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. j.felicia davis,manor tx says:

    Mrs.c will be greatly misssed.There is only one mrs.c…………………..she gave herself to fans till the end….what a woman………………………………………………….r.i.p.

  2. BJHunter says:

    Just found out about Mrs. C. Was so surprise to hear about her death. My prayers are with the family. The Y & R will never be the same without her. Please do not try to replace her, because the show would never be the same.

  3. cheryl Fussell says:

    I have watched this show for 30 years and I have always loved mrs C and I will truly miss her I cryed when I heard about her passing I don’t see someone else coming in to play her character they need to not replace her it won’t be the same with out Katherine.

  4. Jeffrey Cevallos says:

    I just founded out about the new journey of Miss Jean Cooper as I always called her, I did not watch this past two weeks episodes for health issues.
    My heart is broken I’m very sad she was one of my best actors since I started watching The Young and the Restless on June 8th 1981 one day after I arrived to NYC.
    We are at some point selfish not accepting when our loved ones start that journey to heaven, but as the time passes by our hearts start to heal and little by little we accept.
    Thank you for those great moments I lived with you watching the show I laughed I cried I had anger I cursed I screamed I had very intense moments as well and those are just a few.
    Thank you for your legacy.
    With love Jeffrey.

  5. cmaglaughlin says:

    The head of Y&R has already said they WON’T be recasting Mrs. C., she’ll be going away on vacation with Murphy, and whatever happens, the funeral on the show won’t be happening until July.

  6. roxanne says:

    I have also watch the Y & R since it first aired. I agree with most have her pass away quietly in her sleep and have a funeral for her and bring back past stars as well. That is the only possible answer. Life will have to go on with out her just as we all had to go on after we lost someone.

  7. SANDRA says:


  8. Toni Carter says:

    mrs. c the show is all you

  9. Toni Carter says:

    do not recast let her go in peace

  10. valerie amiot says:

    Recast with Michael Learned

    • Mary says:

      Michael Learned was not believable as Katherine. I don’t think that anyone could play the part the way Jeanne Cooper did. She personified Katherine.

  11. Sarah says:

    She was the best ever. My condolences to the family.

  12. Sandra Marriner says:

    Rest in peace, you will be deeply missed by so many fans. I loved you with all my heart and hoped that you could be part of my family… God bless you until we meet again.😇😇😇😇😇

  13. Tammy says:

    I am so saddened to hear that Jeannie Cooper passed. I love Mrs. C, I have watched Y&R since 1979 and earlier. I DVR the show everyday, don’t recast her NO ONE can ever take her place NO ONE ever. Rest in peace Mrs. C from my ohana to yours..Ewa Beach, Hawaii

  14. Linda says:

    I am watching the Young and the Restless tribute to Jeanne Cooper and am thinking you all have been blessed with a life of beautiful memories of a woman who truly loved each and every one of you, may you rest in His comforting arms of peace. To her daughter, sons, grandchildren and extended family, may the memories you share together, through tears and laughter, bring you comfort and strength just knowing your Mother, Grandmother, friend was loved by all of us who have watched Young and the Restless over the years. I believe that what you saw is what you got and if you didn’t want to know, don’t ask. Thank you for sharing her with us and may God watch over you and give you peace and calm.

  15. Tina bigelow says:


  16. Jeanne Cooper better known for Ms C on the Y&R “NO” body will ever take her place ever on that show. I admit I came into this show 36 yrs to late and only enjoyed this epic hour drama for 4 years but this show I was hooked from that moment I started watching it. Now every time I watch it I will remember her character and miss her dearly so will all her Y&R family. RIP Ms C you will be dearly missed by this fan. Even in my humble opinion Michael Learned couldn’t even fill her shoes. I would not recommend her character being re-cast some people like a-lot of others said here said the same thing im going to say let’s not go down that path. Let’s just remember her for the wonderful character she brought to day time drama.

    • Robb says:

      I will miss Mrs C, but will continue to think of her with every episode!
      Y and R will not let us forget her, she will live forever, a true star!

      Again my heart goes out to her family’s, home and cast respectively.

