This is Jeanne Cooper’s memoir. If you watch the CBS soap operas, you know her as Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless (hence the title). I personally don’t watch soap operas but my mom always had them on when I was younger (her work schedule was arranged so that she would be home when I got off school, and if she’s home, the TV is on) and she would tape Y&R, The Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns and especially her beloved Guiding Light. So while I never watched them (except for my own love of Guiding Light in college), I’ve known Katherine Chancellor pretty much my entire life. Which means that when I had a chance to review Jeanne Cooper’s memoir, I took it without a second thought.
While I’m sure many actors and actresses lead incredibly fascinating lives, I can’t imagine that many have had lives that are better or richer than Cooper’s. And perhaps best of all, she pulls no punches. She doesn’t know who I am, but in case we ever do meet, I plan to do everything I can to stay on her good side.
At any rate, in addition to being on Y&R for literally decades, she has three children (the oldest is Corbin Bernsen; the other two aren’t famous but also sound amazing although, as she points out, she’s not objective there) and eight grandchildren (see note about the children) and acted with basically everyone worth knowing in Hollywood. (Here’s her IMDB page.) Okay, maybe I can’t go THAT far, but she’s been in movies and TV shows with Raymond Burr, Maureen O’Hara, Kirk Douglas, Burgess Meredith and Shelley Winters. And that’s just a few off the top of my head.
But most people probably want to know about her time on Y&R, and she doesn’t hold back there, either. After reading the book, you’ll know exactly what she thinks about many of her costars.
This is such a fascinating book. Obviously soap fans should read it, but anyone who enjoys TV (and movies, especially classic ones) would likely love it. Recommended.