It’s been a momentous year of milestones for the late Jeanne Cooper. This past May 8 marked five years since her passing, and today would have been her 90th birthday.
Cooper, known for playing Katherine Chancellor for 40 years on The Young and the Restless, continues to be missed both onscreen and off by fans and co-stars alike. For many of her younger co-stars like Doug Davidson (Paul), she was a mentor, showing them how to be on a soap.
For others, she was a shoulder to lean on during rough times… and that was for those who interviewed her, as well. But it was her wicked sense of humor, which was evident if you ever saw any behind-the-scenes footage or bloopers, that endeared her to so many in the industry.
Of course one of her most treasured roles was that of Mom to her three children — Corbin, Collin, and Caren Bernsen — and grandma to her eight grandchildren.
She was the youngest of three children, born to Albert Troy Cooper and his wife, Sildeth Evelyn Moore. Her mother died when she was just 16 years old but her father passed away on April 11, 1986. He and her brother, Albert Troy Cooper, Jr., worked in the oil fields.
Over the years, Cooper accumulated plenty of accolades, including winning a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2009 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 20, 1993.
Oprah Winfrey said she was a huge fan of Y&R and that Kay was her favorite character.
One of the best ways to learn more about this legendary performer is to read her own words — in her compelling autobiography — Not Young, Still Restless: A Memoir.
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.