[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ctress Jess Walton assumed the role of Y&R’s Jill Foster in 1987. Also known as Jill Foster Abbott, Jill Abbott, Jill Fenmore, and Jill Fenmore Atkinson, the character is famous for her long-standing feud with Katherine Chancellor (the late Jeanne Cooper), who she once believed to be her biological mother. Jill is the only remaining original character on The Young and the Restless.
Born Mary Jess Walton, in Grand Rapids, MI on February 18, 1949, she was raised in Toronto, Canada. At age 20, Walton left the Toronto Workshop Productions Repertory Theatre after three years and moved to Hollywood.
Early in her career, she was cast in guest spots on shows like The F.B.I., Young Dr. Kildare, Kojack, Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Rockford Files. She also appeared in several feature films, including The Strawberry Statement, The Peace Killers, and Monkeys in the Attic.
Walton has also been featured in several TV movies throughout the course of her career, including Montserrat, The Victim, You’ll Never See Me Again, The Hunted Lady, and The Return of Mod Squad.
In the 1980s, she made the move to soaps and took the role of Kelly Harper on Capitol, which ran on CBS from 1982 to 1987. Soon after, Walton won the role of Jill on The Young and the Restless.
Walton is married to John W. James, who founded the Grief Recovery Institute and co-wrote “The Grief Recovery Handbook” and “When Children Grieve”. The couple has two children, a son Cole, and a daughter Allison.
As Jill Foster Abbott, Walton won the Daytime Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in 1991. In 1997, she was awarded the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress. She also received Daytime Emmy nominations in 1990, 1996, and 2000, and has been nominated multiple times for Soap Opera Digest Awards, winning in 1986 and 1988 for her role on Capitol, and 1994 for Y&R.
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Jess Walton stars as Jill on The Young and the Restless, which airs weekdays on CBS. Leave a comment in the section below, or in our forums. For more Y&R spoilers, updates, and news, join the conversation on Soap Shows’ Y&R Facebook page. Follow SoapShows on Twitter, for ’round-the-clock Genoa City updates. Follow writer Cindy McLennan on Twitter, too.