Kate Linder celebrates her 40th anniversary at The Young and the Restless

Posted Friday, April 08, 2022 7:25:27 AM

The Young and the Restless' Kate Linder has been playing beloved Genoa City character Esther Valentine for a whopping four decades, having made her debut as Katherine's maid on April 8, 1982. Read on for her reaction to being such a legacy part of the CBS soap opera and details about a special museum exhibit honoring Esther.

The daytime community is showering Kate Linder with lots of love as the actress celebrates her 40th anniversary in the role of Esther Valentine.

Linder originally joined the CBS soap opera on April 8, 1982, in what was supposed to be a one-day gig as Katherine Chancellor's (Jeanne Cooper) ditzy maid. However, Y&R decided to keep her on board, and fans quickly fell in love with Linder and her comedic portrayal of Esther, who couldn't do any of her maid duties properly and even almost burned down Katherine's mansion!

What Esther did do properly, however, was serve as Katherine's loyal friend and confidante until the day the matriarch died, and lucky for Y&R fans, the character has continued to be a staple on the CBS soap opera since.

In an in-depth interview with Soap Central, Linder opened up about how it feels to be a legacy part of Y&R. "Oh, my gosh, I think about it, and it's so mind-boggling to me. I can't even believe it," she recalled. "I was so honored to get a star on the Walk of Fame, and I have to go there periodically to make sure it's still there. It's so amazing to me and thrilling."

She continued, "My mom and my family had watched The Young and the Restless since day one, so when I got that part for that one day, everyone thought, 'Oh, yay! The Young and the Restless.' But I didn't know [if it would turn into more]. And then actually, after that first day at work, Ed Scott, who was our producer at the time, followed me out and said, 'Are you available tomorrow?' And I said, 'Yeah!' And so, I came back the next day. And in the beginning, I didn't have a name. Jeanne is really responsible for that, because the scripts would come down, and they would just say, 'maid,' and one day, we were rehearsing our lines as usual, and when we went to tape, she started calling me Esther. Fortunately, I responded, and then all of the other actors started calling me Esther, and then the writers started writing it."

Eventually, the writers realized that Esther needed a last name, as well, so the show organized a national contest so fans could have a hand in bequeathing the character with the second half of her moniker.

"Several names came in, and [Ed Scott] gave me a choice of which name I wanted, and Valentine was one, and Diamond was one, and I just thought, 'Esther Valentine!'" she recalled. "I picked that one because I was married in real life on Valentine's Day, and I thought it fit her, and I thought it would bring me good luck, and it most certainly did that, because here I am [many] years later. I never, never thought that would happen."

Esther's four decades in Genoa City have included marrying Norman Peterson and Roger Wilkes, a new chapter as a barista at Crimson Lights after Katherine's passing, acting as estate manager of the Chancellor estate, and a warm and supportive relationship with her daughter, Chloe, who was born in true soap opera fashion -- in the middle of a storm!

As for a storyline that Linder hasn't had the chance to play but hopes to at some point during her time as Esther, the actress told us that she wanted to see the character's bad side, at least a little bit.

"It would be very interesting to play the bad guy, that maybe there's another side to Esther that people don't know -- but I don't want to make her too bad! She has to be redeemable," Linder enthused. "But I think it would be interesting because Esther is a very loyal and kind and wonderful character, but there might be another side to her that people haven't seen. Everyone has a dark side, and we're all good at not showing it, because that's not what you're supposed to do. But how fun to be able to play that at one time or another, so that might be kind of interesting."

Will Linder get her wish to show Esther's bad side? We're not sure yet, but Linder has teased that Y&R will be exploring Esther's past in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, be sure to share your 40th anniversary congratulations with the actress in our Comments section below! And if you're in the Los Angeles area, don't forget to visit the Hollywood Museum, which will be displaying Esther's now-iconic maid uniform beginning Thursday, April 21.

Would you like to congratulate Kate Linder on 40 years of playing Y&R's Esther? What are your favorite memories of the actress' time in Genoa City? What would you like to see for Esther's future? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

Post a Comment Share on Facebook Tweet this Submit Feedback
Related Information


© 1995-2024 Soap Central, LLC. Home | Contact Us | Advertising Information | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Top