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Jeanne Cooper dies, leaves 'Young and Restless' legacy (+video)

Jeanne Cooper dies: As grande dame Katherine Chancellor, Jeanne Cooper starred on "The Young and the Restless" for four decades.

Young and Restless star, Jeanne Cooper, dies
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Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on "The Young and the Restless," has died. She was 84.

Cooper died Wednesday morning in her sleep, her son the actor Corbin Bernsen wrote on Facebook. The family confirmed the death to CBS, according to a network spokeswoman.

Bernsen tweeted April 12 that his mother faced an "uphill battle" for an undisclosed illness. In subsequent days he wrote of her gradual improvement and said that she'd been taken off breathing equipment.

In a Facebook posting April 17, Bernsen said his mother cursed several times, "showing me that she's becoming her old self, not thrilled about the situation, and ready to get out of the hospital and shake up the world."

On Wednesday he wrote that she remained a fighter until the end: "She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision... won!"

Cooper joined the daytime serial six months after its March 1973 debut, staking claim to the title of longest-tenured cast member. The role earned her 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and a trophy for best actress in a drama series in 2008.

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