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Soap World, Fans Mourn Passing Of ‘Y&R’ Legend Jeanne Cooper

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The daytime TV community and soap fans from around the world mourned along with actor Corbin Bernsen and his family Wednesday upon the passing of his mother, “Young and Restless” matriarch Jeanne Cooper.

Six hours after Bernsen — the “LA Law” and “Psych” star — posted a picture of his mother, surrounded by her three children, their respective spouses, and her grandchildren, the picture received nearly 70,000 likes, 8,300 comments and almost 6,700 shares on Facebook.

Wrote Bernsen, “Wanted to share the pilot light mom leaves on — her children and grandchildren. Photo is a few years old, hairstyles have changed, but I’m sure she’d want you to know this was her greatest joy — her family. We will carry on and do her proud!”

Jeanne Cooper, surrounded by loving children, their spouses and her grandchildren. (credit: Corbin Bernsen/Facebook)

Jeanne Cooper, surrounded by loving children, their spouses and her grandchildren. (credit: Corbin Bernsen/Facebook)

In another comment on Facebook, he wrote about spending three hours saying goodbye to his mom. “So peaceful. As each minute passed I watched the years fall from her face until she looked almost childlike. Not a line, not a worry…peaceful. She would be thrilled,” he quipped. Within eight hours of posting that, the comment had 15,465 comments, 88,000 likes and 10,700 shares.

Many of Cooper’s “Y&R” co-stars past and present also took to social media Wednesday to express their grief and condolences to her family.

Cooper, who starred on “Y&R” nearly 40 years (she joined the cast in November 1973) played the no-nonsense, rich, grande dame Katherine Chancellor — to many she was “Mrs. C” or “the Duchess.”

Thom Bierdz, who played grandson Phillip Chancellor wrote, “My friend, the great Jeanne Cooper has finished her earth existence at this time. The last time I saw her was in 2011, when this photo was taken. I told her that night how great she was so many time that her sister told me to stop kissing her a–. But I thought it may be the last time I see her and wanted to let Jeanne know, as an intelligent man who could see a big picture, just how much she had accomplished, and how many people thought about her in such reverence.”

On Twitter and Facebook, Kristoff St. John (Neil) wrote, “Through the darkness of the clouds today, I swore that I saw my friend. Holy rays of sunshine. #JeanneCooper.”

Gina Tognoni, who played Kelly on “One Life to Live,” for a decade was like many actresses on soaps – even if they didn’t work with Jeanne Cooper, they admired her immensely. Today Tognoni wrote, “A dear sweet soul has passed today. I admired your strength and style- rest in peace- J. Cooper. You were always kind and bigger than life-you will be missed. God Bless your entire family, at home and in TV land.”

“Y&R” star Jessica Collins (Avery) tweeted, “A very sad day for all of us. Greatful to have known this amazing woman. You will be deeply missed Jeanne Cooper…by all of us.”

Daniel Goddard (who plays Cane) had been an almost-daily visitor to the hospital. “I am just crushed to hear that Jeanne Cooper has passed away. We have lost an icon. She was the grande dame, a beautiful soul who touched the lives of millions. I am honored and so privileged to have been part of her miraculous life … and she will always be in my heart.”

Tristan Rogers, “General Hospital’s” Scorpio, a daytime superstar in his own right, worked at “Y&R” playing nefarious Colin. “Daytime is the lessor today from the loss of Jeanne Cooper. I sure will miss here.”

“Bold and Beautiful’s” Adrienne Frantz (Amber) said, “My beautiful friend Jeanne Cooper passed away this morning. I am heartbroken! I love you so much Jeanne! Now coolest strongest angel ever!!!”

“Y&R”s Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) wrote, “There are some people in the world who are just magical … Jeanne Cooper was one of those people.”

The usually fun and upbeat Joshua Morrow (Nicholas) was admittedly down today. “Man, this day was terrible … a huge loss for our show and family. I just want this day to be over. Hug your families. #TheDuchess.”

At least one of her “Y&R” co-stars will remember Cooper’s funny, bawdy side. Greg Rikaart (Kevin) says, “She’d pinch me in scenes 2 make me laugh. Then she’d guffaw, so pleased w/herself. I’ll miss Jeanne’s laugh the most.”

Former “Y&R” star Shemar Moore (ex-Malcolm) who stars on “Criminal Minds” and Cooper were fast friends. “She is a legend. She made me laugh! All Love!!”

For more than 20 years, Kate Linder (Esther) played Cooper’s off-beat maid. “I’m crushed to lose my mentor, friend and co-worker,” she wrote on Facebook. “Sweet dreams, Jeanne. All of my love to you and your family.”

Lisa Rinna, of “Days of Our Lives” and “Melrose Place” fame, wrote, “RIP dear Jeanne Cooper. She was a mentor to me and I will be forever Grateful for her kindness. She was a Broad and she taught me a lot!”

Former Democratic strategist and CNN pundit Donna Brazile tweeted, “Watching TV, reading your tweets and catching up on other news. God bless #Jeanne Cooper. Loved the Young and the Restless back in the days.”

Bravo’s Andy Cohen tweeted, “RIP Jeanne Cooper – a daytime LEGEND! And one of the most fun broads you could ever hope to meet!”

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