Worked With:

Corbin Bernsen

Shelley Long

Raquel Welch

Leslie Nielsen

Rod Serling

Shirley Knight

Jon Voight

Frank Sinatra

Harve Presnell

Jeanne Cooper Biography

Home > Actresses > C > Cooper, Jeanne > Biography

Birth Name: Jeanne Cooper
Born: 10/25/1928
Birth Place: Taft, California, USA
Died: 05/08/2013

This seasoned, husky-voiced character actress began her career in feature films under contract at Universal in the 1950s. The youngest child of part-Cherokee parents, Jeanne Cooper was born and raised in California. After studies at the Pasadena Playhouse, she made her stage debut in local musical productions. Put under contract, she appeared in several B-movies and Westerns early in her career. On the small screen, Cooper made guest appearances on many of the top shows of the late '50s and early '60s such as "Playhouse 90" (CBS, 1956-1961) and "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1959-1964). In 1962, she earned her first Emmy nomination for her performance in an episode of the medical drama "Ben Casey" (ABC, 1961-66). After a turn as a regular on "Bracken's World" (NBC, 1969-1970), a series about the behind-the-scenes goings-on at a film studio, Cooper became beloved by many soap-opera addicts for her long-running role as the wealthy, tough-as-nails but generally goodhearted grand dame Katherine Chancellor on "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). She was the only actor who had been with the serial since its premiere, and, over the course of her long tenure, her character coped with such problems as breast cancer, alcoholism, and kidnapping. (She even got to play a lower-class lookalike.) Cooper created a stir in 1984 when she allowed cameras to film her real-life facelift, which was incorporated into her storyline. Cooper was the mother of actor Corbin Bernsen, and they worked together on several occasions. She twice appeared as his intimidating parent on "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994) in 1986 and 1990 (earning a Primetime Emmy nomination for the former). In 1992, Cooper was cast as Bernsen's mother in the comedy feature "Frozen Assets." For her work on "The Young and the Restless," she received back-to-back Daytime Emmy nominations as Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series in 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992, eventually winning a lifetime achievement award in 2004 and an Outstanding Lead Actress award in 2008. Featured on the soap well into her 80s, she died on May 8, 2013, after appearing as her cherished character for more than 1,000 episodes.