Not Young, Still Restless by Jeanne Cooper and Lindsay Harrison is a great memoir for the fans of The Young and the Restless soap opera and Katherine Chancellor. She was born in 1928 to part-Cherokee parents, and was the youngest of three children. My mother has watched the show since before I was born, and I remember the fateful episode in which Mrs. C. drove her husband off a cliff in a drunken stupor — I was one. Yes, this show has been in my life for a very long time.
Cooper infuses her memoir with honesty, but also refuses to tell stories that are not her to tell. She may be harsh on her ex-husband, but once you read about his antics, it’s hard not to see why she’d still not be his biggest fan. However, she does admit that her relationship with her husband did beget her some wonderful and talented children — Corbin Bernsen, Collin, and Caren.
“I don’t care who you are, you don’t get more than one chance to betray me, and as this book should make apparent, I have a very long memory.” (page 13)
There is some kissing and telling, but it’s not graphic, and its touching for the most part. Cooper also offers some great insights into the soap opera business and movie/TV business. One touching moment in the book is when she talks of her dear friend, Raymond Burr — a WWII veteran who survived the Battle of Okinawa and was awarded a Purple Heart! She and Ray had a great friendship and there is a fun story about the time she “borrowed” his trophy just before he headed to Japan to meet with troops at an army base.
Cooper is frank in her stories and her memories — or lack there of — about events, and yes, there are moments where she doesn’t explain how she met certain famous actors and actresses, like Grace Kelly, but her open heart and charitable spirit shine through in how she cares for her family and others. I loved the story of how she and her young daughter witnessed a car accident and stopped to help. Her daughter was scared, but Cooper explained to her that they had to help if someone was in need. It was their duty to do so. We need more parents like this and more citizens who care!
Not Young, Still Restless by Jeanne Cooper and Lindsay Harrison shows that no matter your age, you are not done living yet and that there is more love, devotion, and duty to give. Cooper’s memoir offers some great insight about the Y&R, Hollywood, and family. Highly recommended for fans of the show and for those who are interested in learning about old Hollywood.
About the Author:
Jeanne Cooper has earned the love of soap-opera fans for her long-running role as Katherine Chancellor on CBS’s The Young and the Restless. She received back-to-back Daytime Emmy Award nominations as Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series in 1989, 1990, and 1991. In 1993, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in recognition of her many years in show business.
This is my 89th book for the New Authors Reading Challenge in 2012.