NOT YOUNG, STILL RESTLESS by Jeanne Cooper
When I was ten Dark Shadows premiered. My mother, oblivious to Daytime Television, suggested I watch it because it was about a Governess, Victoria Winters and her charge, David Collins. (It would also keep me out of my mother’s way on that particular summer day.)
I watched and was immediately transformed into a soap opera junkie. Through the years I’ve watched them all at one point or another. I even remember seeing the premieres of One Life to Live, All My Children and Young and the Restless. And like thousands of fans I was witness to the most famous wedding in daytime, the union of Luke and Laura on General Hospital.
Fortunately I have a life, so there were many years when I never even thought of the soaps, and some years when I banned myself from following. Yet, I’m still a die-hard fan with friends in the business. So as soon as I saw Jeanne Cooper’s memoir, Not Young, Still Restless in the bookstore I couldn’t leave without it.
The memoir follows Ms. Cooper from her eighth grade stage debut in Annabel Steps In to her current status as the Grande Dame of Daytime, thanks to her award winning role as Katherine Chancellor on Young and the Restless.
But Jeanne Cooper’s memoir is not about stardom. Hers is an earthy account of a woman who fell in love with the theatre and has spent a lifetime nurturing the magic which happens between actor and audience.
Not Young, Still Restless is a delight. An honest account of happiness and darkness. And here is the twist. Unlike other memoirs that languish in the dark to underscore the narrator’s courage, Ms. Cooper’s journey is a buoyant celebration of life. She holds nothing back in those dark moments, but she doesn’t dwell. Dark periods of life or illness are combatted with light. In her words…
don’t lose sight of the power you have…starve your fear and your illness out of existence by surrounding it with a small, impenetrable psychic circle that prevents it from ever becoming part of who you are.
Words to live by. Whether you’re a daytime fan or not Jeanne Cooper’s life will entertain and inspire.