Young and Restless Boss Reveals What Will Happen to Katherine Chancellor

The soap world is still reeling from the May 8 passing of actress Jeanne Cooper. Fans of the beloved grand dame have been wondering what will happen to her iconic character, Katherine "Kay" Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan spoke with Y&R’s executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, who gave the inside scoop on how the soap will deal with both the passings of Cooper and Kay.

TV Guide Magazine: Tell us about the plans to honor her on air, and what you plan to do about her character.

Phelps: We're going to have the actors closest to Jeanne — probably 25 in all — sit in the Chancellor mansion set and tell stories and reminisce about her life, as themselves. We'll serve tea and let everyone talk and cry and laughs and share and we'll find the best photos and clips we can get our hands on and edit it all together into a beautiful celebration episode. This is all for Jeanne. And then later we will deal with the death of Kay Chancellor. We've already written the show into July, so it will take some time before we can address her departure on air. In the meantime, there will be references in the script that Katherine and her husband Murphy are off somewhere on a trip.

Phelps also clears up any rumors about a possible Kay recast.

TV Guide Magazine: Was there any thought to handling this the way Brad Bell dealt with the death of Darlene Conley on The Bold and the Beautiful — by sending her character, Sally Spectra, gallivanting around the world, leaving us with the comforting feeling that she'll always be out there somewhere?

Phelps: We decided, for the sake of the audience and the characters, that it was important to have closure with Kay. And, contrary to rumors, we never gave a thought to recasting the role — not for a minute! Y&R was forced to do it when Jeanne was out ill for a bit a couple of years ago, when she was replaced by Michael Learned. But that was a temporary situation. You cannot replace the irreplaceable. The greatest way to honor Jeanne is to make Kay's exit as dramatic and meaningful as possible.

To find out more about Y&R's hour-long send off to Cooper on May 28, click here!

60 Responses

  1. Profile photo of TraceyAbbot101

    I loved the ending of today’s (Monday’s ) episode: instead of the closing credits and the previews, they had a quick memorial to the one and the only Jeanne Cooper!

    Tears are still flowing….

    ( pass me the box o Kleenex, Harlee490 ).

  2. Profile photo of harlee490

    Oh this makes me so happy, all are going to treat this situation with a real contribution of how important Jeanne was to YR and the viewers. I say a big thank you JFP for taking this head on and giving viewers something very special to treasure. I wish they would show this tribute in prime-time for fans that might not be with the show now but always remembers our beloved Mrs. Chancellor. Great way to welcome those lost fans back ;)

    I read a tweet from Jess Walton about taking an apartment now in LA because of work schedule…keep your fingers crossed this means more airings of Jill is happening… :love:

  3. Profile photo of pennywise555

    [quote=harlee490]I read a tweet from Jess Walton about taking an apartment now in LA because of work schedule…keep your fingers crossed this means more airings of Jill is happening… :love:[/quote]

    That is good news. I hope keep the Chancellor set so she has a home on-screen too. I find it a little disturbing that they are even thinking of doing away with it. It’s not Y&R to me without it. I hope JFP really meant they haven’t had a chance to decide who is going to be live there with Jill.

  4. Profile photo of harlee490

    I think JFP is busy putting this special together…I read the interview and she said she hasn’t really had the much time to know how to handle it, which is true…this special is going to be Jill said 2 hours and names the the ppl doing the tribute and going to air the other half online….wonderful.

  5. Profile photo of pennywise555

    [quote=TraceyAbbot101]they are not sure if the set will “go dark” or current characters will move in.[/quote]

    I’m going to remember JFP said they are keeping Jeanne in mind with all these decisions because there is NO WAY I would ever believe that JC would want her set retired too. That would be her legacy and viewers would always be reminded of her when they see it. Y&R can give Jeanne 100 blood relatives, that does nothing to bring her into memory. Jill & the Chancellor mansion set remind us of Katherine Chancellor because they were both part of her for 40 years.

