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The Young and the Restless Veteran Jerry Douglas Dead at 88

Soap mourns beloved patriarch.
Jerry Douglas, The Young and the Restless

Jerry Douglas/CBS

Beloved The Young and the Restless actor Jerry Douglas died November 9, 2021 following a brief illness. He was 88. Douglas was best known for portraying patriarch John Abbott on the CBS soap.

"On behalf of the entire company of The Young and the Restless, we send our deepest sympathies to the Douglas family on the passing of Jerry Douglas," said Y&R Executive Producer Anthony Morina in a released statement. "Jerry came to Y&R in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits. Our show was lucky to have an actor of his caliber join the Y&R cast and introduce the audience to the iconic Abbott family. His contribution to the legacy of Y&R as Abbott family patriarch, John Abbott is still felt to this day. He will be sorely missed."

Douglas was Jerry Rubenstein in Chelsea, Massachusetts on November 12, 1932. Proud of his Boston heritage and New England upbringing, he won a football scholarship to play quarterback at Brandeis University, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Economics. He fondly recalled meeting the future President, J.F.K., upon his visit to the University.

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Douglas launched his acting career upon graduation from college, studying with Uta Hagen in New York and Jeff Corey in Los Angeles. Douglas was also a screenwriter and playwright, having developed projects with Josh O’Connell through their production company, O’Connell/Douglas Productions. He donated his time to Variety Club and the Salvation Army charities, was a life-long golfer and avid reader.

Jerry Douglas joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in March 1982 as the wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics and beloved single father who helped his children navigate adulthood.

Over the span of his long career, Douglas starred in more than one hundred productions. He appeared in numerous feature films, including Oliver Stone’s JFK, Avalanche, The Godson, Head Over Spurs in Love, and Mommie Dearest. In recent years, he guest-starred in episodes of Cold Case, Melrose Place, The Christmas Wish, Crash and Arrested Development. Earlier in his acting career, he guest-starred in many classic series with legendary stars on The Rockford Files, Police Story, Hunter, The Streets of San Francisco, Mannix, Barnaby Jones, Police Woman, The Rookies and Mission Impossible among many more. His repertoire also included theater and singing engagements in New York, across the United States and Canada. His album “The Best Is Yet To Come” can be listened to on audio streaming platforms.

While his Hollywood accolades were important to him, his greatest role was as the devoted husband of 37 years to Kym, television personality and host (The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Home & Family) and loving father to sons Jod (Writer & Product Designer, Oracle) and Hunter (Commercial Real Estate Analyst, Eastdil Secured); daughter, Avra (Trustee, Marlon Brando Estate); two grandchildren, nieces including Kirby Rubenstein and Solo Rubenstein (International Marketing, Universal Pictures).