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Interview with Jeanne Cooper


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I was lucky enough to talk with Jeanne Cooper recently. Here is the little interview I did:

CZ: Jeanne, you joined “The Young And The Restless” in late 1973, months after the show premiered. It is said that Bill Bell hired you to dynamise the show. Is it true? How do you end up doing a soap-opera?

JC: That’s true Cedric, Bill did hire me to dynamise the show. Indeed, it was the original producer, John Conboy, who convinced me to do the show. I was in Hawaii with my kids when I made the final decision to go ahead. I thought long and hard and realized it would be a great opportunity.

CZ: Katherine Chancellor has not left Y&R since while the Brookses and the Fosters were replaced by the Newmans and the Abbotts. Why do you think made her so special for the soap?

JC: I feel that Katherine became the color wheel for the soap and I believe that is why they kept my character.

CZ: Your character has known a lot of love interests (Phillip, Derek, Felipe, Cash, Earl, Rex, Arthur, now Murphy to name a few). Which ones remain special to Kay’s heart?

JC: The love interests that remain especially close to my heart are Felipe and Rex because they both influenced many of Katherine’s decisions in life.

CZ: Do you have a storyline you mostly cherish throughout the years?

JC: The story line that I treasure the most is the first: Phillip's betrayal of Katherine. It was just a turning point for my character.

CZ: Kay and Jill’s long-running feud is one of the most important of daytime. What did you feel when Jill was made Kay’s daughter in early 2003?

JC: I was not very fond of the idea of Jill becoming my daughter. I felt that it interfered with the great love/hate story line that we had shared for so long.

CZ: About Kay’s fabulous wardrobe, do you have an influence on how clad she is. Do the famous diamonds belong to you?

JC: I do have an influence on the wardrobe that Katherine wears and yes, the diamond does belong to me!!

CZ: You probably have the most famous mannerisms in soaps. Was it your decision that Kay shows lots of her temper through your hands or did Bill Bell or any other producer encourage or discourage you with it?

JC: All of Katherine's mannerisms, using my hands to express certain feeling and such were my own idea.

CZ: With the new regime of writers and producers (Maria Arena Bell, Hogan Sheffer, Paul Rauch), you are constantly in the frontburner. Do you enjoy this for Kay?

JC: I truly enjoy being the frontburner. All of the writers have kept Katherine a true character.

CZ: You have worked with every producer the show has over the years (John Conboy, Wesley Kenney, Edward Scott, Charles Shaughnessy, now Paul Rauch). What is your opinion on each of them. What do you think they each brought to the show?

JC: I feel that John Conboy was important in changing daytime TV, Wes Kenney had a true love for actors, Charles Shaughnessy undestood the actors’ needs and Paul Rauch keeps showing a great sense of discipline.

CZ: Is there any character you would like to see Kay more involved with? Maybe even actors you wish would come back?

JC: I would love to see Beth Maitland more on the show. But otherwise I say “March Forward”.

CZ: Recently, Thom Bierdz has brought back Phillip Chancellor III on Genoa City. Fans have mixed reactions because it rewrites the history of the show. What do you think of this storyline? Do you think Kay’s own lesbian fling (with Joann Curtis in the late 70s’) should have been mentionned?

JC: I think the storyline with Thom was unnecessary. I don't believe that Kay's fling with Joann needed to be mentioned because there was no real story development.

CZ: “Guiding Light” last aired last week. You even made a guest appearance in the finale. What are your opinions about the future of daytime soaps? A lot of soaps have come and gone since you’re in daytime. What, in your opinion, makes Y&R so special for it to still be #1 ?

JC: As for the future of daytime soaps unless there is a fix it looks very dim after the next 4 to 5 years. It was not long ago that daytime is what financially supported primetime. That is no longer the case. I believe that Y&R is still #1 because there is a great deal of character identification by staying in everyday relationships.

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CZ: Recently, Thom Bierdz has brought back Phillip Chancellor III on Genoa City. Fans have mixed reactions because it rewrites the history of the show. What do you think of this storyline? Do you think Kay’s own lesbian fling (with Joann Curtis in the late 70s’) should have been mentionned?