  6. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Since we probably won’t get to see Kay’s passing addressed for a couple of months, I’m hoping that means they have enough time to contact and bring back a lot of the actors who played characters that were part of Kay’s life, family and extended family.

    And I’m also hoping there’s a big dramatic scene with the reading of Katherine’s will. Mac and Chance would definitely have to inherit part of Chancellor Industries. And there would have to be something in the will that would enrage Jill; but she should still get her due.

  7. Profile photo of stoney07

    lets fill up the Chancellor Mansion again…lol

    Nina, Jill, Esther, Murphy, Mac, and JT. LOLOL.

    Just glad that JFP is handling this respectfully. I know a lot have their doubts about her, but so far…not one vet is gone. I admit, I’m surprised too. Never watched her work prior to Y&R…but I heard great things about Guiding LIght (except that Maureen Bauer thing)…and horrible things about Another World and General Hospital.

    IDK….RIP Jeanne Cooper.

  8. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie

    [quote=The_Moustache]i wonder what’s going to happen to the Chancellor mansion now that Kay is gone and Jill doesn’t live in Genoa City anymore???


    What are you talking about? Jill was in Australia visiting Phillip but is back now and has been living in the mansion again for MONTHS.

  9. Profile photo of pferrando

    Kudos to CBS and the current Y and R team on this news.

    I read the entire interview and I do applaud Jill P. for what’s being done to honor our Jeanne so far. The tribute show sounds fantastic. My heart skipped too to see that it was being handled by Sally McDonald. She’s either Directed or Produced the show since the 90’s. So glad a true Y and R vet is going to be in charge of this one.

    My only concern is Jill not “being sure” of what’s going to happen to the mansion. Josh needs to milk the history of the show on this one…

    So many possibilities. I just don’t want the same fate of the ranch to happen here. That set was as iconic as the mansion. Maybe with the outcry over that she’s learned a valuable lesson about the Y and R fans and their loyalty to the ENTIRE show.

    In any event, I look forward to the tribute, and I also loved the ending of today’s show as well. Well done, again.

  10. Profile photo of booze26

    Ofcourse she wasnt on planning to recast the part. The rumors out there where from people that have absolutely no idea what direction JFP is going with Y&R.

    She has the scripts ready for somewhere mid july. And well, you could come to the conclusion there wasnt much story for Katherine if she was still alive. So really, recasting a part that was already being reduced in screentime is pure gossip. Glad that JFP killed that rumor.

    As for the mansion, who cares. Its a set FGS. They burned downd the newman ranch, so why jkeep the Chancelor mansion on screen.

    Good, that they give an epi to honoring her work and her character.

  11. Profile photo of pferrando

    Oh booze…more of the same from you.

    You don’t appear to be a fan of the show, so I’d rather you not comment about certain things that are dear to us Y and R fans.

    You’re a B and B watcher…and it’s a great show. But I doubt you’d want the Forrester mansion/set destroyed. C’mon think a bit.

    The show exist because the fans want what they want. We WANT the mansion and Jill in it. It’s the story and continuation of what is part of the history. If you don’t have history, it’s not a good soap. You know that. B and B has been chugging along since ’87. It’s in good shape because of its continuity. You don’t destroy what works. If you do, you end up like GL or ATWT.

  12. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001

    This is a fantastic interview. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. Michael Logan is the best the way he talks to the TPTB. And I think Jill is a class act. I do hope they can keep the iconic set though!

  13. Profile photo of Yoryla

    Well I will say this sounds all very good. JFP is right, Jeanne is irreplaceable. Also, I am glad they won’t leave Kay alive like Sally on B&B (what a mockery that is). I was wondering on how and when they would address Kay passing. So obviously it will be in July/ August.

    The only thing that stuck out for me a little, is “dramatic”, for Kay’s passing. What does that mean? They need to give it screen-time and prominence, yes, but I hope they keep it as respectful and dignified as possible. A murder, etc. is out of the question.

