Jerry Douglas, ‘The Young and the Restless’ Star, Dies at 89

The actor appeared on the daytime drama as patriarch John Abbott for more than 30 years

Jerry Douglas Portrait Shot

Jerry Douglas, who portrayed John Abbott for more than 30 years on “The Young and the Restless,” has died. He was 89.

Douglas died after a brief illness on Nov. 9, his family said.

The actor’s former co-workers said he left a lasting mark at the “Y&R” and will be “sorely missed.”

“On behalf of the entire company of ‘The Young and the Restless,’ we send our deepest sympathies to the Douglas family on the passing of Jerry Douglas,” Anthony Morina, executive producer of “The Young and the Restless,” said in a statement Wednesday.

“Jerry came to ‘Y&R’ in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits,” Morina continued. “Our show was lucky to have an actor of his caliber join the ‘Y&R’ cast and introduce the audience to the iconic Abbott family. His contribution to the legacy of ‘Y&R’ as Abbott family patriarch, John Abbott is still felt to this day. He will be sorely missed.”

Born Jerry Rubenstein in Chelsea, Massachusetts on Nov. 12, 1932, Douglas grew up in New England. He won a football scholarship to Brandeis University, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Economics. In a return visit to Brandeis, Douglas fondly recalled meeting the future President, John F. Kennedy (the actor would later contribute to a film about Kennedy).

Douglas was best known for his role in “The Young and the Restless,” in which he appeared as father figure John Abbott. He joined the cast of “The Young and the Restless” in March 1982 as the wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics and beloved single father who helped his children navigate adulthood. His last episode aired in 2016.

The actor also appeared in “Melrose Place,” “Cold Case,” “Hunter,” “The Greatest American Hero” and “This is the Life.” Douglas’ film roles include “JFK” (1991), “The Godson” (1998), “Good Guys Wear Black” (1978) and more.

Douglas is survived by his wife of 37 years Kym Douglas, a television personality and host; sons Jod and Hunter; daughter Avra; two grandchildren, and a host of nieces.