JC: I think the storyline with Thom was unnecessary. I don't believe that Kay's fling with Joann needed to be mentioned because there was no real story development.

This was my question. Thanks for asking. What a blunt response! I completely agree with her. Her reaction basically tells me that the story is now completely done.

I agree with her about Beth Maitland, I'd love to see her more, as long as they knew what to do with her.

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I know, Brandon. I've made a mistake when I typed it down. Sorry

I was lucky enough to talk with Jeanne Cooper recently. Here is the little interview I did:

CZ: Jeanne, you joined “The Young And The Restless” in late 1973, months after the show premiered. It is said that Bill Bell hired you to dynamise the show. Is it true? How do you end up doing a soap-opera?

JC: That’s true Cedric, Bill did hire me to dynamise the show. Indeed, it was the original producer, John Conboy, who convinced me to do the show. I was in Hawaii with my kids when I made the final decision to go ahead. I thought long and hard and realized it would be a great opportunity.

CZ: Katherine Chancellor has not left Y&R since while the Brookses and the Fosters were replaced by the Newmans and the Abbotts. Why do you think made her so special for the soap?

JC: I feel that Katherine became the color wheel for the soap and I believe that is why they kept my character.

CZ: Your character has known a lot of love interests (Phillip, Derek, Felipe, Cash, Earl, Rex, Arthur, now Murphy to name a few). Which ones remain special to Kay’s heart?

JC: The love interests that remain especially close to my heart are Felipe and Rex because they both influenced many of Katherine’s decisions in life.

CZ: Do you have a storyline you mostly cherish throughout the years?

JC: The story line that I treasure the most is the first: Phillip's betrayal of Katherine. It was just a turning point for my character.

CZ: Kay and Jill’s long-running feud is one of the most important of daytime. What did you feel when Jill was made Kay’s daughter in early 2003?

JC: I was not very fond of the idea of Jill becoming my daughter. I felt that it interfered with the great love/hate story line that we had shared for so long.

CZ: About Kay’s fabulous wardrobe, do you have an influence on how clad she is. Do the famous diamonds belong to you?

JC: I do have an influence on the wardrobe that Katherine wears and yes, the diamond does belong to me!!

CZ: You probably have the most famous mannerisms in soaps. Was it your decision that Kay shows lots of her temper through your hands or did Bill Bell or any other producer encourage or discourage you with it?

JC: All of Katherine's mannerisms, using my hands to express certain feeling and such were my own idea.

CZ: With the new regime of writers and producers (Maria Arena Bell, Hogan Sheffer, Paul Rauch), you are constantly in the frontburner. Do you enjoy this for Kay?

JC: I truly enjoy being the frontburner. All of the writers have kept Katherine a true character.

CZ: You have worked with every producer the show has over the years (John Conboy, Wesley Kenney, Edward Scott, David Shaughnessy, now Paul Rauch). What is your opinion on each of them. What do you think they each brought to the show?

JC: I feel that John Conboy was important in changing daytime TV, Wes Kenney had a true love for actors, David Shaughnessy undestood the actors’ needs and Paul Rauch keeps showing a great sense of discipline.

CZ: Is there any character you would like to see Kay more involved with? Maybe even actors you wish would come back?

JC: I would love to see Beth Maitland more on the show. But otherwise I say “March Forward”.

CZ: Recently, Thom Bierdz has brought back Phillip Chancellor III on Genoa City. Fans have mixed reactions because it rewrites the history of the show. What do you think of this storyline? Do you think Kay’s own lesbian fling (with Joann Curtis in the late 70s’) should have been mentionned?

JC: I think the storyline with Thom was unnecessary. I don't believe that Kay's fling with Joann needed to be mentioned because there was no real story development.

CZ: “Guiding Light” last aired last week. You even made a guest appearance in the finale. What are your opinions about the future of daytime soaps? A lot of soaps have come and gone since you’re in daytime. What, in your opinion, makes Y&R so special for it to still be #1 ?

JC: As for the future of daytime soaps unless there is a fix it looks very dim after the next 4 to 5 years. It was not long ago that daytime is what financially supported primetime. That is no longer the case. I believe that Y&R is still #1 because there is a great deal of character identification by staying in everyday relationships.

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