THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS has temporarily replaced Jeanne Cooper as Katherine, reports Entertainment Weekly. The Emmy-winning actress, who turns 83 tomorrow, has to take time off from the show for medical reasons, and THE WALTONS star Michael Learned will fill in for a few weeks.
Learned is best known for her Emmy-winning turn on the beloved 1970s series -- which, interestingly, was created by Earl Hamner, the father of Y&R co-headwriter Scott Hamner -- but she's played in the daytime arena before, appearing as a judge on both ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and on GENERAL HOSPITAL last year as a cancer patient named Shirley. "Michael Learned is an accomplished actress and we are grateful that she is able to fill in for Jeanne Cooper for this short time," executive producer Maria Arena Bell says in a statement. "Jeanne is an integral part of our show and we look forward to her imminent return. We have great storyline coming up for Mrs. Chancellor."
Cooper is due to return to the Y&R set in November to resume taping. Learned's first day in front of the cameras is this week, and she'll first air on Thursday, November 10. Best wishes to Ms. Cooper on a speedy recovery!