Jerry Douglas, 'Young and the Restless' Legend, Dead at 88

Jerry Douglas, the actor best known for his role as John Abbott on The Young and the Restless, has died. Douglas passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 9 after "a brief illness," his family announced Wednesday, according to Deadline. Douglas was 88. An exact cause of death has been provided at this time.

Born Jerry Rubenstein in Massachusetts in 1932, Douglas attended Brandeis University on a football scholarship. After graduating, Douglas launched his acting career, studying acting with Uta Hagen in New York and Jeff Corey in Los Angeles before making his movie debut as a gangster in the thriller Blast of Silence in 1961. He appeared in several more roles, both on the big and small screen, before he joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 1982, starring as John Abbott — patriarch of the Abbott family and wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics. Abbott was a mainstay in the show's Genoa City until Douglas' character was killed off in 2006. Even after his death, however, Douglas' Abbott still had a heavy presence, with his ghost making appearances to check on and counsel his children. He last appeared 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," Anthony Morina, executive producer of The Young and the Restless, wrote 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."


In addition to The Young and the Restless, Douglas racked up a number of other credits throughout his storied six-decade-long career. During the early years of his career, his small-screen appearances included the likes of The Untouchables, The Donna Reed Show, The Outer Limits, Combat!, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Mannix, The F.B.I., The Streets of San Francisco, S.W.A.T., and The Rockford Files. More recently, he appeared in Cold Case, Melrose Place, The Christmas Wish, Crash, and Arrested Development. His film credits include JFK, Avalanche, The Godson, Head Over Spurs in Love, and Mommie Dearest. Douglas is survived by his wife Kym, sons Jod and Hunter, daughter Avra, and two grandchildren.