Unfortunately, The Young and the Restless had to write Kay Chancellor’s death into the narrative because Jeanne Cooper herself had passed away. In May 2013, Cooper’s son Corbin Bernsen, himself a popular actor, announced that his mother had died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 84 (via The Washington Post). Over the years, when asked if she would ever retire from Y&R, Cooper would often reply, “What would I do? I’m not good at crocheting. My fingers would bleed.” Just as she predicted, Cooper continued to play Kay Chancellor until her death.
According to The Wrap, the soap created a multi-part story arc that saw Kay’s loved ones gathered at the Chancellor’s mansion after receiving postcards from her travels around the world. Y&R Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps said, “Katherine’s memory is honored in several very special ways that allow us to pay tribute to Jeanne in the remarkable way that she deserves. It is an extraordinary story that will bring the people of Genoa City together to remember this woman they all loved.” It was arguably Kay’s grandson, Devon Hamilton (Bryton James), who was most affected by her death when he was left with her $2.5 billion fortune – a plot point that influenced the narrative for years.
https://www.thelist.com/929831/the-sad-truth-behind-katherine-chancellors-death-on-the-young-and-the-restless/ The sad truth behind Katherine Chancellor’s death to the young and the troubled