Friday, April 12, 2024

Jeanne Cooper, Emmy Winning Star of The Young and the Restless Since 1973, Passes Away


Jeanne Cooper has passed away at the age of 84. I never met her or her son, Corbin Bernsen. But I have to say he comported himself so beautifully the last few weeks that you know Cooper was a good mother.  My condolences to her whole family. She was the star of The Young and the Restless for 40 years, from the first year– six months in–until the end. It’s funny how these people become a part of your life because you see them in closeup, in your kitchen or den or living room, and they’re present through good times and bad. Most characters are written off of soaps after a few years. But Jeanne Cooper and the saga of her character, Katherine Chancellor, proved to be enduing beyond anyone’s imagination. Rest in peace.

Cooper’s co-star Jess Walton wrote this on Facebook: “Jeanne Cooper passed away this morning. There will never be another like her. She has been a huge part of my life for the past 26 years…and she will continue to be, because she lives inside me…..and she lives inside of each one of you…….that’s love.”

Cooper’s final scene:


Bernsen posted this on his Facebook page:

Wasn’t sure how I would have to say these words so I opt for simplicity at least to begin…

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!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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