Cooper. (Nikki Nelson/

The matriarch.

Following the sad news that Jeanne Cooper passed away today, received statements from her co-stars, Kate Linder (Esther) and Lauralee Bell (Christine), both of whom shared special relationships with the actress.

Kate Linder said, "My heart is breaking for Jeanne Cooper's wonderful family and for all of us who truly loved Jeanne through the years. Jeanne was my mentor and an amazing actress and friend. We've been through so much together and I loved her like family. She and Bill Bell were the two people most responsible for my career on 'Y&R,' and the world is a darker place without them. When Jeanne welcomed you into her life, you knew it and it was a fantastic feeling. This is truly the end of an era, not just for fans of 'The Young and the Restless,' but for all of the people she touched throughout her long and distinguished career and life. She's always been larger than life and an inspiration to me and so many others. I can't imagine a world without Jeanne Cooper - it won't be the same without her fighting spirit and lust for life and to say she will be missed is an understatement for what we are all feeling today."

Lauralee Bell issued the following statement:

"Jeanne was the matriarch of the show in every sense of the word. When you did work you were proud of, you'd hope for approval or a 'good job' from Jeanne as a child would from a parent. When things got too tense, she'd break the tension with her amazing wit. She would teach the younger actors without ever talking down to them. In fact, she would raise them up. She always had my back and my parents (and our whole family) always had hers. I am so grateful that Jeanne and I were on 'Marie' together last month with my mom - what a gift to sit next to her and hold hands. When she saw me breaking down watching a clip of my late dad, she rescued me on camera by speaking of her gratitude towards him and the ways he had helped her. She squeezed my hand harder and had my back yet again. Like everything else Jeanne did, she was very brave. I know she was the light of her family. I will miss her so much!" extends deepest condolences to Jeanne Cooper's family, friends, and co-workers. She will be greatly missed.

Join us on Twitter @soapoperafan and Facebook. Come tweet and Facebook with us about "The Young and the Restless," all the other soap operas, "Dallas," "Glee," "Grey’s Anatomy," "Pretty Little Liars," "Revenge," "Vampire Diaries," and "Venice The Series."

- Candace Young