the young and the restless

Photo Credit: SONJA FLEMMING/CBS

By Susan Pocharski


Growing up, Natalie Morales enjoyed watching a good soap opera. “Because I mostly lived overseas (my father was in the Air Force), I got hooked on a lot of Brazilian and Latin American telenovelas,” says The Talk co-host. “And I was a huge Dallas and Dynasty fan.”

Now, she’s combining her passion for drama—and her background in journalism—with a story arc on The Young and the Restless, starting August 17, playing investigative reporter Talia Morgan.

She took time out of her busy schedule to talk with Watch about her foray into theatrics.

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Challenging Herself

Morales shown from the shoulders up wearing an orange sleeveless shirt and a gold necklace with a sun pendant.

A publicity shot of Morales for The Talk

Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What inspired you to act on Y&R?

I love the opportunity to challenge myself. While I’m not an actress, I’ve played a reporter before for a few TV shows and movies, so this was a great opportunity to develop a character and appear on one of CBS’s most popular daytime soap operas. It’s a great opportunity for crossover promotion and synergy between our two daytime shows. The Young and the Restless audience is loyal and I hope they stick around and watch us on The Talk.

Oh, the Drama!

Morales as Talia sits at a table facing Nikki Neuman and Phyllis Summers in a scene from Y&R.

Talia (Morales) talks with Nikki Neuman (Melody Thomas Scott) and Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford)

Photo Credit: SONJA FLEMMING/CBS

Describe your character: In what ways is she different from you?

Talia is an investigative journalist who loves a good story and juicy characters, which of course there are plenty of in Genoa City. I would say I am like Talia in that sense. However, I do question her objectivity right now, as she is getting swept up in the complicated web of Diane Jenkins (Susan Walters), Nikki Neuman (Melody Thomas Scott), and Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford). As a journalist I would question each of their motives a little more intensely, but I do love a good drama.

Having Fun

The Talk hosts stand close together onset and smile for the camera.

Morales (left) with her fellow hosts on The Talk: (l. to r.) Amanda Kloots, Sheryl Underwood, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Jerry O’Connell

Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What’s the difference between acting and working as a reporter/host?

As a reporter and host I am just telling the story, fact finding, not embellishing the details. The similarity between the two is perhaps the skill needed to memorize a live shot while reporting (and because it’s live, there are no second takes, which can be challenging). Acting involves a lot of skill, memorization, and of course putting yourself out there in a more emotional sense. I’m having a great time trying to develop Talia and am excited to see what she turns up in her future reporting.

Line Breaks

Morales wearing a pink blazer and white shirt stands on set with her arms around the waists of Melody Thomas Scott in a black print dress and Michelle Stafford in an olive green dress.

Morales, with Melody Thomas Scott and Michelle Stafford, says she appreciates the Y&R cast’s patience with her onset.

Photo Credit: SONJA FLEMMING/CBS

Did you take acting lessons to prepare for the part?

I have taken acting lessons in the past, though a long time ago. Talia is not that different from me, so that makes it easier. However, I needed advice on how to learn my lines and figure out how to move and talk at the same time, and thankfully the Y&R cast and crew have been patient. Also, my friends’ daughter introduced me to a fantastic app, Scene Study, that allows me to learn my lines while listening for the right cues.

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Peter Bergman enjoys a moment to reflect.

Photo credit: F. Scott Schafer

By Malcolm Venable

Peter Bergman of The Young and the Restless shares some external traits with cosmetics heir Jack Abbott, the character he’s played for more than 30 remarkable years. Both are polished men of good taste, and you’d never see Bergman or his character on Instagram having a beer in flip-flops. But offscreen the father of two who’s been married for more than three decades could not be less like the womanizing, enemy-destroying, and chair-hurling Jack Abbott.

Outside of the fictional Genoa City, Bergman enjoys a drama-free life that prioritizes physical fitness, family gatherings, and, of course, preparation for Y&R. His three Daytime Emmy wins for the role—and an unmatched 23 nominations for outstanding lead actor—solidify him as one of the best of all time.

“I’m the most grateful actor you will ever meet,” Bergman says of his 2022 Emmy nomination. “The Emmys have been very kind to me in the past, and I’m very excited about going this year. It never gets old—23? That’s a crazy number! I look at it as my peers in the industry saying, yes, he’s one of the good ones. That feels really nice.”