      Vancouver Island
      British Columbia

    • Charles Edmond says:

      Head writers and honchos at Y&R have revealed Mrs. “C” will NOT be re-cast. She will pass away on a vacation with Murphy. A funeral for her will be planned to be shown some time in July. I wonder what Esther will do, as the maid of the house…or Murphy, or even Jill, when you really think about it. I’m sure Jeanne would not have wanted anyone to be shown the door over her passing. I’m of the opinion a more fitting and lasting tribute would have been to re-cast the role, where everyone could remember how Jeanne would have done it. Just showing flashbacks for the remainder of the series is boring and insulting to a real pro like Jeanne. I’m sure she would agree, never wanting to be more than any other character on the show. Like it’s been said since entertainment began…the SHOW must go on! Today’s tribute was a real tear-jerker. 40 years in scripture is God’s number of completion. 40 years of Y&R. Maybe this is the beginning of the end. The audience is dying off. Younger viewers are what advertisers look to hit. If Victor goes, well…turn out the lights. Where were Adam and Victoria today? Hmmm… very interesting.

  17. Marylue Turpin says:

    Im truly saddened with the loss of Jennie Cooper Miss C. As far as I’m concerned there is know one that can take her place on the show I have been watching her for the beginning of time 40 years we grew old together i watched her five days a week and she was an out standing actress and will truly be missed, my prayers go out to her family, today I watched the yr#40 special on Katherine Chancleeor witch was a moving and very emotion show for me, and sincerely how that they don’t try to recast Katherine on the show let this beautyful and wonderful woman rest in peace. As a fan of hers on the show I fill as if I lost my best friend. But today the show gave her a great send off God be with her let her rest in peace.

  18. jim and theresa says:

    There are so many happy memories of Jeanne Cooper….she’ll always be remembered by all of us. My husband and I have been watching young and restless ….several years …Jeanne Cooper was our favorite actress….she’d draw everyone in…she had so much charisma…she made you think …about your own life. Thank you so much for all the great memories and love you gave to all of us…Jeanne cooper …we miss you…we feel like we’ve known you forever. Rest in peace

  19. Debbie Johnson-Este says:

    PLEASE DO NOT recast why cant you just write her death into your story line they did it with JR Ewing so it can be done i think it would really boost the ratings

  20. Trenise says:

    Jeanne Cooper was the only one who can play Katherine Chancellor. A replacement would not work at all. Jeanne Cooper, you are truly missed.

    • Mary says:

      I agree. No actress, no matter how talented, would be able to replace Jeanne Cooper in the minds and hearts of us viewers. After seeing her on Y&R for all these years, that would be impossible.

  21. Patricia Mitchell C says:

    I have been watching Mrs.Cooper for so long ever since Jill moved into her home and got involved wirh her tv husband (Phillip).Her and Jill played tjie part.Sje will be miaa prayers fo oit to her family Gid Vless u all
    Rev.21″3&4 tgank u

  22. Deb says:

    My sincere Heart goes out to Jeannie Cooper’s family and many, many friends, that so loved her “spunk, and tenacity”, as having watched her for so many years, it breaks my heart to see her leave us, but gives me peace as well, to know She is at Peace, and no one can replace her in any way, there was only ONE Katherine C. My heart is deeply saddened to lose her in our world, but she is in a much better place, and I’ll never forget her, all her talent, so much spunk, and just a very tenacious and interesting character and human being that I dearly enjoyed and loved watching her on the show, Katherine, you are surely and very missed by this fan of yours, and of the show. As had been said, “We shall meet on the that beautiful shore”, To Jeannie’s family, my sincere sympathy and prayers for healing, I know this is the hardest of times for you all,.but I know she most likely would say, “The Show Must Go On, Here’s to you, Jeannie, a Wonderful and delightful woman of stature and presence, Jeannie-you made us laugh, and were such a wonderful character, and person, just even for that, I’ll miss so much, Peace, and Love to all your family and dear friends, you are really missed and loved very much!

  23. nan mc. says:

    i think that having a look alike sister to fill in would be worth a try, maybe even a cousin or something. bring the old jill back if you can too.

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  26. Angela says:

    The Young & Restless will never be the same without Jeanne Cooper, I loved her to bits

  27. Connie Krout says:

    Oh My Gosh ,my girl is gone.She’s been my fav star for over 25 yrs.Bless her family Corbin,what a loss.Thanks for all the news.

  28. Anne says:

    She was truly the embodyment of her character ,Mrs. Chancellor, sure miss Jeanne Cooper.

  29. SHARON'S JJ says:

    She is greatly missed. I am 71 years old and always been a fan. Just not the same show w/out her.

  30. I & others will truly miss Catherine Chancller

  31. Wanda Abernathy says:

    I will miss her I love the young and the restles rest in peace Katherine
    Jeanne Cooper

  32. Gerri Himes says:

    I miss Mrs.C. It is so hard there are times I expect her to walk on. I have watched Y&R since it started.