Jeanne Cooper Net Worth: Unveiling the Earnings of a Soap Opera Icon

Jeanne Cooper, the legendary soap opera actress renowned for her portrayal of Katherine Chancellor on “The Young” and the “Restless” spanning four decades, remains an enduring figure in the realm of daytime television.

Adored by generations of fans, her remarkable career prompts a crucial question: what was the extent of her financial success?

Image of Jeanne Cooper
Jeanne Cooper | photo courtesy | Getty Image


Delve into her impressive journey and her net worth at the time of her passing.

Jeanne Cooper’s Net Worth

At the time of her demise in 2013, Jeanne Cooper’s net worth stood at $8 million, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth.

Her primary source of income was her enduring role on “The Young” and “the Restless,” a commitment that commenced in 1973 and concluded with her final appearance in 2013.

Her annual compensation for this role was reported at $250,000, a figure that elevated her to the ranks of the highest-paid soap opera luminaries in history.

Biography of Jeanne Cooper

Wilma Jeanne Cooper, born on October 25, 1928, in Taft, California, claimed her place in the world as the youngest child of Albert Troy Cooper, an oil field worker, and Sildeth Evelyn Moore, a homemaker.

Early aspirations led her to the College of the Pacific, followed by engagements in local theater productions.

In 1953, her professional journey was marked by her role in the film “The Redhead from Wyoming,” starring Maureen O’Hara.

Jeanne Cooper’s Age

Jeanne Cooper passed away on May 8, 2013, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 84.

Hospitalized since April of that year due to an undisclosed ailment, her son, the actor Corbin Bernsen, conveyed the news of her passing through a Facebook post.

In his words:

“Mom passed this morning. She was in peace and without fear. You all have been incredible in your love. In her name share it today with others.”

Jeanne Cooper’s Professional Journey

Jeanne Cooper etched an indelible mark on the realms of both film and television, boasting a repertoire of over 50 movies and numerous television shows.

Her cinematic accolades encompass titles like:

  1. The Man from the Alamo (1953).
  2. Five Steps to Danger (1957).
  3. The Boston Strangler (1968).
  4. Kansas City Bomber (1972).
  5. Carpool Guy” (2005).

On the television front, she left her mark through series such as:

  1. Perry Mason (1966).
  2. Ironside (1973).
  3. L.A. Law (1986).
  4. Diagnosis Murder (1995).
  5. Touched by an Angel (1997).
  6. The Nanny (2013).

Jeanne Cooper’s Movie Roles

Throughout her expansive career, Jeanne Cooper’s talent graced a variety of cinematic genres, spanning westerns, thrillers, and comedies.

Some of her notable film roles include:

  1. “The Redhead from Wyoming” (1953): Portraying Myra, a saloon singer pivotal in ending a range war.
  2. “The Man from the Alamo” (1953): As Beth Anders, a woman entangled in love with a deserter from the Alamo.
  3. “Five Steps to Danger” (1957): In the role of Helen Bethke, pursued by spies due to inheriting a secret formula.
  4. “The Boston Strangler” (1968): Playing Cloe, a victim of the infamous serial killer.
  5. “Kansas City Bomber” (1972): As Vivien, a roller derby star in competition with Raquel Welch.
  6. Carpool Guy” (2005): As Mrs. Lunsford, a mother participating in a carpool with Corbin Bernsen.

The Passing of Jeanne Cooper

Jeanne Cooper breathed her last on May 8, 2013, at the age of 84.

Her peaceful departure occurred during her hospitalization for an infection at a Los Angeles medical facility.

Confirmed by her son Corbin Bernsen via Facebook and Twitter, his heartfelt tribute described her as a perpetual blaze, victorious in her life’s journey.

The Cause of Jeanne Cooper’s Passing

The cause of Jeanne Cooper’s passing was attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a respiratory condition known to hamper breathing.

COPD often arises from smoking or exposure to air pollutants.

Cooper’s own history of smoking impacted her health, as she candidly acknowledged in a 2009 Soap Opera Digest interview:

“I smoked for so many years and I have emphysema. You pay a price for everything.”

Jeanne Cooper’s Family

Cooper shared three children with her ex-husband Harry Bernsen Jr., to whom she was married from 1954 to 1977.

Among her progeny, Corbin Bernsen stands out, recognized for his roles in “L.A. Law,” “Psych,” and “Major League.”

Her other son Collin Bernsen, an actor featured on “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless,” and her daughter Caren Bernsen, a producer and writer involved with “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue,” constitute her lasting legacy.

Jeanne Cooper’s Farewell

On May 15, 2013, Jeanne Cooper’s private funeral took place at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

Attended by close family and friends, her ashes were retained by her family, with a portion scattered in her beloved Hawaii.

A memorial service broadcast on The Young and the Restless on May 28, 2013, celebrated her life and career, while a dedicated episode on July 8, 2013, unveiled the fate of her character, Katherine Chancellor.


Jeanne Cooper’s legacy as a soap opera icon thrives on her four-decade portrayal of Katherine Chancellor in The Young and the Restless.

Her diverse career embraced film and television, leaving an indelible impact on both mediums.

With a net worth of $8 million at the time of her passing, her memory endures.

Survived by her three children, including the notable actor Corbin Bernsen, her funeral and memorial service paid tribute to her enduring influence.

Her name shall forever remain synonymous with the cherished stars of daytime television.

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Table of Facts about Jeanne Cooper

Fact Details
Full Name Jeanne Cooper
Occupation Legendary soap opera actress
Role Played Katherine Chancellor on “The Young and the Restless” for 40 years
Industry Reputation Beloved and respected figure in daytime television
Net Worth $8 million at the time of her death in 2013
Source of Income Primarily from her role on “The Young and the Restless”
Annual Salary Reportedly paid $250,000 per year for her work on the show
Birth Date October 25, 1928
Birthplace Taft, California
Family Background Youngest of three children, with a father who was an oil field worker and a mother who was a housewife
Film Debut “The Redhead from Wyoming” (1953)
Age at Passing 84 years old
Date of Death May 8, 2013
Place of Death Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Children Three children with ex-husband Harry Bernsen Jr. – Corbin Bernsen, Collin Bernsen, and Caren Bernsen
Funeral Held on May 15, 2013, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California
Memorial Service Broadcast on “The Young and the Restless” featuring tributes from co-stars
Legacy Remembered as an iconic and beloved star of daytime television