    Will be watching all the material concerning Jeanne and Kay’s passing.

  14. Profile photo of pferrando

    Yes, Yoryla, I agree. Dramatic should be respectful.

    It would be logical to tie it to her recent surgery. No more.

    The drama obviously can come from the fallout of her onscreen death.

    I’m a little nervous about this one too.

  15. Profile photo of Yoryla


    Of course the “drama” she meant could be in regards to the scenes we get from characters mourning her, a strong funeral, and a surprising will reading. I hope these are the kind of things we get to see!

  16. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    I would think, the best way to deal with the death, would be to just announce it, unless they have more scenes they plan to show. Would be very simple to just say that she had passed away peacefully, due to complications.

  17. Profile photo of pennywise555

    [quote=Yoryla]The only thing that stuck out for me a little, is “dramatic”, for Kay’s passing. What does that mean? They need to give it screen-time and prominence, yes, but I hope they keep it as respectful and dignified as possible. A murder, etc. is out of the question.[/quote]

    They don’t need a murder for drama they have Katherine Chancellors will and who knows what will go on regarding DNA and paternity. Kay may be holding back some precious info or maybe she & Murphy may find out something on their “vacation”.

    I’m sure the service will be respectful & dignified, just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. But I sure hope the storyline around it isn’t. I’m expecting the Duchess to go out in a story overflowing with classic soapy goodness. She’s the Grand Dame of GC, Katherine Chancellor should not leave quietly.

  18. Profile photo of Jorpa

    JFP is close to redeeming herself in my eyes if she does this right.

    If Katherine leaves her half of the mansion to Esther and Jill stays on as much as possible (a contract for Jess would be nice), then I will be happy. If Jess decides to stay recurring, that’s fine too as long as she’s still on the show and Jill and Esther can give each other grief. I would love to see a Jill/Esther catfight. LOL

    I could go on and on, I kinda see Jill/Esther as Katherine/Jill in some ways. As far as Chancellor Industries goes, Jill and Cane can go back and forth as Victor and Jack does.

  19. Profile photo of Bartman202

    KUDOS TO JILL FARREN PHELPS!! I’d tip my hat to you if I wore a hat!

    Despite all the negativity I have read here on DC and other soap opera sites re her past EP duties with now-defunct soap operas, she and HW Josh Griffith have done a damn fine job bringing my “Y & R” back from the MAB dregs!!

    Tuesday, May 28th will be a somber day for all of us who loved not only the character of Katherine Chancellor, but for that octogenarian firecracker known as Jeanne Cooper. Neither the character nor the actress can ever be replaced!!


  20. Profile photo of pjc722

    I hope that the powers that be take advantage of the fact that Jess Walton is a power house and that Jill could be a great 3rd tycoon in Genoa City with Jack/Neil at Jabot and Adam/Victor at Newman.

    I hope that after close to 2 decades or more of seeing Katherine and Jill fight over the Chancellor estate, that Jill (jesus, I was about to type “Maria”) puts that fun plot point to rest and allow Katherine to say “NOW, you can have it Jill since its over my dead body!”

    As harsh as it sounds now, I do remember Katherine saying many a time that Jill would get the estate OVER HER DEAD BODY! It would definitely get an affectionate chuckle from everyone! Can you imagine the lead up to the revelation from Mitchell, we see Jill flashing back to a series of those clips “over my dead body” to hear him say “now you can have it!”

    Also, I don’t want to see another corporate battle. Sorry, its been done ad nauseum with NEWMAN, JABOT, and even Chancellor with Tucker. Since Tucker owns 49%, allow Jill to get the remainder and be made Chairwoman of the board while Katherine’s request be that Jill teach both her sons the ropes at the company. I’d rather see rivalry than BATTLE.

    As for Katherine’s son Brock, her granddaughter Mac, grandson Devon and even Tucker, simple mentions, charitable donations and the like will serve perfectly.

