Why Young and Restless Star Kate Linder Works as a Flight Attendant

When Kate Linder was hired for a single episode of The young and the restless, his character didn’t even have a name. “He just said ‘Maid’,” recalled the actress, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday playing housekeeper Esther Valentine at an event at the Hollywood Museum. Over the years, Esther, initially a servant in the household of the wealthy Katherine Chancellor (late Jeanne Cooper), experienced many changes in fortune. She suffered personal losses, was kidnapped, married a con artist and was even once declared the rightful owner of Chancellor Mansion – though that didn’t last. “I can’t believe all the crazy things Esther has done,” says Kate, 74 Closer. “And I expect more!”

Originally from Pasadena, California, Kate is active in charitable causes, including the ALS Association, where she is a celebrity spokesperson. “There was an incredible man on the board. He used to say, ‘It doesn’t matter how many breaths you take in this lifetime. That’s what you do with those breaths,” Kate says. “So I thought, ‘Here I am, and I have a platform because of The young and the restless‘, so how could I not help? »

Take us back to the beginning. Have you always wanted to be an actress?

“Yes. I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything else. My parents were extremely supportive, but no one in my family was in the business. They gave me dance lessons – which I still take today.” I’m a tap dancer. They thought it was a really, really tough business, which it is. But it’s the only thing I wanted to be. I’m even happier when I’m working.

How did your Y&R character, Esther, finally get a name?

“My co-star Jeanne Cooper actually named her while we were rehearsing. When we went to the taping, she started calling me Esther. Luckily, I answered! That’s funny! More later we had a national contest for his last name. There was Diamond, Valentine and a few other entries. Our creator Bill let me choose. I chose Valentine because I got married on St. “Valentine. I thought it would be luck.”

How do you maintain your enthusiasm for playing Esther after 40 years?

“It’s like in real life because you just don’t know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning. I don’t know what Esther is going to do, or what’s going to happen or what’s going to happen I’m always so excited to read the scripts and find out. That’s what makes it exciting for me. I’m very proud of our show.

Do you have a favorite episode?

“In fact, there are so many of them! But there was one where my daughter Chloe, played by Elizabeth Hendrickson, come back to town. I carry a tray of champagne, and when I see her, I drop the whole tray. I will never forget that day because I was a wreck. I only had one chance to do it, and it had to be fair. It turned out to be a great scene. One of my favorites.”

Who are you closest to in the cast?

“Jeanne Cooper, who played Mrs Chancellor – we had been together for over 30 years. We were very close and saw each other often outside of work. To this day, I can feel his presence in the studio. I can hear her voice and feel that she is there.

It’s lovely.

“I love my everything Young and the remainshis family. We are so together. [Over the years,] we have all seen each other’s births, deaths, illnesses and happy times. Everyone’s family.

Is there anything you know now that you wish you had known when you were younger?

“I’m still working on it, but I would have liked to learn to see my glass half full instead of half empty. I would also have liked to create a better balance between my personal life and my work. You must have balance in your life and ultimately it will make you a better actress.

Is it true that you still work as a flight attendant at United Airlines?

“Yes. At first I didn’t tell anyone because I thought they would take me less seriously as an actress. But then over the years I would meet viewers on the plane and I I had these wonderful stories. I thought that as long as I kept doing both jobs well, I would keep doing them.

It’s so cool.

“I like meeting people. And it’s a terrible pun, but it keeps me grounded. I’ve watched people believe their own press, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

What do you do for fun?

“I’m still a tap dancer. I love to dance. One of my favorite episodes [was]when I could do [Stephen Sondheim’s] “Everyone should have a maid” on the show. I sang and danced to it. I liked it. Dancing always keeps me going. It’s healthy and I like it.

Would you like to do more singing and dancing professionally?

“Yes, I love theatre. I started out in theater as a singer-dancer. I would like to do Broadway at some point.

What place does spirituality play in your life?

Things happened. My husband, Ron, passed away and I struggled with that. I still do. It’s been five years, and I can’t believe it. I think of him as if he were still there. Maybe he and Jeanne are up there together? For me, spirituality is just about believing and trying to give back as much as you can.

After 40 years on the job, another person could rest on their laurels. What drives you to persevere?

“Oh, well, I never take it for granted. You have to remember [your character] could walk up the stairs one day and never come back. I saw it happen. I also never forget the viewers. When someone takes the time to write or come over and ask for a photo or an autograph, I’m so grateful. I’m still so honored to be able to do this. »

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