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Katherine Chancellor Murphy
Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor Murphy
The Young and the Restless
Portrayed by Jeanne Cooper (1973-2013)

Michael Learned (temp. 2011) Gisele MacKenzie (temp. 1986) Beverly Garland (temp. 1981) Jenica Bergere (As Kathy) (2017-18)

Current status Former, Contract
Duration 1973-2013
First appearance November 1973
Last appearance December 15, 2020
Cause/reason Appeared in flashbacks
Introduced by William J. Bell
Family Chancellor
Full name Katherine Shepherd Chancellor Sterling Murphy
Nickname(s) Dutchess (by Brock)
Madame Chancellor (by Esther)
Mrs. C (by everyone)
Alias(es) Marge Cotroke
Namesake(s) Cordelia Katherine Valentine Abbott
Katherine Tina Valentine
Katherine Rose Newman Abbott
Gender Female
Born October 25, 1928 [1]
Died August 1, 2013
Age 84
Cause of death Brain Tumor
Occupation Businesswoman
Residence Chancellor Estate 12 Foothill Road
Genoa City, Wisconsin
Jenica Bergere as Kathy (Katherine's Apparition)
Parents Walter Shepard
Spouses Gary Reynolds (1948-1954)
Phillip Chancellor II (1961-1975)
Derek Thurston (1978-1981)
Rex Sterling (1988-1990, 1992-1994)
Patrick Murphy (2009-2013)
Romances John Abbott
Arthur Hendricks
Douglas Austin
Felipe Ramirez
Jerry Cashman
Brent Davis
Mitchell Sherman
Children Tucker McCall
Brock Reynolds
Grandchildren Devon Hamilton
Mackenzie Browning
Great-grandchildren Dylan Hellstrom
Becca Hellstrom
Godchildren Ashley Abbott
Victoria Newman
Chloe Mitchell

Katherine Chancellor Murphy (née Shepherd; previously Reynolds, Thurston and Sterling) was a fictional character on The Young and the Restless, portrayed by Jeanne Cooper. Katherine was considered to be the heart and soul of The Young and the Restless by many, and fans worldwide were devastated by Jeanne Cooper's death in 2013. On December 25, 2017 Jenica Bergere appeared as "Kathy", a woman who appears to Nikki on Christmas, it is then revealed that "Kathy" was in fact Katherine reaching out to Nikki as an apparition to show her the true meaning of Christmas. Bergere returned to the series on January 11, 2018.


Katherine Shepherd went to high school with Gary Reynolds, John Abbott, Dina Mergeron, Neil Fenmore, Joanna Manning, Stuart Brooks and Suzanne Lynch. Most of these early friendships lasted through the years.

Katherine was a wealthy pillar of the Genoa City community. She was the sole owner of Chancellor Industries when she died.

Katherine's net worth was over 15 billion dollars at the time of her death. Katherine was also credited as a billionaire. Her fortune came from a variety of sources, including: her wealthy family, first husband Gary Reynolds, second husband, Phillip Chancellor II, (the founder of Chancellor Industries),--half of the Chancellor Estate- which she shared with Jill Foster Abbott-and from the many business dealings she oversaw as Chairman of the Board at Chancellor Industries.

She was widely considered the grande dame and matriarch of Genoa City. Katherine is called by a couple of nicknames: Kay by her closest friends, and Mrs. C by her long-time maid Esther Valentine and friend/memoir co-author Amber Moore.

Katherine's rivalry with Jill Foster Abbott has been a key plot element since the 1970s, when Jill had an affair with Katherine's husband Phillip resulting in Jill becoming pregnant with his son. Phillip subsequently died from injuries related to a car crash caused by a drunken Katherine; however, he married Jill on his deathbed. After Phillip's death, Katherine moved to have Phillip's marriage to Jill declared invalid. (Katherine had been drunk when she signed divorce papers.) This put Jill and Katherine at odds from that moment on. After years of torment from Katherine, Jill turned the tables on her in July 1998 when she discovered a letter penned by the now-deceased Phillip, naming Jill as the sole owner of the Chancellor Estate. Jill evicted Katherine, who then found a loophole which resulted in Katherine and Jill being forced to live at the Estate together.

Phillip was not Katherine's only husband, and he certainly wasn't her only lover over the years. He also wasn't the only man Katherine and Jill were in competition over. As part of one of her more devious schemes, Jill hired a conman named Brian Romalotti whom she dressed up as a wealthy man and rechristened "Rex Sterling". Jill's plan backfired, though, and Katherine and Rex eventually fell in love for real. Unfortunately, their romance ended tragically when Rex spooked a prowler in the middle of the night and was subsequently shot. There was also Gary Reynolds, Katherine's first husband, and the father of her son Brock Reynolds.

