What better time, than after Jeanne Cooper’s much-deserved Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress, to take a look back at the history of her beloved Y&R character, Katherine Chancellor? Soaps.com readers, join us as we look back at the highlights, and remember some forgotten stories, from the life of The Duchess!

Katherine Chancellor, of course, is the only remaining original character on The Young and the Restless (she actually was brought on a few months after the show debuted). In early days, she was married to Phillip Chancellor II (Donnelly Rhodes), but their marriage had begun to erode due to countless arguments over Katherine’s excessive drinking and smoking. The young woman, Jill Foster, whom Katherine had taken under her wing, and Phillip, began to commiserate over Katherine’s poor treatment of them and soon began an affair and fell in love. In what would be a pivotal story, still being brought up on the show today, a drunken Katherine drove the car over a cliff in reaction to the news that her husband wanted to be with Jill. He eventually died, but survived long enough to wed a pregnant Jill from his hospital bed! This was the beginning of the bitter rivalry between Katherine and Jill that has spanned until present day – even surviving the news in later years, that they are actually mother and daughter!

Katherine, of course, had a previous marriage to Gary Reynolds, who fathered her son Brock (Beau Kazer). They spent a year apart before their union ended, and during this time, Katherine conducted an affair with Gary’s friend, Arthur Hendricks, who later was revealed as Jill’s father.

Another notable relationship in Katherine’s life was her marriage to Derek Thurston (Joe LaDue), which wasn’t all it was cracked up to be – in fact, it was Katherine who cracked up! Katherine seduced and married Derek in an act of revenge on Jill, who had met and fallen in love with him while working at the Golden Comb. Derek’s ex-spouse soon turned up and they devised a plan to drive Katherine mental and thereby end up with her fortune. It seemed to work, and Katherine was committed to a psycho ward. Later, in an attempt by Derek to hang on to his job at Chancellor Industries, he arranged a second honeymoon aboard a yacht. Katherine, realizing that her marriage was a sham, jumped overboard, and wound up building a relationship with the man who found her – Felipe. She almost died, but was rescued and brought back to Genoa City by Douglas Austin.