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Men of Good Taste

Peter Bergman of Y&R smiles and hugs a black and white dog.

Jacket by Sandro. Sweater by AllSaints. Watch by Omega.

F. Scott Schafer/CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Bergman joined Y&R in October 1989—a date that’s never far from his mind because it coincided with monumental life changes that still inform the gratitude and discipline with which he approaches every moment on set and at home.

Tell us about how you became Jack Abbott.

It’s an extraordinary tale of how it happened. When [the role as Dr. Cliff Warner on] All My Children came to a sudden end in 1989, it was pretty bleak. My wife was seven months pregnant with our second child. We had just bought the apartment next door and blended the two. I was heartsick. My agent said, “The Young and the Restless wants to know how tall you are. Should we call them?”

I said, “Do they have something to offer me?” They called again and said, “We’d love to have him come [to Los Angeles] and audition for a character.” I said, “What character?” They wouldn’t say. I blew them off again. But my wife’s pregnant. I’ve now been unemployed for just long enough. So they sent me the script and it was two scenes: Jack with his father, and Jack and Jill. It was great.

At the time, I was on the cover of every magazine: “Peter Bergman gets fired.” Melody Thomas Scott was traveling in Canada with her husband, Edward J. Scott, the executive producer of [The Young and the Restless], and she had a magazine in her bag. She turned to Ed and said, “That’s Jack Abbott.” So that’s how it started. Was he tall enough? Isn’t that wild?

Three Decades of Jack Abbott

Peter Bergman leans his back against a glass balcony railing and looks to his left while wearing a dark blue oxford shirt and dark trousers

Shirt by Theory. Pants by Billy Reid. Bella and socks by Hugo Boss. Shoes by To Boot New York. Bracelet by Jonas Studio.

F. Scott Schafer/CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

It wasn’t long before fans and critics took notice of Bergman. In fact, he earned back-to-back Emmy wins in 1991 and 1992 for his work on Y&R.

You’re now in your 33rd year as Jack. What’s on your mind?

One of my favorite memories is the first year I won [an Emmy] for The Young and the Restless. That was a crazy and exciting time. It was the No. 1 rated show in America that week, and the following day, I was getting on the bus in New York City when a police officer stopped me to congratulate me. It was just a unique experience. I had been on the show for about a year when the first one [Emmy win] came. Then, the second one came the following year. That was a giant surprise and a wonderful time.

I’ve been very fortunate. Every day I have been here, I have given them my all. I go for broke every single time.

Workout Routine

A black and white photo of Peter Bergman standing sideways in a black turtleneck while holding a dark umbrella and glancing skyward

Turtleneck by Sandro.

F. Scott Schafer/CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.


How do you get into character?

People make a little fun of me in the morning. We come in at 7 in the morning, and your job in that first half hour is to get in makeup. I go down there fully dressed. I’m already halfway Jack ad then I wrap myself in it. It’s not a switch. It’s a gradual exercise.

What do you do before you get to work? What’s your pre-work routine?

Before I get here, I have already broken a sweat. I get up very early. I start the morning with some yogurt, a banana, and I get my exercise ... [maybe] a spinning class.

You’re in great shape.

I was a runner for 28 years. I ran the New York City Marathon in 1983, and I didn’t stop running until my knees gave out a couple of years ago. Some, I crawled over finish lines, but I survived them. Running was a great calming influence for me; it slowed me down. I’m not going to be best remembered for my relaxation skills!

I tend to be a busy person, and I have chores and things and lists I want to get accomplished. You can’t get anything accomplished when you’re out running. I was not one to listen to music while I ran, so my brain would just turn off.

Hidden Talents

Peter Bergman leans against the counter of a home bar wearing a white sweater over a blue chambray shirt.

Shirt by Frame. Sweater by O.N.S Clothing. Watch by Omega.

F. Scott Schafer/CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking of music, we know you’re a gifted pianist ...

I definitely wouldn’t call me gifted. No one here knows I play, but it’s one of the great joys of my life. I started when I was 20 years old. I was in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and there were rehearsal rooms upstairs with pianos in them, and I sat down at the piano and started fiddling around with it. I’ve always been a musical person; I like getting lost in it. I had sung in countless choirs before and played the clarinet as a kid until junior high school. I had been in rock bands.

