Jerry Douglas, beloved as patriarch John Abbott on The Young and the Restless for more than 30 years, has died. The actor was two days shy of his 89th birthday on November 12.
Jerry Douglas Dead At 88
News of the actor’s passing was released by CBS, who revealed he died on November 9, 2021, after a brief illness. Douglas first joined Y&R in 1982, taking over the role of patriarch John Abbott from actor Brett Halsey.
The Abbotts were shifting to center stage around this time. John wed Jill Abbott (Deborah Adair; Brenda Dickson; Jess Walton) but the couple’s marriage hit the skids after Jill’s affair with John’s son Jack (then, Terry Lester, now, Peter Bergman) came to light.
Douglas perfectly inhabited the role of the loving, wise, and supportive father to his children, including daughters Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and Traci (Beth Maitland).
“On behalf of the entire company of The Young and the Restless, we send our deepest sympathies to the Douglas family on the passing of Jerry Douglas,” said Anthony Morina, executive producer, Y&R, in a statement.
In The Beginning
Born Gerald Rubenstein on November 12, 1932, Douglas grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and attended Brandeis University where he studied economics and played football.
He moved to Los Angeles, selling insurance by the day and began taking acting classes. The actor was often cast as the villain or lawman in such series as Mission: Impossible, Barnaby Jones, The Streets of San Francisco, Police Story, The Bionic Woman, and The Blue Knight. He also appeared on the big screen in the films Mommie Dearest as Radio Interviewer, who asked questions of Faye Dunaway’s Joan Crawford. Douglas didn’t land a series regular/permanent home until he came to Y&R.
The show’s writers gave Jerry Douglas a powerful story in the late 1980s when John and Jill had divorced and John began a romantic relationship with Christine’s (Lauralee Bell) mother, Jessica (Rebecca Street), who was diagnosed with AIDS.
Life After John Abbott
Y&R continued to invite Douglas back to the show. He briefly played the part of John’s doppelganger Alistair Wallingford; Douglas also recurred as a spirit or Jack’s (Peter Bergman) conscience. John also occasionally appeared spiritually to other loved ones, too. Douglas’s last appearance as a ghostly John was in 2019.
About a month ago, cast members from Y&R joined Jerry Douglas and his wife Kym Douglas (Ellen) at an early birthday celebration. In addition to his wife, Douglas is also survived by his son, Hunter. Douglas shares two children Avra Douglas and son Jod Douglas with former wife Arlene Martel. Soap Hub sends sincere condolences to Kym, Douglas’s children, and other family members and friends at this difficult time.
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.