The daytime community is mourning the passing of an icon as longtime THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS star Jerry Douglas has died at the age of 88 on Nov. 9 following a brief illness. “On behalf of the entire company of Y&R, we send our deepest sympathies to the Douglas family on the passing of Jerry Douglas,” executive producer Anthony Morina said in a statement.
“Jerry came to Y&R in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits,” he continued. “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.”
Born Gerald Rubenstein, Douglas originally pursued a degree in economics before putting that aside and auditioning for acting roles. Early in his career, he appeared on television shows like THE UNTOUCHABLES, THE DONNA REED SHOW, THE OUTER LIMITS, and GUNSMOKE. In the ‘70s he could be seen on IRONSIDE, MANNIX, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, THE F.B.I., THE BIONIC WOMAN, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, and THE ROCKFORD FILES among numerous others.
Douglas then joined the cast of Y&R and portrayed John Abbott for 25 years before the character was sadly killed off in 2006 in a move that upset many longtime fans. The soap continued to bring the actor back as John’s ghost for episodes periodically, and in 2008 he returned as a new character, John’s lookalike Alistair Wallingford, for a short-lived gaslighting storyline. His final appearance on Y&R was back in 2016 when Douglas made another ghostly visit to his family. Though some of the cast threw him an early birthday party on Oct. 12 (his 89th birthday would have been on Nov. 12).
Douglas is survived by his wife, Kym Douglas, their sons Jod and Hunter, and daughter Avra. Our thoughts are with all of his friends and family during this difficult time.