The legendary relationship between Jill Foster Abbott (Jess Walton) and Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless is still playing out today in light of allegations that Kay’s will is being challenged. It shows that while death may end a life, it doesn’t end a relationship.
Candid With Jess Walton
Viewers have seen more airtime for Jess Walton with Katherine’s will being challenged. Initially, Jill didn’t give the matter any real weight. “Jill’s very fond of Devon,” Walton told TV Insider. “She wants to do anything she can to help him.”
Sadly, of course, Kay’s no longer among the living to clarify in person her wishes, but if characters want to talk to her they speak to the portrait of the grand dame in the Chancellor living room, which has been added to the show. “She’s such a huge part of the show, still,” Walton says of Katherine. “She’s mentioned all the time. Jill mentions her. To Jill, she’s almost alive.”
Still, Jess Walton doesn’t like speaking ill of the dead… and neither does Jill. “The scripts will call for me to call her ‘the old bat,’ which I did in our scenes when Jeanne was alive.
“But it’s very uncomfortable for me to call her that unless she’s face-to-face with me. When I talk about her in ordinary conversation, I just have to change the [derogatory] words to ‘Katherine.'”
Walton adds that the story that once revealed (erroneously) Kay was Jill’s long-lost mother deepened their relationship, but that was undone with a follow-up DNA test.
“In our effort to bring back the antagonism, we did the story where Kay thought she’d gotten drunk and switched Jill’s baby and that’s how we got Cane.”
No matter how antagonistic things got between Kay and Jill, Walton says that, as far as she’s concerned, Jill had a greater rivalry with Mamie (Veronica Redd) after she’d fallen in love with Jill’s husband John (Jerry Douglas).
“Jill despised Mamie,” Walton says. “I once said to Jeanne that I [play] more hate in my scenes with Mamie than with Katherine. I think the reason was that the story with Mamie happened when I was playing Jill. The [original] backstory with Jeanne happened before I got there.”
Tune in for more Katherine will drama with Jill there at the forefront. The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.