I’m not sure how many of my blog readers will know who Jeanne Cooper is (I’m betting a lot know), but she was always a huge influence in my life from afar. She was recently hospitalized in LA, listed in critical condition, and I just wanted to post a few thoughts about her and express hope for a fast recovery…and gratitude for all the things she’s given to her fans over the years.
CBS Los Angeles (CBSLA) first reported Cooper was hospitalized on Saturday, April 13 in Los Angeles. The 84-year-old reportedly is in the Intensive Care Unit, but her ailment has not been disclosed.
Jeanne Cooper has been a staple for years on the daytime TV show, The Young and the Restless. She is daytime TV as far as I’m concerned. She’s been playing Kay Chancellor since I learned how to walk. As a child, I remember Y&A on TV every single day because my mom always worked as a psychologist and we had a housekeeper who was devoted to Y&R. If it hadn’t been for Jeanne Cooper’s dramatic scenes, and her acting abilities, I wouldn’t even have noticed the TV show. Remember I was a kid.
But the moment Jeanne Cooper came on the screen it was as if the world stopped moving for everyone in the room. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a soap star who could command that kind of attention since then. It was as if the screen lit up and came to life. From the words she spoke to the gestures she made with her hands she seemed to command attention. And her character, Kay, at the time was no saint either. But more than that, she was a strong female character when there weren’t many around. She ran Chancellor Industries with a proverbial iron fist, and she took lovers at will when that sort of thing wasn’t done much on TV. As I recall, she even had younger lovers when women didn’t do things like that.
Watching Jeanne Cooper in action, flashing those huge diamonds around, and then following the storyline of Y&A hooked me for life, and from there I found my love for romance novels and serials of all kinds. Yes, I’m am an addicted soap fan. It was inspiring. Jeanne Cooper was awesome. For a long time I wanted to be a soap actor, but realized I’m happier behind the scenes with a keyboard so I started writing gay romance. And the interesting thing about the part Cooper played wasn’t total escapism either. She tackled some serious topics over the years, from alcohol abuse to kidnapping. To put it mildly, she’s entertained and inspired millions and millions since then.
I hope she hasn’t been hospitalized for something too serious, and I hope we get to keep her for another twenty years at least.
She has a book titled, “Not Young, Still Restless,” you can read more about here.
And you can check out her wiki page here. I find the best short bios around there.
Wilma Jeanne Cooper (born October 25, 1928), best known as Jeanne Cooper, is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Katherine Chancellor on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. Though she was not on the series when the show debuted in March 1973, she made her onscreen debut in November of that year, and remains the longest-tenured actor on The Young and the Restless.[