'Young and Restless' star Jeanne Cooper dies at 84
FILE - In this June 27, 2010 file photo, actress Jeanne Cooper arrives at the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Las Vegas. CBS says soap opera star Jeanne Cooper has died. She was 84. Cooper played grande dame Katherine Chancellor on CBS' "The Young and the Restless" for nearly four decades. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on "The Young and the Restless," has died. She was 84.
Cooper died Wednesday morning in her sleep, her son the actor Corbin Bernsen wrote on Facebook. The family confirmed the death to CBS, according to a network spokeswoman.
She was in a Los Angeles-area hospital, according to Bernsen's spokesman, Charles Sherman, who said the cause of death was not immediately available.
"One of the last great broads in our business — Jeanne Cooper, Mom — is now stirring up trouble in great beyond," her family said in a statement.
Cooper will be remembered "as a daytime television legend and as a friend who will truly be missed by all of us here at the network," said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, adding that the actress brought "indelible charm, class and talent to every episode."
"Heaven just gained one feisty angel," cast member Melissa Claire Egan posted on her Twitter account.
"A very sad day for all of us. You will be deeply missed," tweeted Jessica Collins, also on the serial.
FILE - In this June 8, 2008 file photo, Jeanne Cooper poses with her award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her work on “The Young and the Restless" at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. CBS says soap opera star Cooper has died. She was 84. Cooper played grande dame Katherine Chancellor on CBS' "The Young and the Restless" for nearly four decades. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)
Cooper joined the daytime serial six months after its March 1973 debut, staking claim to the title of longest-tenured cast member. The role earned her 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and a trophy for best actress in a drama series in 2008.
"God knows it's claimed a big part of my life," she told The Associated Press in March as CBS' "The Young and the Restless" celebrated its milestone 40th anniversary.
As the years passed, Cooper brushed aside thoughts of saying goodbye to the show and its fictional Wisconsin town of Genoa City.
"What would I do? I'm no good at crocheting. My fingers would bleed," she told the AP last September, with her 84th birthday approaching the next month.
But on April 12 Bernsen tweeted that his mother faced an "uphill battle" for an undisclosed illness. In subsequent days he wrote of her gradual improvement and said that she'd been taken off breathing equipment.
In a Facebook posting April 17, Bernsen said his mother cursed several times, "showing me that she's becoming her old self, not thrilled about the situation, and ready to get out of the hospital and shake up the world."