Jerry Douglas, who starred on 'The Young and the Restless' for more than 30 years, dies at 88

Jerry Douglas, who starred on 'The Young and the Restless' for more than 30 years, dies at 88

Jerry Douglas, who starred as patriarch John Abbott on “The Young and the Restless” for more than 30 years, died Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 88.

Anthony Morina, executive producer of  the CBS daytime drama, confirmed Douglas’ Nov. 9 death in a statement obtained by USA TODAY. 

“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,” Morina said in the statement. 

No cause of death was given from the family.

Douglas joined the cast of ‘The Young and the Restless’ in March 1982 as Abbott, the wealthy founder and chairman of Jabot Cosmetics. When viewers first met the dashingly handsome character, he was a single father helping children Jack, Ashley and Traci navigate adulthood. 

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Abbott was a mainstay in the show’s Genoa City until the hospitalized character was taken off life support following a stroke in 2006. Abbott’s ghost later made appearances, continuing to check on and counsel his children, with his last appearance in 2016.

Last month, “Young and the Restless” star Lauralee Bell (who plays Christine Blair) posted Instagram photos from an “unbelievably special birthday lunch” to celebrate Douglas’ upcoming 89th birthday. “I will cherish this afternoon always,” she added.

Born Jerry Rubenstein in Chelsea, Massachusetts on Nov. 12, 1932, Douglas launched his acting career after graduating from Brandeis University, where he played quarterback on the football team. He guest-starred in many classic TV series, including “The Rockford Files,” “Police Story,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Mannix,” “Barnaby Jones,” and “Mission Impossible.” 

Jerry Douglas attends a party celebrating "The Young and the Restless" being the number one rated daytime drama for eighteen years in 2007.

Douglas appeared in numerous feature films, including Oliver Stone’s 1991 drama  “JFK,” the 1978 adventure film “Avalanche,” and 1981’s “Mommie Dearest.”  In recent years, he guest-starred in episodes of “Cold Case” and “Melrose Place” and “Arrested Development.”

With his smooth singing voice, Douglas crooned on his own 2007 jazz album “The Best Is Yet To Come.”

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Kym, sons Jod and Hunter, daughter Avra, and two grandchildren.  

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