I learned at a pretty critical age that discipline comes naturally to no one; discipline is something you learn. People develop discipline. So in my 20s, I started disciplining myself to sit at a piano and play those scales to get where I wanted to get. I practice probably four days a week. At Christmas, with my extended family, at some point I play and we all sing Christmas carols.

Conflicted Character

Peter Bergman stands on a balcony with the LA skyline behind him while wearing a tan jacket and folding his arms across his chest.

Jacket by Brooks Brothers. Turtleneck by Sandro.

F. Scott Schafer/CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Let’s talk about Jack Abbott. He’s so complicated. Do you consider him a good guy or bad guy, and what parts of Jack have you incorporated into yourself?

I think he’s a conflicted guy who wants to be a good guy. His mom walked out on him at a very critical time—he was a 15-year-old guy with two little sisters, and it changed his life. Just went crazy. He got very selfish. He broke his father’s heart more than once being a cad, being thoughtless, being a real prick. Jack learned something from all the women he was with too: Nikki was something he could not ultimately have, and she was with the man Jack has just pure loathing for. He’s everything Jack doesn’t like: He’s a bully; he’s new money. Jack learned empathy, patience, and kindness from that marriage. Phyllis—from the other side of the tracks—is a grifter, a manipulator, a tough cookie. Phyllis was the next giant, giant chapter for Jack because it was delightful to see somebody who was exactly who they said they were, unapologetically herself, and that was intoxicating to Jack, who never had that absolute assurance of who he was. Sharon was a brief marriage.

But each of these women brought more depth to Jack. Underneath, there is still a guy screaming at the stars for his unfortunate luck. He’s never been lucky in love; he’s a damaged man because of his mother. Now she is back in his life and he can’t scream at her; he can’t tell her what she did to him. He has to look out for her. Talk about a complex! I spent a lot of my life thinking or feeling, “Is this jealousy? Am I still carrying around anger?” I ask all these questions of myself. “What am I feeling right now?” Jack doesn’t have that problem. Jack knows exactly what he’s feeling and he acts on it. He’s gotten in a lot of trouble, but I’ve learned that from Jack, and I tried to take on more of that in my own personal life. You know what you’re feeling; trust it. You know what this is: You’re pissed off at this, so say you’re pissed off. Jack’s good at that, and I’m growing to be better at it.

Great Performance

Peter Bergman stands arms wide and smiling on a concrete island  in a swimming pool

Blazer by John Varvatos. Shirt by Theory. Pants by J.Crew. Shoes by To Boot New York. Tie by The Tie Bar. Tie bar by Jonas Studio. Sunglasses by RayBan. Pocket square by Drake’s.

F. Scott Schafer/CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’re a man of classic tastes and traditional values. I couldn’t find any social media profile for you. Why’s that?

I have no social media presence. I was too old for it when it happened, and a guy my age suddenly going on Twitter to sell myself just sends out all the wrong messages. My son and daughter are in their thirties. I ran all this stuff by her. She said, “Yeah, it gets a little creepy.”

I was so determined that my kids were not going to be in this business that I didn’t bring them around for the glamour moments, because if that’s all you see, why wouldn’t you be an actor? They didn’t get to [hear] my friends crying on the phone, friends with incredible résumés who can’t get an audition for something they know about. My kids wouldn’t see that; they’d see just the glamour, so I didn’t introduce them to this. So I’ve never done any of that.

I also have held very strongly to what I owe CBS, and that is a great performance. I come in and I pick [scripts] up as soon as I get in the room. I can’t wait to find out what happened to Jack. I don’t ask the writers to tell me what’s going to happen. In fact, I asked them not to tell me what’s going to happen so that when I open these things, I find out. I love doing this. My job is to make [the material] as good as I can make it and go home and have a completely separate life. I have a life at home with my wife and stay in touch with my family, and that’s important to me. Those are two different things.

Extraordinary Role Models

A smiling Peter Bergman leans back in a striped chair with his hands behind his head and his eyes closed while wearing a black turtleneck and a tangle of colorful Christmas lights around his neck.

Turtleneck by Sandro.

F Scott Schafer / CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What do you think shaped you to be the man you are professionally? Did you have models for how you saw yourself as an actor?

