Already have an account?
Get back to the


Kym Douglas On Y&R Role

Kym Douglas, motivational speaker/beauty expert/author/columnist/TV personality and the real-life widow of the late Jerry Douglas (ex-John, Y&R), will make her Genoa City debut on June 22 in an episode that centers around the Abbott family. “They first asked me if I would be interested in doing it because they had thought about doing an episode which would include flashbacks of John Abbott,” she explains. “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, 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.”

On-camera work wasn’t new to Douglas. “I was on THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW for 19 years, as her sidekick with the beauty and lifestyle advice,” she explains. “There were 380 people in the audience and I stood next to the number one comedian, in my opinion, in the world. She never wanted to rehearse one thing with me — ever. For 19 years, it was straight improv and off the cuff. Her mind just works that way and I loved it. I also did HOME AND FAMILY on the Hallmark Channel for 12 years, as well as some acting gigs.”

However, Douglas admits that her guest-starring role on Y&R “was a different kind of nervous. I’m representing my late husband at his [TV] home that he was at for over 35 years. 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 Head Writer] Bill Bell so brilliantly created. And so this had a different level of intensity and integrity for me. It’s one thing to just be funny and make them laugh on ELLEN, but this was a whole different heartfelt [level] so I had extra pressure.”

Which is why she arrived at the studio fully prepared. “Tony in wardrobe called and said he had a couple of outfits he picked out for me, but mentioned I could bring anything I wanted from home,” Douglas chuckles. “So, I got up extra early and I emptied out my entire wardrobe! I should have had a U-Haul because I brought every outfit known to man. I pulled onto the lot with my 900 outfits and I’m carrying my makeup bag. Why? I don’t know, because they have excellent makeup. I’m also carrying my hair stuff. Why? Again, I don’t know. I’ve got 45 pairs of heels because God forbid we pick the pink dress with the brown. Of course, the first thing Tony showed me fit like a glove, which was a red dress. It was perfect and I never even tried on one of my outfits.”

Because of her 36-year union with Jerry, Douglas is quite familiar with the Y&R cast. “It was like old home week,” she enthuses. “I met up with Eileen [Davidson, Ashley] for lunch and a beach walk, I’m very close to Tracey [E. Bregman, Lauren], I see Beth all of the time, and Jerry and I lived down the street from Peter [Bergman, Jack].”

Douglas has her own take on why the character of John Abbott, who passed away in 2006, still resonates with viewers. “Not only in our country but in our world, there’s so much division, and I don’t even mean politically. I just mean, in families,” she reasons. “It seems that our athletes, our politicians, even our actors are letting us down in one way or another. So many people are kind of lost and looking for someone in our world, whether it’s in your mosque, synagogue or church, to have a moral compass. John Abbott didn’t really falter in his views, in his love for his family and in his fairness to his fellow man. I want to tell you, Jerry had his faults and wasn’t perfect, but the way he raised Hunter and the kind of husband he was to me, he truly lived those principles — and I’m not making that up.”

Douglas shares that her Y&R stint had a profound impact on her. “I haven’t really revealed this on any of my social media or in interviews yet, but I come from the school of ‘Pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ and that’s been kind of my motto in life,” she affirms. “When I got hit with Stage 3 breast cancer, I’d pop on the wig, go on ELLEN, be happy and show beauty tricks even though I had no eyebrows, no eyelashes and no hair. It’s, ‘Chin up, let’s go.’ My mother at 94 passed on, but the next day I gave a speech in front of 150 women. Since Jerry died [in 2021], I realized that I just kind of pushed everything back and had not really experienced the real loss and pain. 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. I finally gave myself that permission. Some people handle grief with alcohol, drugs or wild, crazy sex. Now, that last one is still an option, but it hasn’t presented itself. So, I’m thinking about getting on an app or two.”