Jerry Douglas, The Young and the Restless' John Abbott for more than 30 years, has died

Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2021 8:31:25 PM
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Jerry Douglas, who for more than three decades appeared as John Abbott on The Young and the Restless, has passed away. The Massachusetts-born actor was 88.

Jerry Douglas, who is best known for portraying John Abbott, the patriarch of the Abbott family on The Young and the Restless, passed away on November 9, 2021, after a brief illness.

"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," Anthony Morina, Executive Producer of Y&R, said in a statement. "Jerry came to Y&R in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits. 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."

Douglas was born Jerry Rubenstein in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on November 12, 1932. Proud of his Boston heritage and New England upbringing, he won a football scholarship to play quarterback at Brandeis University, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Economics. He fondly recalled meeting the future President John F. Kennedy upon his visit to the university.

It wasn't until after his graduation from college that Douglas launched his acting career. He studied with Uta Hagen in New York and Jeff Corey in Los Angeles. Douglas was also a screenwriter and playwright, having developed projects with Josh O'Connell through their production company, O'Connell/Douglas Productions. He donated his time to Variety Club and the Salvation Army charities, and he was a life-long golfer and avid reader.

Jerry Douglas joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in March 1982 as John Abbott, the wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics and beloved single father who helped his children navigate adulthood. John Abbott was a mainstay in Genoa City until the character's death in 2006. Douglas made appearances as John's ghost over the years as John continued to check on and counsel his children. He last appeared in 2016.

Over the span of his long career, Douglas starred in more than one hundred productions. He appeared in numerous feature films, including Oliver Stone's JFK, Avalanche, The Godson, Head Over Spurs in Love, and Mommie Dearest. In recent years, he guest-starred in episodes of Cold Case, Melrose Place, and Arrested Development. Earlier in his acting career, he guest-starred in many classic series with legendary stars on The Rockford Files, The Streets of San Francisco, Mannix, Barnaby Jones, and Mission Impossible, and many more. His repertoire also included theater and singing engagements in New York, and across the United States and Canada. His album "The Best Is Yet To Come" can be listened to on audio streaming platforms.

While his Hollywood accolades were important to him, his greatest role was as the devoted husband of 37 years to Kym and loving father to sons Jod (Writer & Product Designer, Oracle) and Hunter (Commercial Real Estate Analyst, Eastdil Secured); daughter, Avra (Trustee, Marlon Brando Estate); two grandchildren; and nieces including Kirby Rubenstein and Solo Rubenstein (International Marketing, Universal Pictures).

What are some of your favorite memories of Jerry Douglas as John Abbott? Would you like to share a message of condolence? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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