Jeanne liked to say that she was the first reality show on television; she made public, through Y&R, her struggle with alcoholism, and in 1984, footage of Jeanne's real-life facelift was televised on Y&R as Katherine underwent the surgery at the same time. During her 40 seasons with the show, she garnered 10 Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, winning in 2008, and one Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. In 1989, Jeanne received a Soap Opera Digest Award and the Soap Opera Digest's Editor's Award for her portrayal of Katherine Chancellor. She was awarded two First American in the Arts Awards as Lead Actress in a Drama Series and was the 2009 recipient of the coveted AMEE Award from the AFTRA Foundation. Jeanne was honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993.
Born Wilma Jeanne Cooper in Taft, California on October 25, 1928, Jeanne Cooper was of English, Irish and Cherokee Indian descent. She attended the College of the Pacific and performed in the Civic Light Opera Company and Revue Theatre in Stockton, California before graduating from the famed Pasadena Playhouse School in Pasadena, California. Her professional career began with the film "The Redhead from Wyoming" with Maureen O'Hara in 1953, followed by many classics such as "The Man from the Alamo" with Glenn Ford, "There Was a Crooked Man" with Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda, "The Boston Strangler" with Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda and George Kennedy, "Tony Rome" with Frank Sinatra and Jill St. John, "The All-American Boy" with Jon Voight, "The Glory Guys" with James Caan, "Kansas City Bomber" with Raquel Welch and "Let No Man Write My Epitaph" with Shelly Winters. More recently, Jeanne appeared in the feature films "Carpool Guy," directed and starring her son Corbin Bernsen, as well as "Three Day Test" and "Over the Hedge." She also starred in many early television shows, including "Playhouse 90," "The Twilight Zone," "Perry Mason," "The Untouchables," "The Virginian," "Maverick," "Bracken's World," "Bonanza," "The Big Valley," and "Ben Casey", for which she earned the first of her two Prime-time Emmy Award nominations. Her second nomination came in 1987 for her recurring role on "L.A. Law," playing the mother to her real-life son, Corbin, in the category of Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series. (Corbin subsequently joined his mother on Y&R, making several guest appearances as Father Todd.) Jeanne's stage credits included starring roles in "On the Town," "The Miracle Worker," "Plain and Fancy," and the touring production of "Plaza Suite." She also starred in the critically acclaimed "Love Letters" at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills.
In 2012, Jeanne published her memoir, the New York Times best-seller "Not Young, Still Restless." She was the national spokesperson for The Springboard Center in Midland, Texas, a state-of-the-art non-profit facility devoted to alcohol and drug treatment.
Jeanne Cooper is survived by her three children, Corbin, Collin and Caren Bernsen, eight grandchildren, her sister Evelyn Rader, and her beloved animals, Bishop, Daisy, and Crackerjack.
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