Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Y&R: Jeanne Cooper Tribute
On May 28, 2013, "The Young & the Restless" aired a special tribute to Jeanne Cooper. Here are my thoughts and a summary of it.
The episode began with Jess Walton (Jill) talking about Jeanne Cooper and mentions how they are going to be writing the character of Kay out of the story. That took place in the Chancellor set. Then we see interview excerpts with Jeanne along with clips of the Jill and Kay relationship. Then they showed clips of her dual role as Marge. Jeanne mentions how she spent half of her life at Y&R and how some viewers spent their whole lifetime watching her. They created a special opening credits with just video of Jeanne in all the different openings since the 70s.
Corbin Bernsen and his sister Collin and Caren are in the set. Corbin is speaking for his siblings and the rest of the family. After her own family, the next most important people were her Y&R family. There are photos of Jeanne with various people and then mentions the Bells who created the show. Corbin ends it thanking the viewers and their outpouring of support to Mrs. Chancellor and Mom.
Beth Maitland (Traci), Heather Tom (used to be Victoria now on B&B as Katie), Doug Davidson (Paul), Lauralee Bell (Christine) and Tricia Cast (Nina) are all sitting together talking about Jeanne.
Josh Morrow (Nick) shares how Jeanne told him that he would get a lot of women, but don't mess it up. Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) explains how Jeanne got her to cry by yelling at her everyone hates you. Jess is sitting next to Michelle in chairs, and Peter Bergman (Jack), Beth and Jerry Douglas (John) are on a couch together. Kate Linder (Esther) talks about how Esther always would protect Mrs. C and they had comic material together. Jess mentions how the stunt doubles were awful, and how ten years ago in the attic they fought together in these scenes.
Bryton McClure (Devon), Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) and Stephen Nichols (Tucker) sat together. They show a clip of Jeanne and Bryton when the character learned signed language for her grandson. Then Elizabeth mentioned how Jeanne had a special place for everyone.
Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) shared a photo of her and Jeanne on the day Jeanne got her star on the walk of fame. Michelle mentions how Jeanne felt on the day she won her Daytime Emmy. Then we see a clip of Jeanne talking about it.
Jess shared about how Jeanne could feel sympathy for a doorknob. At this point, Jess is sitting next to Michael Fairman who plays Murphy. Then Kate mentions Chloe (or as she was known then Kate) being born and playing that material with Jeanne with clips included.
Then we see Peter ask where the name duchess came for Katherine. Beau Kayser who played her son Brock is there. The name came from Bill Bell, and they show an old clip.
Lauralee mentions the friendship between her dad and Jeanne. John McCook (who is Eric on B&B, and played Lance on Y&R). John is sitting next to Melody. They showed old stills of Jeanne as a young actress prior to Y&R.
They show a very early scene with Eric Braeden (Victor) and Jeanne. He can't finish his sentence, but he says he loved working with her. He remembers her smile. Christian LeBlanc (Michael) and Tracy Bregman (Lauren) were on the sofa too. Michael Fairman mentions what his audition was like with Jeanne and he made a joke about how he hadn't tried to do chemistry in a long time.
Tracy mentioned her very first and last scenes with Jeanne, and they showed clips. The first had Kay saying that Lauren is a lot like her and the last was Kay consoling her.
John McCook mentions how she was a grand dame from her first day on set and that she was a fully realized character. Kristoff St. John (Neil) talks about Jeanne's sparkle. Daniel Goddard (Cane) was sitting next to Josh Morrow. Greg Rikkart is Billy Miller is next to Kristoff.
We see a clip of the last material between Tucker and Katherine. Michelle mentions how Jeanne connected to people who were lost. Tricia talks about her first meeting with Jeanne and later about spending time with her as she stayed with Jeanne when in California.
They show a video of when Greg told Jeanne on screen that he loved her even though it wasn't scripted. The cast talk about nicknames for the Jeanne along with her nicknames for her. Elizabeth's nickname was little hell and Christian's was bleeped, so we can only imagine.
Greg mentioned how Jeanne used to say there is no star of the show, but he then said it was really Jeanne. Kristoff talked about going to public events and the fans always would ask about her. Peter shared about fans visiting with Jeanne. Tracy mentioned how she had the ability to make everyone feel like the best.
Daniel mentioned the drug rehab in Midland, Texas that Jeanne started. They showed more clips of Jeanne being interviewed and she mentions how fortune she is.
Greg mentions chapter eight of Jeanne's book and how she goosed the men. Josh mentions a square dancing scene with Jeanne, and they showed a clip. The women didn't know about it, but guess it was gender related.
Doug shares how Jeanne was there with his mom after his wife gave birth. Josh shared how Jeanne called him in her hospital room, and had no idea how Jeanne knew. Billy shares how Jeanne called when he was sick to make sure he was okay. She was like a mom and grandma to them.
The Y&R theme played and we have some quick clips of people speaking about Jeanne. They speak about how thankful they were to have her in their lives. We then see the groups as it looked like they interviewed everyone in three groups. They have a clip portion from Archive of American Television along with video of Jeanne from early on at the show. In Jeanne's words we hear about her impact and then more clips play. She mentions how she would like to be remembered.
Then we go back to Daniel mentioning the last material that Jeanne acted. They show Jeanne's last scene with Jess and her ad lib of good night.
The Y&R theme starts to play again. We see Jess as herself turning off the lights, and then a photo of Jeanne on a desk with jewels in front of her as the episode ends.
This episode was extremely emotional to watch and an obvious breaking of the fourth wall. If there was ever a time to do that, Y&R picked the correct reason. Jeanne has been a part of many people's lives for decades and deserved to be honored by the cast. I hope we get more footage that didn't make it on the broadcast in the coming weeks.