Katherine's Love Child

Judge Arthur Hendricks was Gary's best friend, and the man with whom Katherine conducted an affair during her time apart from Brock's father. While her then-husband, Gary, was spending time overseas with their son Brock, Katherine had an affair with Gary's best friend, Arthur. Shortly before Gary returned, Katherine gave birth to a baby and handed her over to a friend from school named Charlotte Ramsey, with instructions to give her up for adoption. Unfortunately, Charlotte was unable to drop the baby off as planned, and was forced to give her own name as the child's birth mother. Arthur, as we would learn in 2003, would connect Katherine and Jill in a way that none other could...and neither woman would even know it for many years. Katherine and Jill were mortified when, in 2003, they were mistakenly led to believe that they were mother and daughter.

Many years later, the woman Jill had always thought of as her mother, Liz Foster, discovered she had a brain tumor. Fearing that her time on Earth was limited, Liz decided to tell Jill that she was adopted. Liz survived, but the secret left Jill reeling. After a long search, she discovered Charlotte's name on her birth certificate.

Katherine was shocked when she saw Charlotte back in Genoa City a short time later, but still didn't piece together her connection with Jill. John Abbott, also a former schoolmate, recognized Charlotte. He eventually tricked Katherine into revealing that Charlotte had an abortion, which left her unable to carry children, when she was younger. With the truth about her barren status about to surface, Charlotte went to the Chancellor Estate and confronted Katherine. Charlotte then told Kay that Jill was her biological daughter.

Jill, Jill, Jill

The revelation about Jill caused Katherine to have a massive stroke, which left her nearly catatonic for quite a while. Still, there was an even greater sadness attached to this newly-revealed family connection. For years, Jill's son Billy Abbott and Katherine's granddaughter Mackenzie Browning had fallen in love. However, the supposed mother-daughter connection between Katherine and Jill would mean that Mackenzie and Billy were first cousins. Unbeknownst to them, the young couple was married, while a paralyzed Katherine could do nothing but watch. A horrified Jill and John tried to stop the wedding, but they were too late. Eventually, Jill managed to inform the newlyweds of the shocking news before the marriage was consummated. Heartbroken, Billy and Mackenzie had their union annulled, and the two separately left town. Jill helped her mother to recover and the two eventually resolved their differences.

Despite several obstacles along the way, the two former enemies began to form a true mother-daughter bond. Nevertheless, their feud was decades old, and it remained to be seen if Katherine and Jill could continue to be cordial. Katherine began to have disturbing nightmares involving a baby. She soon determined that they were actually fragments of a repressed memory. Eventually Katherine recalled that years ago--unable to accept the fact that Jill had given birth to a child with her deceased husband Phillip--she kidnapped the baby, and gave him to a woman named Violet Montgomery, whom she met in a bar. Violet was to place the child with a different family. The woman then gave Katherine a different baby that Jill raised as her son, Phillip Chancellor III.

While Jill adamantly refused to believe this at first, DNA testing of Phillip's remains confirmed that he was not Jill's biological son. It was then revealed that Jill's real son was, in fact, new-in-town Cane Ashby, who had recently married Amber. Cane eventually ended his relationship with Amber, after he discovered that she had faked their wedding.

False Identities

Katherine, however, formed a bond with Amber after being trapped with her under the Clear Springs Project wreckage in October 2007. She saw a lot of herself in the young woman, and often offered her advice and a shoulder to lean on when others turned against her. Katherine was again furious with Jill upon learning that her daughter was planning on eloping with Ji Min Kim. She offered Ji Min a bribe not to marry her daughter, but Ji Min declined. He was murdered before he could marry Jill and the investigation proved that David Chow murdered him to pay off some of his gambling debts.

On January 25, 2008, Katherine collapsed while talking to Amber. She was then examined at her home by a physician and informed on January 30, 2008 that she had suffered a mini-stroke. Following this terrifying experience, Katherine enlisted Amber's help in writing her memoirs--the prospect of which could be frightening to many Genoa City residents. Katherine was presumed dead. A year later, on January 22, 2009 while still trying to reclaim her true identity as Katherine, Amber accompanied Katherine to the doctor's office for an evaluation including being tested for Alzheimer's disease.

Katherine had been having a series of memory lapses that had gotten progressively worse over the weeks. She resisted attempts to get a medical diagnosis on what exactly was happening to her. She has also been trying to help her look-alike friend, Marge Cotroke, stop drinking and enter rehab. On November 7th, 2009 Katherine was driving Marge to the rehab center and then got into a serious car accident during a heavy rainstorm. On November 11th, 2009 Katherine was pronounced dead, but her family and friends didn't know that it was Marge who had died, and that Kay was still alive and lying near the river. Kay was rescued by Marge's friend Patrick Murphy, who thought Kay was Marge, and was taken back to his mobile home.