I had extraordinary role models. James Mitchell [on All My Children]. What a terrific man. He had considerable success as a dancer, as a Broadway actor, as a film actor. He knew jobs don’t grow on trees. He knew that you don’t come to work unprepared. David Canary ... it was just stunning the work he did. When I got to play Jack Abbott, who was a bit of a cad, a bit of a jerk, I had David Canary in my back pocket. Those were my real examples that shaped my career.

You’re in the Daytime Emmy history books. Do you want another one?

I would love to have another one. I’m always very flattered to be welcomed to the party. I have three and I’ve been nominated a bit. Each was significant in its own way. They share a shelf on a bookcase at home. I don’t sit and hold one or something like that. They’re pretty mementos from fun chapters in my life.

You’ve been in one of the longest TV rivalries of all time. How have you maintained that?

My rivalry with Victor [Eric Braeden] is the greatest gift in the world. We’ve learned to respect the fact that we have the longest standing rivalry in television daytime—or nighttime! We are both very proud and very grateful for the longevity of that and the ease with which we work with each other.

Acting Thrills

Actor Peter Bergman leans against the corner of a glass balcony railing that overlooks the Hollywood hills.

Blazer by John Varvatos. Shirt by Theory. Pants by J.Crew. Watch by Omega. Sunglasses by RayBan. Pocket square by Drake’s.

F Scott Schafer / CBS 2019 @ CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What’s one of your fondest memories of attending the Emmys? Any pre-ceremony rituals?

For the first 12 years at Y&R, every night of the Emmys, David [Canary] of All My Children and his wife, Bob [Robert] Woods of One Life to Live, Susan Lucci and her husband, and Mariellen and I would go to dinner before the Emmys. It was a tradition. Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark [Consuelos] were there one year, and one time Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet, joined us. We had these wonderful dinners before going to the Emmy Awards, and those are treasured memories.

What still thrills you about your job and the Emmys?

Unlike any other acting job, I do scenes with people I’ve worked with for 25, 30 years. There is so much stuff underneath that girds your performance. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I’ve been in this industry for a very, very long time, so I know many people who will be in that room—just from my years of going to the Emmys and working in daytime. It’s a smaller world than when I started. Back then, there were 11 soap operas, so I was competing against a lot of people. Now there are only four. Sometimes it’s my only chance to see them in a year.

As far as competition, you’re in good company in this year’s category for outstanding lead actor. Any thoughts on your fellow nominees?

Eric Martsolf and James Reynolds, who work on Days of Our Lives, are both fine actors and terrific guys. There’s also Jason Thompson, who plays my brother Billy on the show. He’s a great guy and one of my favorite human beings. His presence in my professional life is a giant gift, so to be nominated with him feels wonderful. Last of all, the legendary John McCook [of The Bold and the Beautiful]. John, in my second week here at Y&R, passed me in the hall and said, ‘Hey, I’m John McCook. I work over here, and I just wanted to say welcome.’ What? Who does that? That was fantastic.

In the years since, we have watched each other’s families grow up, vacationed together, and spent countless Christmases together. The McCooks have an annual Christmas party that’s a part of our calendar. Laurette and Mariellen—John’s wife and my wife—are very good friends. He taught me an important lesson about reaching out, saying hello, getting to know people, and showing interest. I’ve carried that with me for a long time. Now I get to go to the Emmys with John.

Updated from an article originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2019.

Photography by F. Scott Schafer. Styled by Christina Pacelli. Grooming by Melissa Walsh.

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Melody Thomas Scott in a dress by Alexander McQueen, short necklace and rings by Missoma, long necklace by Miranda Frye, and earrings by Simon G.

Photography by Andrew Eccles | Styled by Christina Pacelli

Watch spoke to cast members of The Young and the Restless past and present on what they think of their characters. Whether heroic or villainous, the residents of Genoa City are undeniably compelling—and complex. That's what makes actors (and fans) adore them. Robert Newman politely describes his own character Ashland Locke as “ethically challenged.” You could say that about a lot of Y&R characters!

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Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki Newman

Melody Thomas Scott in a yellow dress standing by a pool

Melody Thomas Scott in a dress by Alexander McQueen, short necklace and rings by Missoma, long necklace by Miranda Frye, and earrings by Simon G.

Photography by Andrew Eccles | Styled by Christina Pacelli

“She can be cunning. She can be so much worse than that. She can step up to the plate and be whoever she needs to be at that moment. She’s not anybody I would want to be friends with. I wouldn’t trust her for anything. She grew up in a very rough, abusive environment. Yes, of course, Victor [Eric Braeden] has taught her a lot. She’s catapulted into this whole other class of life and married well, but you still see the tough Nikki come through. I don’t think she’ll ever lose that.”

