May 10, 2013 in Nation/World

‘Young and the Restless’ star Cooper, 84, dies

Emmy winner starred on soap opera for 40 years
Lynn Elber Associated Press
 

Cooper
(Full-size photo)

LOS ANGELES – Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on “The Young and the Restless,” has died. She was 84.

Cooper died Wednesday in her sleep, her son actor Corbin Bernsen wrote on Facebook. She was in a Los Angeles-area hospital, according to Bernsen’s spokesman, Charles Sherman, who said the cause of death was not immediately available.

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,” said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, adding that the actress brought “indelible charm, class and talent to every episode.”

“Heaven just gained one feisty angel,” cast member Melissa Claire Egan posted on her Twitter account.

Cooper joined the daytime serial six months after its March 1973 debut, staking claim to the title of longest-tenured cast member. The role earned her 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and a trophy for best actress in a drama series in 2008.

As the years passed, Cooper brushed aside thoughts of saying goodbye to the show and its fictional Wisconsin town of Genoa City.

“What would I do? I’m no good at crocheting. My fingers would bleed,” she told the AP last September, with her 84th birthday approaching the next month.

But on April 12, Bernsen tweeted that his mother faced an “uphill battle” for an undisclosed illness.

Cooper, born in the California town of Taft in 1928, attended the College of the Pacific and performed in local theater productions before her professional career began with the 1953 film “The Redhead from Wyoming” starring Maureen O’Hara. Other film credits include 1968’s “The Boston Strangler” with Tony Curtis and 1967’s “Tony Rome” with Frank Sinatra.

She had a parallel career in TV, with shows including “The Adventures of Kit Carson” in 1953 and “The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse” in 1954 and “Bracken’s World” in 1969-70.

In a recurring role on “L.A. Law,” she played the mother to Bernsen’s character, Arnie, and received a 1987 Emmy nomination for best guest actress in a drama.

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