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Jerry Douglas, best known for his long-running role on The Young and the Restless, has died, PEOPLE confirms. He was 88.
Douglas died on Tuesday after “a brief illness,” according to his representative, just days shy of his birthday on Nov. 12.
Born in Massachusetts, Douglas was “proud” of his New England upbringing, his family wrote in an obituary obtained by PEOPLE. He attended Brandeis University, where he played quarterback on the school’s football team and earned a degree in economics.
After he graduated, he began pursuing acting. He joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 1982, playing the role of John Abbott — patriarch of the Abbott family and wealthy chairman of Jabot Cosmetics.
Douglas stayed with the CBS daytime soap opera for more than 30 years. After his character died in 2006, he continued to appear as Abbott’s spirit, who would appear to guide other characters through tough times. He last appeared in 2016.
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“On behalf of the entire company of The Young and the Restless, we send our deepest sympathies to the Douglas family on the passing of Jerry Douglas,” Anthony Morina, executive producer of The Young and the Restless, wrote in a statement on Wednesday.
Morina continued, “Jerry came to Y&R in 1982 with an impressive resume of credits. 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. 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.”
Douglas’ career spanned six decades. In addition to The Young and the Restless, he appeared in numerous other television shows including Cold Case, Melrose Place, The Christmas Wish, Crash and Arrested Development.
He also had an extensive filmography, including JFK, Avalanche, The Godson, Head Over Spurs in Love, and Mommie Dearest.
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Douglas was also a seasoned stage actor and singer. In 2007, he released a collection of jazz music with the album The Best Is Yet to Come.
He is survived by his wife Kym, as well as sons Jod and Hunter, daughter Avra, and two grandchildren.