Robert Newman on Ashland Locke

Robert Newman sitting at a desk in a suit with his hand on his leg

Robert Newman as Ashland in business attire

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

“I don’t want to characterize Ashland exclusively as a bad guy. I don’t really believe in that idea. I always talked to the writers at Guiding Light [Newman’s previous Daytime role] about not putting Josh in the box of a good guy because it’s not interesting, and it’s not real life. With Ashland, I think he’s more ethically challenged than Josh ever was, but I think he’s a good businessman who is very driven to get the result he wants.”

Richard Burgi on Ashland Locke

Richard Burgi in a white button down shirt with his arms folded

Richard Burgi in his Y&R days

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Richard Burgi

Before Robert Newman took over playing the character of Ashland Locke, Richard Burgi played the character. Here's what he had to say about Ashland:

“He’s cagey. He’s worked hard. He’s gone through some tribulations and trials in his life, and I think he’s arrived at a place where he’s enjoying the fruits of his labors and the little quiver of arrows that he can throw at people insofar as psychological manipulations in his world of big business.

“He’s a terrific, personable, charming, intelligent, kind person … who, like many characters that have been labeled as nefarious, is just misguided. I think Victor Newman was castigated as a bad guy for a while. He’s just misunderstood!”

Jason Thompson on Billy Abbott

Jason Thompson in a gray suit and maroon polo shirt

Jason Thompson suits up for The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

“Billy is a pretty reckless dude. He’s kind of all over the place all the time, which is super fun to play. I’m excited to go to work every day. My character has had a big couple of years. He has a gambling addiction, then fell off the wagon, and had to get his life back!”

“He lives on the edge and is reckless at times with his heart, but I don’t think he wants to be a bad guy.”

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra in a leopard coat posing in front of a Spectra sign

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra, circa January 2017

Photo Credit: John Paschal/JPI Studios.

“Sally is very feisty, very determined, and very artistic. But given her last name, people have a tendency to not expect a lot from her. She and her family have quite a patchy reputation of being tricksters and causing a little bit of … what’s the word? Nonsense! So people don’t totally take Sally seriously, which makes for fun, but also makes her want to try harder to prove herself and get people to like her.”

Joshua Morrow on Nick Newman

Joshua Morrow in swim trunks

Joshua Morrow shows off his physique.

Photo credit: Ed McGowan/CBS

“Nick has always had a real eye for the ladies and a real lack of judgment.”

Brytni Sarpy on Elena Dawson and Devon Hamilton

Brytni Sarpy smiling over her shoulder at the camera in a white dress

Brytni Sarpy flashes a megawatt smile.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

“Elena met Devon when he was going through so much tragedy. Everyone was rooting for him to finally have something positive. Elena’s character represented that. Still, I didn’t think people would fall that hard for them, because I saw what a strong fanship there was for Devon and [his late wife] Hilary.

“In a way, Elena could have been just another distraction before Devon ended up with [Hilary’s doppelganger] Amanda. But there’s an honesty and a true connection there. There was so much drama surrounding Devon and Hilary, which was great. But it was a lot! With Elena, it feels like a seamless love story.”

Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki and Victor Newman

Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden posing on an ottoman

Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

“[Nikki and Victor] did indeed have … something. That very rare spark that, for the lack of a better term, entices our souls into dancing together.”

"Together, our souls become one. May the two of us always be one."

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Linder uses a feather duster to brush off her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Courtesy of Kate Linder

By Michelle Darrisaw

When Kate Linder made her debut on The Young and the Restless on April 16, 1982, she was only hired for one day to deliver the now-iconic line: “Dinner is served.” Fortunately, she was asked to come back, and that one day turned into 40 years of Linder portraying the long-running role of Esther Valentine in the popular CBS daytime drama.

While viewers have had four decades to get to know the trusted confidante and beloved housekeeper of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) on-screen, we wanted daytime fans to discover more about the soap star off-screen. To mark Linder’s 40th anniversary on Y&R, here are six things to know about the actress, plus the surprising coincidence behind her character’s name.

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Linder Is Featured on the World’s Most Famous Walkway

Linder reclines on a red carpet surrounding her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She wears a black suit with white collar and cuffs and uses a feather duster to brush off the star.

