Soap opera star and The Young and the Restless patriarch, Jerry Douglas passes away at 88 after a brief period of illness. He was about to turn 89 years old on November 12, this year. The news came from a family spokesperson on November 10, that the veteran actor passed away in his sleep at his California home amongst his family.
Born on 12 November in Los Angeles, California, Douglas reigned as patriarch John Abbott in the famous soap opera The Young and the Restless for 25 years . In an obituary obtained by reporters, the family noted that Douglas was proud of his New England upbringing. He was born to Jewish immigrants and went on to graduate from Brandeis University, where he played quarterback on the school’s football team. While pursuing law in Boston, he got interested in acting and later moved to California. In 1982, he auditioned and bagged a role in The Young and the Restless as the patriarch of the Abbott family and wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics, John Abbott.
The show, which spanned for 30 years and more, basically revolved around two core families, the wealthy Brooks family and the working class Foster family, and a long standing feud between the two central characters, possibly the longest rivalry on any American soap opera. The show with its intriguing plot and drama, suspense and characters, won 11 Daytime Emmy Award for Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. It was ranked the highest-rated daytime drama on American television, a post it had held steadily for 32 years straight. As of December 12, 2013, according to Nielsen ratings, The Young and the Restless marked an unprecedented 1,300 weeks, or 25 years, as the highest-rated daytime drama. Dramatized for CBS network it lent Jerry an unprecedented amount of fame and success and put him into the limelight of soap opera. However after a series of recasts and departures in the early 1980s, they ultimately wrote his character off. After his career was killed off in 2006, he continued making guest appearances as Abbott’s spirit who would appear to guide other characters through tough times.
Executive producer, Anthony Morina from The Young and the Restless crew wrote in an exclusive statement, “ 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…Jerry came to Y&R in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits. Our show was lucky to have an actor of his calibre 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.”
Besides starring in The Young and the Restless, he played quite a few supporting roles in different television shows including Cold Case, Melrose Place, The Christmas Wish, Crash and Arrested Development. Besides acting he dabbled in other fields like music, where he has a collection of jazz music with the album The Best Is Yet to Come, to his credit. He is survived by his wife Kym, as well as sons Jod and Hunter, daughter Avra, and two grandchildren.