Since 1982, Kate Linder has portrayed Katherine Chancellor's bumbling housekeeper Esther Valentine on CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless. The flight attendant's TV gig allowed her the opportunity to work closely with the late Jeanne Cooper for over 30 years.
"My heart is breaking for Jeanne Cooper's wonderful family and for all of us who truly loved Jeanne through the years," said Linder in a released statement. "Jeanne was my mentor and an amazing actress and friend. We've been through so much together and I loved her like family. She and Bill Bell were the two people most responsible for my career on Y&R. and the world is a darker place without them. When Jeanne welcomed you into her life, you knew it and it was a fantastic feeling. This is truly the end of an era, not just for fans of The Young and the Restless, but for all of the people she touched throughout her long and distinguished career and life. She's always been larger than life and an inspiration to me and so many others. I can't imagine a world without Jeanne Cooper -- it won't be the same without her fighting spirit and lust for life and to say she will be missed is an understatement for what we are all feeling today."