US 'Young and Restless' soap star Cooper dies at 84
LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
This March 14, 2011 file photo shows actress Jeanne Cooper attending CBS' "Young and the Restless" 38th Anniversary cake cutting in Los Angeles, California. AFP PhotoJeanne Cooper, a TV legend who played a lead role on the US soap opera "The Young and the Restless" for four decades, died Wednesday at the age of 84, her son, the actor Corbin Bernsen, said.
Cooper's acting career dated back to the early 1950s, but she was best known for her portrayal of wealthy matriarch Katherine "Kay" Chancellor on the popular daytime drama, a role she played from 1973 until her death.
"My mother passed away this morning just a short time ago, peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep," Bernsen, who starred on the popular drama "LA Law" in the late 1980s and early 1990s, wrote on his Facebook page.
The New York Times wrote that Cooper had much in common with her character, "apart from everyday occurrences in the soap opera universe like being stranded on a desert island with nothing but her jewelry, having a shopping center fall on her and inadvertently giving one of her grandchildren away." In 1984 Cooper's own face-lift was famously incorporated into the show, which included footage from the real-life surgery.
She won two Daytime Emmys, for lead actress in a drama series in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and was nominated another 11 times. She was given a star on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame" in 1993.
In a memoir released last year entitled "Not Young, Still Restless," Cooper recounted her long career and early roles alongside Tinseltown legends like Maureen O'Hara, Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda and Frank Sinatra.
She also recounted her struggle with alcoholism, the breakup of her marriage and a battle with breast cancer.
Cooper was born October 25, 1928 in Taft, California. She is survived by Bernsen, another son, a daughter and eight grandchildren.
Her first role was alongside O'Hara in the 1953 movie "The Redhead from Wyoming." She later starred alongside Sinatra in "Tony Rome" in 1967, and with Curtis and Fonda in "The Boston Strangler" in 1968.
She made guest appearances on several well-known TV shows, including "LA Law" -- in which she played the mother of her son's character Arnie Becker -- as well as "Ironside," "Perry Mason" and "Bonanza." "Jeanne Cooper will be remembered as a daytime television legend and as a friend who will truly be missed by all of us here at the network," Nina Tassler, head of CBS Entertainment, said in a statement.
"The Young and the Restless" is taped about six weeks in advance, and CBS has yet to determine how Cooper's character will be written out of the show, the Times reported.