‘The Young and the Restless’ Actor Kate Linder Was Originally Hired For Just 1 Day

Kate Linder is a talented actress considered to be soap opera royalty. She is most notable for her nearly forty-year stint on the hugely popular daytime drama, The Young and the Restless. Throughout the years, Linder has worked on many popular TV shows and movies and has devoted her time to many charitable causes. Fans love her for her intense portrayal of Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless — but what many diehard fans might not know is that originally, Linder was not supposed to be on the iconic show for very long at all. 

Kate Linder smiling at the camera in front of a white background with a repeating logo
Kate Linder | Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for New Bloom Media

How did Kate Linder get started in acting?

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Kate Linder was born in California in 1947. Linder found herself drawn to acting at a very early age and attended San Francisco University, ultimately graduating with a BA in theatre arts, according to IMDb. She found work on television almost immediately and was cast on popular shows like Archie Bunker’s Place. It didn’t take long before Linder started making a name for herself, and in 1982, she was cast on The Young and the Restless. She has been acting on the show ever since, a staggering thirty-eight years. 

Linder is a hardworking woman and has managed to find time for other projects during her tenure on The Young and the Restless. A few of her film credits include movies such as Hysteria, Light’s Out, Mother’s Day, and Voice from the Stone. Linder is also an advocate for several causes that she believes in, including becoming the Celebrity Spokesperson for The ALS Association. She frequently speaks out on behalf of Make-a-Wish Foundation and TV Cares, as well. 

Kate Linder is one of the stars of The Young and the Restless

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Kate Linder’s role on The Young and the Restless is far and away the most popular role of her career. Linder’s character, Esther Valentine, is the long-suffering maid for Katherine Chancellor, played by Jeanne Cooper. Esther Valentine is often the character that provides comic relief and a sense of normalcy on The Young and the Restless, amid all the drama and intrigue. 

Over the years, the character of Esther Valentine has become a firm fan-favorite, and fans find themselves gravitating to Kate Linder as well. There’s no doubt that her charming, humble persona has contributed to making Esther so beloved by generations of viewers. Still, there was a time when Esther Valentine, the maid with a heart of gold, could have been but a blip on the screen. 

Kate Linder’s surprising revelation to a fan

During a recent Twitter Q/A session, Linder interacted with fans on her social media, responding to questions and following up on viewers’ statements. When one fan referenced the long-standing rumor that the character of Esther Valentine was supposed to be a one-off role, Linder was quick to reply. “I was only hired for 1 day and here we are 38 years later,” she posted. “So honored and grateful!”

According to Soaps in Depth, after her initial appearance on the show, the role of Esther (who originally just went by her first name) was developed into a recurring role, until 1985, when Linder was placed on contract with The Young and the Restless. Esther became such a fan-favorite that showrunners decided to get the public involved, and held a nationwide contest in order to give the character a surname — and thus, Esther Valentine was born. Clearly, everything worked out just the way it was supposed to, and these days, fans can’t imagine The Young and the Restless without Kate Linder.