    I want Jill to become the ALEXIS of daytime as she once was to all the corporate tycoons that are male in this town.

    (It won’t be the same without Jeanne Cooper, but it can be good!)

  21. Profile photo of pennywise555

    If they are going to keep (and use) that mansion it will have to filled with some residents they care about from the next generation that could provide years of story. Devon or Ester won’t do it. So my scenario would be….

    -They find Cane NOT Devon is Katherine’s grandson.

    -Cane gets Kay’s 1/2 of the house to share with Jill

    -Cane& Lily split up (they can be endgame instead), but Jill will always be trying to get Cane/Lily back together because…

    -Cane marries Chelsea, and she & Jill don’t get along because…

    -Chelsea reverts to being the schemer she was

    -Chelsea uses her new husband Cane against Adam in business.

    -Jill and Chelsea butt heads over her interference with Cane at CI, running of the mansion, and Billy’s child John.

    -Chelsea can cause problems at Fenmores with her fashion business that would impact Lauren & as well as sister Jill

    -Colin could return. He will still be the man who raised Cane even if he not the bio-dad & Jill loves him. I could see them getting married and Cane having to deal with it.

    -A re-cast re-formulated Tucker and/or back to William Russ, someone who fits romantically Jill, could always return to cause tension in the future too.

  22. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model


    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s Executive Producing Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s Executive Producing Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s Executive Producing Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbayah

    Someone’s head writing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s head writing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s head writing, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s acting, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s acting, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s acting, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s scripting, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s scripting, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s scripting, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s directing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s directing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s directing, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Hey i’m already singing it. I see the coming of the show. Josh scripts are marching on…. ;)

  23. Profile photo of Restless Fan
    Restless Fan

    I’m happy with how things are progressing in regards to remembering Jeanne. I can’t wait for the remembrance episode. Kudos to all involved for doing right by this daytime legend.

  24. Profile photo of bishbay

    I think Phillip getting Kay’s house and giving it to Nina/Nina moving in (I don’t care how they make it happen) and living with Jill would be awesome.

  25. Profile photo of pferrando

    So let’s think about this…

    It doesn’t really benefit Cane to get half of the mansion and really y’all he’s not after it. He doesn’t care. He’s honoring KAY’S wishes to run her company. Period. He’s grubbed for nothing. I know a lot of people hate the character but he’s never been after financial gain. Never.

    Esther would be a fun choice, but she’s never been an A player…and also wouldn’t make sense for long term story.

    So that leaves…

    Jill… A surprise but delicious choice.

    Nina…. GOD my DREAM choice… Or some one else.

    Anyone else?

  26. Profile photo of pjc722

    @david46208… that would be hilarious but one would be stupid to get into a romance with the other after decades of calling her an IMBECILE and the other would be stupid to get into a relationship with someone she considers an IMBECILE!

    I wouldn’t mind if Katherine gave Jill the entire estate EXCEPT she had to let Esther live there if she pleased… over the garage.


  27. Profile photo of pjc722

    People, just to give someone else half the estate JUST to continue a plot point that was first created to make enormous tension between two enemies and then evolved into some great comedic moments would not pay tribute to the woman and the character at the epicenter of it all, Katherine and Jeanne Cooper.

    I think with Katherine’s passing that chapter of Jill’s life should close and a new one… at the hand of Katherine… begins.

    Plus JFP has no intention of having Nina come back for any longer than to pay tribute to the great actress, hopefully at the tribute episode and then again at the funeral of Katherine, the Great!

  28. Profile photo of pferrando

    Nina gave us the slap heard ’round the Daytime world when she tried to lay out Phyllis less than a year ago.

    Damn that was good.

    Bring Nina back and now.

  29. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie

    I think the obvious choice would be that Jill gets Kay’s half of the house on the condition that she not kick Esther out, EVER. I don’t want to see some random person get Kay’s part of the house to piss off Jill. That would get really old, really quick,

    Maybe they’ll rip a page from the headlines, and say Murphy dumped his wife overboard while they were on a cruise together cuz he was tired of waiting to inherit her money. Michael Fairman is also playing mafia types, anyway. Casting him as a lovable old codger never made any sense to me.

