Young and the Restless wrapped new episodes and Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), The Grande Dame of Genoa City, is the star of the first theme weeks. That kicks off Monday with a week devoted to “Katherine the Great” on the CBS soap. If you’re a newer watcher, you might not know a lot about this fan-favorite legacy character. Here are five top moments with Kay.
#1 Katherine Chancellor Turned the Hosed on Jill Abbott on Young and the Restless
Now, Jill Abbott (Jess Walton) is still stirring trouble in Genoa City. But, she’s mellowed since losing Katherine Chancellor. Those two went to war regularly, in spectacular style. Some of the bitter battles between Katherine and Jill were iconic moments during Jeanne Cooper’s long run on Y&R.
One such moment on Young and the Restless was when Katherine Chancellor hosed down Jill. And Jill gave it right back to Katherine. But, even all the water couldn’t cool down a four-decade-long feud between these powerhouse ladies. It’s been a while since the CBS soap had a serious catfight like this. It’s one of the many reasons to miss Katherine Chancellor.
#2 Jeanne Cooper & Katherine Get Facelifts
In many ways, Jeanne Cooper was a maverick at the vanguard of soaps in their heyday. One of the most memorable moments was when the actress allowed Young and the Restless to show footage of her facelift back in 1984. That way, it explained why Katherine Chancellor suddenly looked refreshed and renewed.
In fact, it was Katherine portrayed Jeanne that talked Young and the Restless showrunners into airing the footage. It was a groundbreaking moment for soaps – and TV in general. These days, people air all their private moments online – and plastic surgery shows abound. But, that Katherine Chancellor-Jeanne Cooper moment was a pioneering scene in 1980s TV.
#3 Same-Sex Flirtation – Kay and Joanne
Now on Young and the Restless, there’s a same-sex romance with Mariah Copeland (Camryn Grimes) and Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks). But, GC isn’t exactly gay-friendly. CBS daytime, in general, is not. There are no gay characters on B&B, and its one trans character’s sidelined and rarely seen.
But back in the day on Young and the Restless, they teased a lesbian romance with Katherine Chancellor and her pal Joanne Curtis (Kay Heberle). It never went further than a flirtation, and the writers ultimately shelved it. Later, Jeanne Cooper said that the soap never really developed the story.
#4 Chancellor Matriarch Battles the Bottle on Young and the Restless
From the moment Katherine Chancellor hit GC in the 70s, she was also already hitting the bottle. And Y&R kept up the storyline about her battle with the bottle over the decades she was on the soap. In case you didn’t know, Jeanne Cooper struggled with sobriety in real-life. It’s another example of how she shared her true self with Young and the Restless fans.
On the sudser, Katherine killed her husband Philip as a result of a car accident while raging drunk. Later, Kay cleaned up her act and got sober. However, she fell off and on the wagon over the years. Young and the Restless has covered alcohol addiction extensively – not only with Katherine Chancellor but also Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John).
#5 Kay Wrecks Chloe-Billy Wedding With Cake Incident on Y&R
Another big fun Kay versus Jill moment came on Young and the Restless after Billy Abbott (then Billy Miller) married Chloe Mitchell (Elizabeth Hendrickson). The wedding reception turned into a melee when Katherine Chancellor slapped Jill with a face full of cake, wrecking her goddaughter’s big day.
Of course, that was because Jill made a scene at the wedding over a DNA test showing she wasn’t Kay’s kid. This classic soap food fight was epic and fun. Wait to see which of these big soapy moments we may see in the Young and the Restless week of shows dedicated to the Grand Dame of daytime, Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor.
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