Linder uses a feather duster to brush off her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“I am so deeply honored,” she says of joining the Hollywood Walk of Fame class in 2008. “Receiving the star has been an experience I will never forget. One night many years ago, my husband Ron and I were leaving the Pantages [Theatre] and looking at all the stars on the sidewalk. I told him I couldn’t imagine what that must be like.

"Then, I remember seeing a tour bus go by and hearing the guide say, ‘Wow, you are in luck today ... Kate Linder is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.’ It was an out-of-body experience beyond my wildest dreams. That day was completely jam-packed. I was in the studio working that morning, then I left to participate in the ceremony and ran back to do more scenes. That was exactly how it should have been because if not for The Young and the Restless, I would never have been there.”

You Might See Her Flying the Friendly Skies

Linder with arms folded modeling a dark beret and blazer with wings pin as part of a United Airlines flight attendant uniform

Linder flashes a smile and models her flight attendant's uniform in 2012. No, it's not a costume for Y&R!

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“In the beginning, I became a United Airlines flight attendant to have a job that would allow me time off for auditions,” explains Linder.

“It’s been great to continue flying, and I have loved seeing viewers of the show on the flights. Many of them know I fly and are anxious to tell me how much they love the show. Others don’t know and are extremely surprised when they find out that Esther is serving them in the air.”

Or on Stage Singing and Dancing …

Linder dressed in a short off the shoulder black and white classic French maid costume and lace choker holding a white feather duster

Linder dressed as a maid for a 1991 masquerade ball, where she sang Sondheim's "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid"

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“I began my career performing in plays and have appeared in many musicals,” says Linder.

“To this day, I'm still singing and dancing! One of the most exciting highlights for me was the opportunity to perform [Stephen] Sondheim’s "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" for a masquerade ball one year. That was so much fun! Thanks to the show, it was yet another dream come true.”

And Maybe Even Behind the Wheel of a Race Car

“Competing in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says of becoming the first-ever daytime actress to compete.

“It was the 20th anniversary of the race. They sent us to race car driving school, where there were past winners and a few of us who had never raced before. My only goal was to live through it, and I was thrilled to finish the race. My car was red and No. 7. It didn’t have one scratch on it, and the most amazing thing was that I didn't come in last!”

She’s a Part of USO History

Linder wears a black suit with white trim and a camouflage army helmet as she stands next to two uniformed Army Aircrew members in a green jeep.

Linder next to a jeep after a send-off press conference for the Operation Starlift tour in 2002. The tour traveled under the banners of USO and Armed Forces Entertainment and served traditional military Thanksgiving dinner to troops in Afghanistan.

Robert Mora/Getty Images

“I had the honor of doing four USO tours with the late and incredible honorary mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant,” she recalls. “We would go on Thanksgiving and host meet and greets to support our troops.

"I’ll never forget being in Korea, and a serviceman came up to me and said, ‘I have my wife on the phone; would you mind talking to her? She never misses an episode.’ Seriously, how lucky am I to have had these amazing experiences meeting the country’s biggest heroes?”

She’s Also a Spokesperson for the ALS Association and March of Dimes

Linder arm in arm with her brother in law in front of a fireplace with a carved wooden mantel in an ornate room. Both wear blue T shirts that say Walk to dfeet ALS.

Linder with her brother-in-law

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“I will always be grateful to The Young and the Restless for giving me the platform to give back and help others,” Linder adds. “I have been the celebrity spokesperson for the ALS Association for many years since my brother-in-law’s diagnosis.

"With the generous help of my castmates, we have been able to raise way over $2 million and counting for the March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education program (I’m also the ambassador) and for other Canadian charities.”

Bonus Tidbit: What’s in a Name?

Jeanne Cooper stands next to a large floral bouquet with one hand on her hip leaning against a red directors chair. She wears a dark blue satin suit and diamond jewelry.

Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor

Cliff Lipson/CBS

“Jeanne Cooper started calling me Esther one day,” shares Linder. “Esther was my grandmother’s name, but Jeanne didn’t know, so it was a happy coincidence.

"Fortunately, the writers picked up on it, and the name stuck. Also, my mother watched Y&R from day one! She was so excited I was going to be on the show, filling me in on the storylines. To this day, neither of us ever misses an episode.”

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