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Jeanne Cooper

Jeanne Cooper

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Also Known As: Wilma Jeanne Cooper Died:
Born: October 25, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Taft, California, USA Profession: actor, volunteer substance abuse counselor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

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...

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.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Carpool Guy (2005)
2.
 Appointment For A Killing (1993) Renata
3.
 Frozen Assets (1992) Zach'S Mother
4.
 San Pedro Bums, The (1977) Mrs Mcclory
5.
 Sweet Hostage (1975) Mrs Withers
6.
7.
 Kansas City Bomber (1972) Vivien
8.
 There Was a Crooked Man ... (1970) Prostitute
9.
 The Boston Strangler (1968) Cloe
10.
 Tony Rome (1967) Lorna
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began career performing at the Civic Light Opera and at the Revue Theatre in Stockton, California
:
Signed to a film contract by Universal
1952:
Made her film debut in "The Redhead from Wyoming", starring Maureen O'Hara
1962:
Received first Emmy Award nomination for her guest appearance on an episode of "Ben Casey"
1970:
Was a regular on "Bracken's World" (NBC)
1973:
Played Katherine Chancellor on the daytime drama "The Young and the Restless" for decades
1986:
Made first of two appearances on "L.A. Law" as the mother of Arnold Becker, played by son Corbin Bernsen; earned primetime Emmy nomination as Outstanding Guest Actress
1992:
Played the mother of Corbin Bernsen's character in the feature comedy "Frozen Assets"
1993:
Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August
2004:
Won a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award
2008:
Won an Outstanding Leading Actress Daytime Emmy Award for her role on "The Young and the Restless"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bakersfield High School: Bakersfield , California -
College of the Pacific: Stockton , California -
Pasadena Playhouse: Pasadena , California -

Notes

Asked what she feels her legacy to daytime drama is, Cooper replied: "Respect. I've made other actors of repute realize and recognize the quality and integrity of a lot of actors in daytime. I think I set the standard by which people are measured." --From SOAP OPERA DIGEST, September 16, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Harry Bernsen. Producer. Divorced.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Albert Cooper. Born on July 21, 1922.
sister:
Sildith E Cooper. Born on September 11, 1924.
son:
Corbin Bernsen. Actor. Born on September 7, 1954; best known for his role on the NBC primetime drama, "L.A. Law"; married to actress Amanda Pays.
son:
Collin Bernsen. Actor. Born on March 30, 1958.
daughter:
Caren Bernsen. Born on August 17, 1960.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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