HOLLYWOOD—The soap opera industry is mourning the lost of a legend. On Wednesday, May 8 “The Young and Restless” star Jeanne Cooper passed away at the age of 84. Cooper has been a staple on the series portraying Katherine Chancellor since the soaps debut back in 1973. The series recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in March of this year.
The actress’ son Corbin Bernsen had been keeping the soap community aware of his mother’s condition as she has recently been hospitalized the past few weeks.
He released the following statement on Wednesday via his Facebook page, “My mother passed away this morning just a short time ago, peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep. I was going to visit this afternoon, thought I had time. Reminder to self – time is a precious thing. I too am at peace however. I said my goodbyes several times over during the last few weeks. I’ll go one last time now for a gentle kiss a final farewell for this lifetime. She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision… won! And while her light finally gave into the wind that gives flight to all our journeys, there will always be a glimmer left behind by what she stood for. I will speak about that more in coming days, months I suppose. I will certainly dedicate what remains of my life to continue her purpose of honesty, equality, humility, empathy and love. So many of you have said your prayers for her and right now, today, I can say the best way to honor her is to inhabit your lives with those things she stood for. I would ask that closer friends respectfully give us some time to find our family’s path in this transition, and please limit calls, emails and the rest for a couple of days. As always, your outpouring of love here on this page, is not only welcomed to continue but truly appreciated and comforting. I asked my sister what time she passed exactly, and she told me (not to important for public record) but I was working out and just happened to pick out a song for my final moments on the treadmill – “Everlasting Light” by the Black Keys. Oh what a wonder it all is… what a magnificence!”
The entire soap community paid tribute to the actress’ passing via social media. “Jeanne Cooper – A genuine person, gifted performer, good friend to all. Never before and never again. A true artist and legend. She will be missed. My thoughts and my love are with her family,” said B&B’s Executive Producer/Head Writer Bradley Bell in a statement.
“She lived a long life. She kicked her fair share of asses. The world just got a little less feisty today. You’ll be missed, Jeanne Cooper,” tweeted “Y&R” co-star Michael Munhey.
“I am deeply saddened by Jeanne’s passing! She had struggled enormously to the very end! She loved her fans, & we all loved working with her! She had a very loving family around her! Corbin and Collin and Caren and their loved ones were always at Jeanne’s side!” tweeted “Y&R” co-star Eric Braden.
Cooper has been nominated 10 times for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the soap. She recently took home the prize for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Katherine Chancellor in 2008. Cooper started her career in the early 1950s with roles in movies like “The Redhead fromWyoming,” “The Man fromAlamo” and “13 West Street.”
The actress has also received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. A cause of death for the actress has not yet been released. She is survived by her children Corbin, Collin Bernsen and Caren Bernsen.
By LaDale Anderson