Jerry Douglas, family patriarch on ‘The Young and the Restless’ for 30 years, dies

Jerry Douglas smiles while sitting at a sidewalk table in 2020
Jerry Douglas in 2020. The actor’s credits also included Oliver Stone’s “JFK” as well as “Mommie Dearest” and “Avalanche.”
(Rob Wilcox)

Jerry Douglas, who played handsome family patriarch John Abbott on “The Young and the Restless” for more than 30 years, has died at his home in Brentwood.

Douglas died Tuesday after a brief illness, just three days before his 89th birthday, said Rob Wilcox, a close friend and the actor’s former publicist. Douglas last appeared on the CBS daytime soap opera in 2016.

“Our show was lucky to have an actor of his caliber join the Y&R cast and introduce the audience to the iconic Abbott family,” Anthony Morina, executive producer of “The Young and the Restless,” said in a statement.


“His contribution to the legacy of Y&R as Abbott family patriarch John Abbott is still felt to this day. He will be sorely missed.”

Born in Chelsea, Mass., on Nov. 12, 1932, Douglas attended Brandeis University on a football scholarship and earned a degree in economics. But after graduation, he set his sights on acting and moved to Los Angeles.

His hundreds of credits included the Oliver Stone movie “JFK” as well as “Mommie Dearest” and “Avalanche.”

Douglas also appeared in numerous prime-time television shows, including “Melrose Place,” “The Rockford Files,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Barnaby Jones” and “Mission: Impossible.”

He was best known for “The Young and the Restless,” which he joined in 1982 as the chairman of Jabot Cosmetics and a single father who helped his children navigate adulthood. The John Abbott character was killed off in 2006, but Douglas continued to make special appearances on the show as his ghost, most recently in 2016.

Douglas was also a screenwriter and playwright, Wilcox said.

He is survived by his wife, actor Kymberly Bankier; sons Jod and Hunter and daughter Avra; and two grandchildren.


A Times staff writer contributed to this report.