The actress played Katherine Chancellor for more than 40 years on the CBS soap
Jeane Cooper, who for more than 40 years played Katherine Chancellor on the CBS daytime drama "The Young and the Restless," died Wednesday. She was 84.
Her son, Corbin Bernsen, made the announcement on his Facebook page.
"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," Bernsen wrote. "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."
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Cooper has received 10 Daytime Emmy nominations, nine for Outstanding Lead Actress and one for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and two Primetime Emmy nominations. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys in 2004.
Cooper’s character on “Young and Restless” broke new ground on daytime television. Katherine endured several bouts with alcoholism and also had a facelift. Cooper pitched the idea of having a live facelift to CBS executives, who agreed to write the surgery into the show. Her character also went through four husbands and gave away a child.
She was a fixture on TV in the 1950s and '70s, appearing in series including "Tales of Wells Fargo," "Highway Patrol" and "Perry Mason."
In 1962, Cooper earned her first Emmy nomination for her performance in "Ben Casey." she was a regular on NBC's "Bracken's World," and also appeared in "Hawaii Five-O," "Mannix," Ironside" and "Touched by an Angel."
Cooper began her career in the movies. Her first starring role was as Myra in the 1953 western film, "The Redhead from Wyoming." She later appeared in films "The Man from the Alamo," "House of Women," "The Intruder," "Tony Rome, "The Boston Strangler" and "Kansas City Bomber."
Cooper was married to TV producer Harry Bernsen, Jr. for 23 years before divorcing. They had three children, all of whom are actors: Corbin Bernsen of "L.A. Law" fame (Cooper portrayed his mother twice on that series), Collin Bernsen and Caren Bernsen.
CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler called Cooper a "daytime television legend."
"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," Tassler said. "She was the longest-running cast member on daytime’s #1 show, bringing indelible charm, class and talent to every episode. On behalf of everyone at CBS, we send our condolences to Jeanne's family, as well as the legions of fans she has amassed during her record 39 years on 'The Young and The Restless,' and throughout her career."
Publicist Jeff Abraham, who worked with Cooper to promote her autobiography "Not Young, Still Restless: A Memoir," characterized Cooper as "TV royalty" in a statement to TheWrap.
“Jeanne Cooper was a class act all the way and had a wonderful sense of humor," Abraham said. "She was TV royalty.”