They were not mother and daughter in real life, but, for a while at least, Jess Walton and Jeanne Cooper played them on TV. Veteran fans of The Young and the Restless recall a storyline in which Jill Abbott was revealed as the long-lost daughter of Katherine Chancellor.
Jess Walton: Honoring A Legend
A later regime nixed the biological tie with a follow-up DNA test, but for a while, Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) and Jill (Jess Walton) were led to believe they were related by blood, which shined a new light on the duo’s tempestuous relationship that ran the gamut from friends to bitter rivals to unlikely allies.
As Mother’s Day approaches and on the 7-year anniversary of Cooper’s passing, Walton is paying tribute to her late co-star and real-life pal on Instagram.
“Sweet Jeanine, for 26 years you were my playmate, my partner in crime,” Walton wrote. “I marveled at your life force time and time again. You are magnificent my friend, and I love you. I can’t wait to play with you again.”
“You loved each other so much♥️♥️♥️♥️,” posted former YR co-star Diana Barton, who played the lethal Mari Jo Mason, the woman who plugged lead into Victor — a crime Jill was accused of committing!
Jill and Kay’s dynamic began when Kay visited the Golden Comb, a salon where Jill worked. Kay hired Jill as a companion but eventually regretted bringing her into her home because Kay’s husband Phillip Chancellor II (Donnelly Rhodes) wanted out of the marriage.
He fell in love with Jill, prompting Kay to drive her car off a cliff with Phillip as a passenger. Phillip died. Jill gave birth to his son, Phillip III (Thom Bierdz). The two women fought over Jill’s son and later, they teamed up against Nina (Tricia Cast), who was pregnant with Phillip IV (Donny Boaz).
Another memorable storyline for the two women was when they fought over ownership of the Chancellor mansion after a document of Phillip’s came to light. In time, the two came to learn to live with one another, but the dynamic was always there. A portrait of the late Kay hangs in the Chancellor living room. Jill has talked to it on occasion. The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.