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The Young And The Restless Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

"The Young and the Restless" is one of the longest-running daytime dramas in TV history. Debuting in 1973, the series created by William and Lee Phillip Bell follows the lives of dueling Genoa City families, the Abbotts and the Newmans, and their businesses in the cosmetics industry. The Emmy-winning CBS soap opera has aired more than 12,000 episodes over its nearly 50-year run.

Because "Y&R" has been on the air so long, the cast of characters has changed over the years. Some of the longest-running stars on the show include Doug Davidson (who plays Paul Williams), Eric Braeden (Victor Newman), and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman), all of whom have been on the show since the late 1970s/early '80s. Other big-name "Y&R" alumni include Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott), Catherine Bach (Anita Lawson), and Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott).

Sadly, with such a large cast, the show has also lost some of its biggest stars over the past several decades.

Terry Lester died in 2003

Terry Lester played the original version of Genoa City playboy Jack Abbott on "The Young and the Restless" from 1980 to 1989, per IMDb. The villainous character was one that viewers had a love-hate relationship with. Jerry Douglas, who played Jack Abbott's father, John, on the CBS soap, once told Soap Opera Digest, "Terry had an edge, where he could play Jack as a heavy and get away with it. You just loved to hate him."

Fans were stunned when Lester quit "Y&R" in 1989 and was replaced by Peter Bergman. Still, the actor didn't leave the soap world altogether. Lester went on to star in roles on rival NBC daytime dramas "Santa Barbara" and "As the World Turns."

On November 28, 2003, Lester died suddenly at age 53, according to The Los Angeles Times. While his cause of death was not initially reported, it was later revealed that Lester passed away after suffering a heart attack.

Jeanne Cooper died in 2013

Longtime "Young and the Restless" fans first met Jeanne Cooper in 1973, when she debuted her role as Katherine Chancellor on the CBS soap opera. The wealthy wife of Phillip Chancellor II was embroiled in a long feud with her husband's mistress, Jill Abbott (Brenda Dickson). In 1984, Cooper made headlines when her real-life facelift was incorporated into a "Young and the Restless" storyline, which included her hospitalization and recovery, per Screen Rant.

Cooper would become the longest-running cast member on the show, appearing in over 1,400 episodes over a 40-year period before her death, per IMDb. The actress scored two Daytime Emmy awards for her performance as the Chancellor matriarch and appeared on almost every episode during her four decades on the series.

Cooper died on May 8, 2013, according to The New York Times. At the time, her son, actor Corbin Bernsen, revealed that his mother had died in her sleep. She was 84 years old. Katherine Chancellor's death was written into the show a few months later. Bernsen officiated the memorial service for her character, per Today, as several powerful tribute episodes looked back at Cooper's iconic career.

Beau Kazer died in 2014

Beau Kazer made his debut as Brock Reynolds, the adult son of Katherine Chancellor, in 1977. He recurred in the role until 2013, per IMDb. During his recurring role as Brock, Kazer's character's on-screen love interests included Lorie Brooks (Jaime Lyn Bauer), Jill Foster (Brenda Dickson), Julia Newman (Meg Bennett), and several more, according to The Wrap. The Canadian actor's resume also included roles on "Barnaby Jones," "B.J. and the Bear," and "Hart to Hart," as well as the 1976 Martin Scorsese classic, "Taxi Driver."

A little more than a year after the death of his TV mom, Jeanne Cooper, Kazer died in his sleep on December 30, 2014, after battling undisclosed health issues for two years, his wife Sharon Alkus told The Hollywood Reporter. He was just 63 years old when he died. At the time of his death, Kazer had been writing a book, "Adventures in Honkerville," which his wife said she hoped to finish for him.

Kristoff St. John died in 2019

Kristoff St. John played Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless" from 1999 to 2019. Over his 20-year run on the show, he logged over 1,800 episodes, according to IMDb. Long before he landed his role as the handsome makeup company executive on the CBS soap, St. John was a child star who appeared on "Happy Days," "That's My Mama," and "Wonder Woman," and later on "The Cosby Show" as a teenager. He also played a pre-teen version of Alex Haley in the miniseries sequel, "Roots: The Next Generation."

Sadly, the Emmy-winning actor was found dead at his Los Angeles area home on February 3, 2019 at age 52. Toxicology reports indicated that St. John died of hypertrophic heart disease, and that alcohol was also a factor in his death but not the primary cause, as reported by USA Today. Anti-anxiety medications were also found in the late actor's system. St. John's death came four years after his 24-year-old son, Julian, died by suicide, according to People.