In late December 2008, Katherine finally regained enough memories to realize she was Katherine Chancellor, not Marge Cotrooke. She convinced Murphy to take her to the Chancellor Mansion. He did, and minutes after she arrived, Jill also arrived and was obviously shocked to see her. After the shock wore off, however, Jill was convinced that Katherine was Marge, seeing as Jill remembered Marge from years ago. Katherine, having little memory still, couldn't disprove Jill's theory, and was arrested for trespassing and fraud. She has already remembered an incident with Gloria Fisher upon encountering her at the jail. Time will tell if Katherine will be able to return home where she belongs, or if she will reside in the Genoa City Jail. Katherine subsequently failed a DNA test which would have proven her identity (which calls into question whether she is actually Jill's biological mother).

As of March 12th, she has more than just Amber and Murphy believing in her true identity; she also has Nikki Newman who finally believes her. Katherine left Genoa City once again when the second DNA tests came in again saying she and Jill are not mother and daughter. Katherine returned to Murphy's where they reconciled; only later to be visited by Nikki and Paul believing she is Katherine no matter what DNA testing results state. With the help of Nikki she proved to Victor that she is Katherine as well. On March 26th Murphy presented Katherine with an engagement ring and proposed to Katherine back at the diner where Katherine accepted.

In return for the Jabot shares which Victor purchased from Gloria, Jill allows the corpse buried in Katherine's grave to be exhumed, and it is subjected to a third DNA test. Ultimately, Jill's DNA matches neither the corpse nor Katherine (whom Jill believes to be Marge). Thus, Katherine's claim about her true identity is bolstered, and it is proven conclusively that Katherine and Jill are not biological mother and daughter after all. After a final pair of DNA tests between Katherine and her son Brock are a match, not even Jill can deny the truth any longer. She bitterly rejects Katherine's overtures of affection, and the ensuing argument reignites the feud between the women in full force. Weeks later on May 1, 2009, Katherine and Murphy are married, with Brock officiating the ceremony.

Shortly thereafter, Cane recalled his telephone conversation years earlier with a man regarding their joint plan to con Jill and Katherine. The man bore a striking resemblance to the supposedly deceased Phillip Chancellor III. On June 10, 2009, it was revealed that Phillip was indeed the other gentleman and that he was still very much alive (unknown to everyone except Cane). Katherine suffered a minor stroke after a stressful conversation with Jill on July 1st, but was released. Upon learning that Cane was not Jill's son and that Phillip III was alive and had returned to Genoa City, Katherine suffered another mild stroke. Kay and Jill made peace on November 4, 2009.

On November 13, 2009, Katherine Chancellor became Reverend Katherine Chancellor. She became an ordained minister online so that she would be able to officiate the wedding between her dear friend Amber and Amber's longtime boyfriend Daniel Romalotti.

Chancellor Industries Goes Public

Katherine decided to make Chancellor Industries public and to get others to buy into the company. She only wanted to sell a small number of stock shares so she still could still be the CEO and majority owner. The first one to become a stockholder was Tucker McCall. He wooed Katherine into letting him become a stockholder in the company. For Christmas, Jill gave Katherine a gift, inside which had the name of her real child. Katherine didn't want to open the box because she thought as Jill as being her real daughter.

After Jill begged her, she finally opened the box to find the name Joanne "Jo-Jo" Glover and flew to where her daughter was living in South Dakota. When they found her she was a drunk and a bounty hunter. Katherine and Jill flew back with JoJo and she caused trouble from the start.

JoJo, Tucker and Mac

In January 2010, it was revealed that JoJo was sent by Tucker to scam Katherine. Katherine held a stockholders meeting. Tucker was the only one to show up and it baffled Kay, Neil Winters and JT Hellstrom. He revealed to Katherine that he bought all the shares from the other stockholders, which meant that he was now the owner of Chancellor Industries. She thought he was her friend and ally, but knew now he was neither. He revealed that he was her son.

Katherine found some dirt on Tucker and planned on using it against him, but decided not to hurt her child. Tucker deiced to give the company back to her, but then Jill printed the dirt in Restless Style. Tucker, assuming Katherine had something to do with it, refused to give her company back. Later that same year, Kay lost one of her dearest, oldest friends, Liz Foster, who died. In November, Kay went to see Mac and told her that Murphy had been moved to a hands-on care facility.

Mac told Kay about how she and JT were moving to DC to work at a non profit organization. Later, when JT and Mac told Kay that their moving preperation was preventing them from getting married before they left town, Kay said she would see what she could do about that. Kay returned to tell JT and Mac that she pulled some strings and they could get married that afternoon. All they had to do was show up at the Chancellor estate. After listening to Victoria about losing Reed, Katherine gave her some more bad news - Victor married Meggie that night.

