When THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS planned a very special episode centering around the character of John Abbott, played by the late Jerry Douglas, they naturally reached out to the actor’s widow, Kym Douglas, to see if she would be interested in appearing in it. And in the show, scheduled to air on Thursday, June 22, she’ll be playing a role with a connection to the Abbott family.
“Traci Abbott, played by Beth Maitland, has been established as a very successful writer for many years and they wanted someone to play her agent,” Douglas explained to Soap Opera Digest. “And who better than someone who was a journalist and has authored books, plus the connection with Jerry, so it was a great thing. My character’s name is Zelda Winston, and I’ve decided that her great-grandfather was Harry Winston and she has a lot of diamonds, but that’s just me!”
As a frequent guest on talk shows and a recurring visitor to shows like HOME & FAMILY and THE ELEN DEGENERES SHOW, television studios are familiar territory for Douglas. She’s even done some acting, appearing in episodes of L.A. LAW, IN LIVING COLOR, and even Y&R sister soap THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL. However, appearing on the show her late husband called home for decades made her nervous.
“I’m representing my late husband at his [TV] home that he was at for over 35 years,” Douglas confided. “And I’m also showing our son, Hunter, his dad’s legacy and that his work will live on and he touched a lot of people and maybe even continues to do so through the character John Abbott, who [co-creator/former headwriter] Bill Bell so brilliantly created. And so this had a different level of intensity and integrity for me.”
The visit to Genoa City also had a profound effect on Douglas, who admitted that since her husband’s death in 2021, she hadn’t truly experienced the loss. “Going to Y&R, I had to face that the man who was my shining star is gone, so I’m just starting to feel the grief for the first time,” she confessed. “I finally gave myself that permission.”