Jerry Douglas, Longtime Star of ‘Young and the Restless’, Dies at 88

Jerry Douglas of The Young and the Restless

Veteran actor Jerry Douglas, best known as patriarch John Abbott on CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, passed away on November 9 after a brief illness. He was 88.

Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on November 12, 1932, Douglas started his career in show business after graduating from college, studying with Uta Hagen in New York and Jeff Corey in Los Angeles. In addition to acting, Douglas also worked as a screenwriter and playwright, developing projects alongside Josh O’Connell through their production company, O’Connell/Douglas Productions.

His early credits include appearances in many classic series such as The Rockford Files, Police Story, Hunter, The Streets of San Francisco, Mannix, Barnaby Jones, Police Woman, The Rookies, Mission Impossible, among many more.

Douglas joined The Young and the Restless in 1982 as John Abbott, the wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics and patriarch of the Abbott family. When he first joined the series, he was a single father helping his children, Jack, Ashley, and Traci, navigate adulthood. In later years, his character married Jill Foster, had another son, Billy, and was involved in many romantic entanglements with his estranged ex-wife, Dina Mergeron.

Abbot was killed off in 2006 but made later appearances in the show as a ghost, who continued to watch over and guide his children. His last appearance on the long-running soap was in 2016.

“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,” said Anthony Morina, executive producer of The Young and the Restless, in a statement.

“Jerry came to Y&R in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits,” Morina continued. “Our show was lucky to have an actor of his caliber 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.”

In recent years, Douglas guest-starred in episodes of Cold Case, Melrose Place, The Christmas Wish, Crash, and Arrested Development. He also served as a guest host on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Home & Family.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, television host and author Kym Douglas; sons Jod and Hunter; daughter Avra; two grandchildren; and nieces, including Kirby Rubenstein and Solo Rubenstein.