Recent Developments

Kay told Victoria Newman that Meggie McClean was very dangerous. Meggie targeted her father, Victor Newman, planned to marry him, kill him and live the life of a very, very rich widow, Kay said. Nina Webster said Victor was fine thanks to Ronan Malloy and Murphy. The next day, Kay told Murphy she was glad he was home then asked why he kept his late son, Francis Murphy, a secret. Murphy told Kay about how his son married Meggie and was later involved in an accident which left Francis' wife in charge of turning off the life support.

The second Francis died, Meggie took the insurance money and left town.

Later Katherine discovers that Tucker has set a $20 million will for the son he couldn't find, so she hired Paul Williams to find her new grandson, which she later learned is Devon Hamilton (Neil and Dru's adopted son). When Tucker fires Devon from his record label, Katherine launches a label under Chancellor and puts Devon in charge. Katherine suddenly has a stroke when Tucker stole Jabot Cosmetics from her and in her hospital bed, reveals to both Tucker and Devon that they are father and son, to which both are stunned and then furious at her for keeping it to herself. Eventually Devon forgives Katherine as well as Tucker.

In 2012, Tucker and Genevieve Atkinson concoct a scheme to make everyone in town believe that Victor Newman was killed in an explosion in Los Angeles. When the truth came out that Victor was alive and that Tucker knew this but used this information to manipulate Sharon Newman into taking over Newman Enterprises, Katherine was livid with Tucker and wrote him out of her will. She decides to leave everything to Devon.

Later that year when Jack takes over Newman, Katherine decides to come out of retirement to run her company once again. However, she begins having memory issues once again. Believing that running a big company is too much stress for his mom, Tucker calls Jill and asks her to return back to town to convince Katherine that it's not a good idea for her to run a company given her health. Jill then proposes that she and Katherine become co-CEO's of Chancellor, which Katherine accepted.

Eventually, Katherine and Tucker begin getting along after Tucker saves Murphy from choking while on a dinner date with Katherine. During a blizzard, Katherine was trapped in her car and was eventually rescued by Adriana Stone, Noah Newman's ex-girlfriend from New York. Appreciating her help, Katherine gives Adriana a job as her new personal assistant. Soon, Katherine's memory began acting up and kept forgetting things once again, such as forgetting Nikki and Victor's remarriage. So upset by it, Katherine fears she may have Alzheimer's disease and decides to keep it to herself. Eventually, Cane Ashby convinces Katherine to go see a doctor and Katherine was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Katherine swore Cane to secrecy about her diagnosis, but eventually told her loved ones about her condition. As Katherine is about to go into surgery, Jill and Murphy show up for support and she asks Cane to look after Chancellor if the surgery doesn't go well.

The tumor is successfully benign and Katherine announces that she is stepping down as CEO and names Cane her successor, much to Jill's dismay. Katherine is eventually let out of the hospital and returns home to a sudden surprise from family and friends for her anniversary. After everyone has left, Katherine and Jill are left alone and they have a heart-to-heart conversation about her decision naming Cane the CEO. Jill then suggests that Katherine go get some rest which Katherine does, politely refusing Jill's help going up the stairs. (This is Katherine's final scene. Her final line was a heartfelt "Goodnight.")

In mid-2013 during a ominous summer storm, Jill, Esther, Kevin, Nikki, Victor, Chloe, Cane, Lily, and Devon are each given postcards from Katherine from various places around the world and are summon to meet up at the Chancellor Mansion at 8:00 pm. When Jill puts the pieces together, she discovers that the postcards are places on Katherine's bucket list. Murphy eventually returns home, but alone. He reveals that while vacationing in Hong Kong, he and Katherine met up with Tucker for a cordial dinner. Murphy that tells everyone that later that night, Katherine died in her sleep.

In February of 2017, Katherine appeared at Jill's bedside after Jill had a heart attack. Seeing Katherine gave Jill comfort, strength, and clarity, despite Katherine not saying a word.

Shortly after this, Jill kicks Collin out and Billy donates all of his clothes. In the thrift shop while trying to buy back his clothing, Collin finds Katherine's music box that she had given Jill in her will. He scours through it and finds a key to a safe deposit box. He hunts down the box and finds a letter and a beautiful diamond and emerald ring for Jill. He gives the letter to Jill but pawns the ring to get Jill's money back that he lost. The letter revealed that Katherine always knew Phillip loved Jill and Katherine was jealous, and Phillip meant for Jill to have the ring (he was going to propose but Katherine crashed the car they were riding in and killed him before he got the chance). Jill makes Collin get the ring back for her and she vows never to take it off, saying Phillip was her true love. Despite being mad at Katherine at first, she forgives her for everything, ending the Katherine-Jill feud for good. She realizes that she should follow Katherine's example and make a bucket list, but with enough time to do everything on it. She writes "forgive Collin", and she makes up with him and the two depart on a much needed vacation.