Jeanne Cooper Dies; ‘The Young and the Restless’ Star Was 84

    May 8, 2013

Actress Jeanne Cooper, born Wilma Jeanne Cooper, has died at the age of 84. Cooper was best known for her 40-year run as Katherine Chancellor on the U.S. soap opera The Young and the Restless.

According to a statement from Cooper’s son, actor Corbin Bernsen, Cooper died early Wednesday. According to Bernsen, she died peacefully in her sleep, with her daughter, Caren, by her side.

Bernsen’s Facebook post:

Corbin Bernsen

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!

Cooper began her acting career in the early 50s in movies such as The Redhead From Wyoming and The Man From the Alamo. She went on to have roles in many network TV shows, including Perry Mason, Hawaii Five-O, and Mannix.

In 1973 Cooper was cast in the role of Katherine Chancellor in the long-running U.S. soap opera The Young and the Restless. The character has been described as the “matriarch” of soap opera television and her rivalry with Jill Foster Abbott has produced story twists for The Young and the Restless for many years.