Y&R Stars Remember Terry Lester (ex-Jack)

Digest spoke with Y&R stars who worked with the actor back in the day: Jerry Douglas (John) actually auditioned with Lester when he joined the cast in 1982. “He was incredibly popular in the ’80s,” recalls Douglas. “Terry had an edge, where he could play Jack as a heavy and get away with it. You just loved to hate him. He had the best role on the show. [Lester’s replacement] Peter [Bergman] has done a phenomenal job with the role, but his Jack is a different Jack. His Jack has a lot more heart. But that is Peter’s nature. Peter is a lovely, giving human being, and a lot of that came through in his Jack. He really transformed that character.”Douglas continues, “One of my favorite scenes was when John brought Jack into the boardroom after John discovered Jack had an affair with Jill [in 1986] and John said to him, ‘You’re out of the family! I don’t want to ever see you again!’ I was an emotional wreck as the character doing that scene, because Jerry Douglas could never do that. But it worked.”Notes Jess Walton (Jill), who played Jack’s stepmother and former lover: “Even though we didn’t stay close after he left the show, I’ll never forget when I first got Jill [in 1987], I said to him, ‘I can’t grasp the essence of her.’ I had a million people telling me things and I had seen Brenda‘s [Dickson, ex-Jill] tapes, but I just couldn’t get the hook of who this character was. And Terry said to me, ‘You have to love being bad. You have to enjoy being bad.’ That was his Jack, and that was so helpful.”Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) remembers: “I had become such good friends with Terry while he was on the show, and I spoke with his sister after I heard the news. He was a very talented actor, but his true genius was in music. He played wonderful piano and he sang. I think that was what he always wanted to do.”

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