes of Bonanza.

    Comment by Ken Myers – May 8, 2013 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rest in peace, Jeanne – you will be missed.

    Comment by Joe M. – May 8, 2013 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What can i say i remember when i was a little boy i use to cone home from school an my mom would be watching young an the restless i wanted her to change the tv luttle boys werent supose to watch soaps yea right i still watch young an the restless over 3o yrs later tuning in ti mrs chancelor an jills famous fights rest in peace jeanne coioer u will be missed

    Comment by rj – May 8, 2013 06:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by FRANCES – May 8, 2013 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i will miss u were a grate lady . i loved y.and the restless because of u love juanitac.

    Comment by juanit carideo – May 8, 2013 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • God bless such a lady you will not be forgotten Jeannie Cooper. Mrs. C we love you and will miss you.
    By Fran a deicated fan

    Comment by Francine Laing – May 8, 2013 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love her. She was great.Will miss her.god bless

    Comment by lorine – May 8, 2013 06:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jennie you are a star in heaven i have watch ever day and never missed a show cause you made that soap and i just finished your great book and the soap will never be the same with out you so my heart and prayers are with your family God Bless all of you Dot Stewart

    Comment by DOT Stewart – May 8, 2013 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mrs. C will definitely be missed. She was one of a kind. The best actress of all times! My sincere sympathy goes out to her family and love ones. May the peace of God’s comforting arm strengthen you doing your loss.

    Comment by Cassie – May 8, 2013 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved her, she will be missed! May she rest in peace….God Bless

    Comment by Karen – May 8, 2013 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved her from the day she walked on the set. Thanks for all the wonderful memories. You will be missed.

    Comment by TVDIVA – May 8, 2013 07:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Y & R will never be the same without the Duchess. R.I.P. Mrs. C, u will be missed by us, the viewers, u were one of a kind and I hope they don’t replace your character, it just wouldn’t be right! My sincere condoleances to Jeanne Cooper’s family!

    Comment by Henriette – May 8, 2013 07:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My friend called and told me you had passed and. I refused to believe it. You have been a part. of my life so long . You will be greatly missed. Bless your family. Heaven is getting a truly wonderful angel

    Comment by Elonda – May 8, 2013 07:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was so sorry and so surprised about her passing. I honestly thought she would go on playing Mrs. Chancellor forever. She will be truly be missed.

    Comment by donna – May 8, 2013 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Ms. Jeanne Cooper today. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. To her family, may God keep you all wrapped in His loving embrace, and give you courage, peace, comfort, and understanding that can only come from Him. I, along with many others will miss her on Y&R, she was no doubt a “pillar of the community”, so to speak, and will surely be missed by her Y&R family. Thank you for all the years of being a part of my family and coming into my home daily through The Young & Restless. May you REST IN PEACE. Love and prayers to all……….

    Comment by Annette C. Bratcher – May 8, 2013 08:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have watched the show for over 30 years and it would not be right to replace Jeanne cooper, “Katherine” with any other actress. Her role should remain with her for all her dedication to Y&R!

    Comment by Mona Kaufman – May 8, 2013 08:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sorry to hear of the Passing of Mrs.C. You will be greatly missed. Loved to watch you with my grandma after school everyday. May you rest in peace, beautiful lady.

    Comment by Terry – May 8, 2013 08:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My condolences to Jeanne’s family. I sure will miss her on the Y & R, and would not like to see her character recast. What I would like to see is the writers continuing some of the story lines than have been dropped by the wayside. With Jeanne gone, they really need to rehash their story lines.

    Comment by Fronie Mitchell, Waterloo ON Canada – May 8, 2013 08:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have faithfully watched Young and the Restless from the beginning, and I started watching it at work daily. There is no one that can take your place, A GREAT LOSS. To your family from a faithful fan, I share your grief, my God give you courage and strength to know that your Mom is at peace, and ran a race well run in every aspect. She will be missed, with love and respect…………Patricia

    Comment by Patricia – May 8, 2013 08:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • RIP Jeanne. You are irreplaceable. A wonderful memorial service with flashbacks would be most appropriate.

    Comment by Carol L. – May 8, 2013 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear Jeanne, You were such an inspiration to me down through the years. You showed women how to be fearless, courageous, and strong. I am truly greiveing you as though you were a member of my own family. My prayers are with your family. To the Young and The Restless cast, my thoughts are with you as you mourn your priceless jewel, Mrs. Chancellor. We will always remember your work and your dedication to your craft and your fans. I love you. Carol Freeman

    Comment by Carol Freeman – May 8, 2013 09:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I Love Y & R and know that (Ms C) will be greatly missed by all friends and family. Prayers to all. I loved the part she played and I was always amazed at the outfits she wore, she was one of a kind.

    Comment by Judy – May 8, 2013 09:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rest in peace our dear “Mrs. C”.

    Comment by nina – May 8, 2013 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeanne Cooper can not be replaced. She lived her life on and off the TV. She live and played (Mrs Cee) to the end. REST IN PEACE. We All Loved her.

    Comment by Verna Eason – May 8, 2013 10:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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