Longtime soap star Jerry Douglas, 88, dead following ‘brief illness’: Report

Fans of the long-running soap opera The Young and the Restless are mourning the death of one of its most prominent actors.

According to a statement shared by Fox News, 88-year-old Jerry Douglas — known for his portrayal of John Abbott for many years during the daytime series’ run — died following a “brief illness.” A representative noted that his death came just days before his 89th birthday.

An accomplished actor

In addition to joining the soap opera series in 1982, Douglas was known for previous work in popular shows such as The UntouchablesThe Donna Reed ShowMission: ImpossibleThe Incredible Hulk, The Rockford FilesBarnaby Jones, and Quincy M.E.

His role as the patriarch of the Abbott family and chairman of Jabot Cosmetics made him a frequent and familiar face to generations of Americans. Although his character died in 2006, he returned for a decade from time to time to portray Abbott’s ghost.

Douglas has an extensive list of television credits and has also appeared in several movies, including AvalancheJFK, and Mommie Dearest.

The Young and the Restless issued a statement this week on Twitter to send “condolences to the family of Jerry Douglas,” who portrayed the “iconic” character of John Abbott for many years and “will be greatly missed by the Y&R family.”

The actor, who was born Jerry Rubinstein in Massachusetts in 1932, reportedly attended law school before shifting to a career in entertainment. His brother Alan was a record producer for musicians Jimi Hendrix and Duke Ellington.

A legendary role

For his part, The Young and the Restless executive producer Anthony Morina said the show was “lucky” to have Douglas as a part of the cast.

“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,” he said.

Morina went on to cite the “impressive resume of credits” that he brought with him upon joining the cast nearly 40 years ago.

“His contribution to the legacy of Y&R as Abbott family patriarch, John Abbott is still felt to this day,” he concluded. “He will be sorely missed.”

In addition to his wife of 36 years, Kym Douglas, he is survived by three children and two grandchildren.

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