Top positive review
138 people found this helpful
"The Grand-Dame of Daytime Television"
on July 31, 2012
"Not Young, Still Restless" is the wonderful and insightful biography of legendary actress Jeanne Cooper, known to millions worldwide as the rich and powerful Katherine Chancellor on "The Young and the Restless", the #1 soap opera in the U.S. since 1988.
In the book Jeanne discusses her entire life from being raised part Indian to be molested not once, but twice as a little girl and how that had a severe effect on her life. She writes about coming to Hollywood and working with some of the greats on film and primetime TV. She discusses her various love affairs, her film and TV roles and her only marriage that ended in a divorce, yet produced the love of her life, her three children.
After the marriage ended she needed money so she could send her kids through high school and college and in 1973 Bill Bell, creator and writer of a new soap opera at CBS, offered her a role on his new serial. In November, 1973 Katherine Chancellor debut and "The Young and the Restless" has never been the same.
With the ratings of the show in the basement (not uncommon for a new soap) Bill pitted rich socialite Kay against the poor/born on the wrong side of the tracks Jill Foster for the attention of Phillip, Kay's husband. At this point Katherine was a drinker, loved her stable boys and smoked like a train. Phillip, bored with his marriage, started a sexual and loving relationship with Jill who was now working on the Chancellor estate as Kay's Girl Friday. As the story progressed into 1974 then 1975 the ratings soared as viewers watched each day to see if Phillip would leave the drunken Kay and go with the beautiful Jill. By 1975 "The Young and the Restless" hit #1, nabbed the Emmy for Best Drama and continued to soar in popularity with Jeanne's story and performance as one of its attributes.
Jeanne also discusses her long-time problem with alcoholism that almost got her fired from the soap. It was her son Corbin Bernsen and boss Bill Bell who finally persuaded Jeanne to get help through AA and to get her life on track.
In 1984 Jeanne was tired of looking so old so she opted to have a face-lift which was written into the story on the serial. Jeanne's real-life face-lift operation was actually filmed and used on "The Young and the Restless", the first such proceedure to ever be shown on television.
Jeanne writes about her love affair with sexy Beau Kayzer in the 1970's who actually played her son Brock, her troubles with certain actresses on the show, the firing of Brenda Dickson in 1987 who played her rival Jill for so many years, the sometimes bad stories she was given, but mostly praises Bill Bell as the genius he was.
An excellent and well-written memoir you will enjoy "Not Young, Still Restless" tremendously.
A daytime Emmy-winner (FINALLY!) Jeanne is funny, serious and extremely intellectual in writing her life. An A+ read.