The Young and the Restless star Jeanne Cooper would’ve turned 93 years old today. As we think of her on her ninth heavenly birthday, we can’t help but note we still miss her as Genoa City’s Grand Dame, Katherine Chancellor.
Revisiting Jeanne Cooper’s Glory Days On Y&R
One of the only positives of The Young and the Restless shutting down production for months amid the coronavirus pandemic was it allowed us to revisit some of the soap’s glory days. It’s not surprising that so many of the best moments from the past featured Katherine, and we loved getting to see them again. In addition, it provided long-time fans a beloved blast from the past. Plus, newer viewers got to see why Kay made such an unforgettable mark on Genoa City.
Since 1973, a mere six months after Y&R premiered, Kay set the tone in Genoa City. Even as a younger woman, she always told it like it was. Later, Katherine had a talent for calling out Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) on his nonsense. She also repeatedly comforted Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott). Ultimately, the Newmans needed the foil she provided, and it’s missing these days.
True Reality TV
Perhaps one of the most significant marks Jeanne Cooper made as Kay was showing her facelift. Both the actress and the character underwent cosmetic surgery in a pioneering moment on daytime television. The show filmed the first time Cooper saw her face as the bandages came off post-surgery.
While Nikki remained one of Katherine’s close friends, the Grand Dame’s unique bond over the years was with Jill Foster (Jess Walton). Although Jill and Kay spent much of their days as enemies after Jill married Phillip Chancellor II, they progressed to frenemies and even friends in their later years.
This dynamic duo also produced one of Y&R’s most memorable scenes, with the infamous cake fight at Chloe Mitchell (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Billy Abbott’s wedding. Other unforgettable battles from their iconic daytime rivalry include their hose fight scene and an attic fight where Jill choked Kay. Of course, viewers might also remember their court catfight.
These two shared a deep bond on-screen and off-screen. Walton took to Twitter to remember Cooper on her birthday. She wrote, “Thinking of Jeanne on her birthday,” and shared a beautiful reminder of their friendship that she keeps in her home, which you can see below.
In all, Jeanne Cooper helped create Katherine Chancellor’s legacy on Y&R, and we love her for it. We desperately miss Kay, but her memory lives on in the storylines. We appreciate that people live in the Chancellor mansion again, and we see Kay’s mark all these years later.
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.
— Jess Walton (@JessWaltonYR) October 25, 2021