‘The Young and the Restless’: Kate Linder Celebrates 40 Years as Esther

The Young and the Restless has created many iconic characters, including Esther Valentine (Kate Linder). Since 1982, Esther has won over the audience’s hearts. Now fans are taking a trip down memory lane as Linder celebrates a special milestone.

'The Young and the Restless' actor Kate Linder wearing a light blue dress during an appearance at the Hollywood Museum.
Kate Linder I David Livingston/Getty Images

Kate Linder celebrates her 40th anniversary with ‘The Young and the Restless’

On April 8, 1982, Linder debuted as Esther on The Young and the Restless. Esther was hired as the new maid for Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper). While the role was supposed to last one day, Linder impressed producers and fans. Before long, she became a main staple of the show and received her storylines.

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Linder’s portrayal of the caring and humorous maid instantly made her a fan favorite. Recently, Linder celebrated her 40th anniversary with the soap opera in a big way. The cast and crew threw a party for the adored actor. But the most significant honor came from the Hollywood Museum, which put Esther’s signature maid uniform and duster on display. 

When reflecting on her historic run, Linder admits, “sometimes, I can’t believe it’s real.”

Esther Valentine’s memorable moments throughout the decades

Esther was not only Katherine’s maid but became her friend on The Young and the Restless. She was a loyal and supportive confidante to Mrs. C, and the two women got into trouble. They’ve gone through a lot, from getting kidnapped to fighting Jill Abbott (Jess Walton) for the Chancellor mansion. One of their most iconic scenes is when Esther goes into labor on the stairs, and Katherine helps deliver the baby. 

In 2008, Esther was reunited with her daughter Kate, who was now known as Chloe Mitchell (Elizabeth Hendrickson). Esther and Jill became in-laws when Chloe gave birth to Billy Abbott’s (Jason Thompson) daughter Delia Abbott (Sophie Pollono). However, tragedy struck in 2013 when Delia was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

But that’s not the only tragedy Esther faces. She and the rest of Genoa City mourn Katherine’s death in August 2013. Katherine’s death came three months after Cooper died. Linder and Cooper’s real-life friendship was just as strong as Esther and Katherine’s. 

In a chat with Soaps.com, Linder says she still feels Cooper’s presence with her. “I can hear her today; I hear her in my head saying, ‘Really! 40 years.’”

What Kate Linder wants to see next for her character?

After Katherine’s death, Esther remained on The Young and the Restless. Mrs. C made sure Esther was taken care of; in her will, she gave her friend a huge salary with the stipulation she continued to work at the Chancellor mansion.

Esther honored Katherine’s wishes but eventually quit when Chloe and Kevin Fisher (Greg Rikaart) moved out of the mansion. Esther’s days are filled with being a grandma to Bella and Miles Fisher. Although Esther isn’t seen much, she still pops up for an appearance.

As for potential storylines for the former maid, Linder has a few ideas. “I’ve always thought it would be really interesting if Esther went to work at maybe Chance Comm or Chancellor Industries or something because people would think that Esther could never do that.”

Wonder if Lily Winters (Christel Khalil) has a job opening for Esther?

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