  30. Profile photo of booze26

    Well…I dont think JFP is going to bring back names like Tucker, Brock or Mac. Really people, its not going to happen not even for a guest role. I also dont think we are going to see an on screen funeral.

  31. Profile photo of booze26


    So because I am not a regular day to day viewer, I am not able to have an opinion? Who the hell do you think you are to tell me what to do. I watch this show since 20 years on and off, and I am allowed to have an opinion whether or not a set needs to be replaced or not. The fact that I dont care about the stupid mansion shouldnt bother you one bit. Why even keep this set, if there is hardly any on screen tie to it. Yes, we have JW back on our screens, but who knows how long that lasts.

    So many soaps have been cancelled the recent years, a set doesnt change that. Bad writing and bad casting makes the difference. I would love to see Jill on every day, whether it is in an office building or in a mansion. Who cares.

  32. Profile photo of ANGELWENDY15

    Perhaps JFP has learned her lesson after killing off a beloved vet, Alan, on GH, and pushing the vets in the backgrounds on that show. These are the characters we most remember and treasure. I think she is finally showing some class and believe she will honor Jeanne’s memory well. RIP Jeanne. Will miss you!!!

  33. Profile photo of pferrando

    Booze, I know you aren’t a regular viewer because you wouldn’t feel that way.

    I’m sure there are things you wouldn’t want changed on B and B.

    And I’m not a regular viewer so I wouldn’t say…..”ahhh who cares, she’s not needed on the show. It’s just a set, get rid of it.”

    Just seems to be some negative comments just to be negative.

  34. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    Wold that be the lousy tie-up to the Marcus Wheeler story-line, or the stupid pushing of Dylan McAlroy down our throats? Perhaps its nuAbby, nuKyle, or the now-gone Adriana? Maybe it could be Kevin and Chloe being ‘stupid’ again?

    The fact of the matter is, we all idolize Bill Bell, and bow down at his feet, but he had his bad moments, too.

    The fact of the matter, except for Doppleganger Lauren-Sara, and Sharon & Victor; it really wasn’t that bad. And I don’t blame MAB for Cane gas-lighting Lil — cause MAB tried to kill Cane off, but SONY/CBS wouldn’t allow it.

  35. Profile photo of JimmyJay

    The Chancellor mansion set is like the Horton house on Days or the Llanfair manor set on OLTL: The set that provides continuity between the series beginnings and now. And on Kay’s will, although I think it’d be fun to give the mansion to Esther, I think it’d be more fitting (especially after being passed over for the head Chancellor Industries job for Cane) that Jill be given the mansion. She’s an original character and, after decades of feuding, it could be Kay’s final peace offering, a detente of sorts, over being Philip’s mistress–like, “I understand. It wasn’t ALL your fault. It happened and it’s over.”

  36. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    It would be wonderful if JFP brings Dina back for Kay’s funeral the way MAB brought her back when it was “Kay” (really Marge) a few years ago.

  37. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    [quote=Ryan-Scott]It would be wonderful if JFP brings Dina back for Kay’s funeral the way MAB brought her back when it was “Kay” (really Marge) a few years ago.[/quote]

    I don’t remember anyone named DINA, except for Jack’s mother, and I don’t remember her being on the show in regards to Kay/Marge funeral. Am I missing something here or what?

  38. Profile photo of soapfan5021

    Y&R won’t be the same without Katherine. On a lighter note, wouldn’t it be a hoot if Katherine left half the mansion to Esther? I can see the fireworks between Jill and Esther now

  39. Profile photo of digginroots

    Don’t forget that Kay was married to her beloved Murphy. The house is his as is the fortune she left behind-I see a will in his future that forgets he’s her heir. (Please don’t treat him poorly!)

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