In anticipation of CBS’ May 28 tribute to Jeanne Cooper, the longtime star of The Young and the Restless who died at 84, EW obtained this exclusive photo of Jess Walton (Jill Foster Abbott), seen above with costar Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers Newman), from the special. We also talked to Walton about shooting it and what she remembers about her beloved costar.
“We tell the audience what we are about to do in the special and then five different groups talk about her. What was really funny was how much we all had in common. Kristoff St. John was a little pissed off because he thought he had a special relationship with her and it turns out everybody had a special relationship with her. She had the power to make everyone feel so special.
“There was a choreography to what we did together in a scene. If one gets too antagonistic, the other gets more sensitive. If one was too big, the other would take it down. If one was too reactive, the other would underplay it. It was like a dance. She was a magnificent woman, one of the most complete human beings. Hilariously funny, super-sensitive, very intelligent, very feisty. She could talk the hind end out of a horse but was never boring. She was everything, this woman. No wonder people are missing her so much. It was so brilliant of the producers to do this. Fans absolutely needed that closure and it gave all of us a certain amount of closure. It was really good for us.
“I don’t even know yet (how the show will address her death). I know Jill will grieve horribly, but take advantage of it at the same time. That mansion is half hers, you know. She will inherit it!”