HomeTop HeadlinesFamous Soap Opera Actress Dead at 76

Famous Soap Opera Actress Dead at 76

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Acclaimed actress Jennifer Leak, recognized for her work in soap operas such as “The Young and the Restless,” “Another World,” “Guiding Light,” and the 1968 movie “Yours, Mine and Ours,” has passed away at 76.

Her former husband, actor Tim Matheson, confirmed Leak’s death on Wednesday, March 27. Matheson, who is also 76, paid tribute to Leak on Facebook, praising her extraordinary talent and resilience. “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Jennifer Leak’s passing,” Matheson wrote, recalling their on-screen relationship as step-siblings in “Yours, Mine and Ours,” as well as their personal history as former spouses.

Leak passed away on March 18 at her residence in Jupiter, Florida. She had been battling progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological condition, for several years before it ultimately took her life.

Leak’s Hollywood career spanned many decades, starting in the mid-1960s with the Canadian drama “Wojeck.” She then moved on to American television shows like “Hawaii Five-O” and the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” before transitioning to film and American TV soap operas, garnering her widespread recognition.

Leak and Matheson’s relationship extended beyond their professional interaction. The pair were married from 1968 until their separation in 1971. In his tribute, Matheson also expressed his condolences to James D’Auria, Leak’s husband of nearly five decades, recognizing the deep loss experienced by those close to her. “My deepest condolences go out to her husband, James D’Auria, and their multitude of friends,” Matheson shared, emphasizing Leak’s significant impact on those around her.

In “Yours, Mine and Ours,” Leak portrayed one of the daughters, Colleen, opposite parents Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. The film is about a blended family navigating the challenges and humorous moments of life with 18 children, and remains a cherished classic, inspiring a 2005 remake featuring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo.

Leak withdrew from the limelight in the 1980s and pursued a second career in real estate. Her marriage to D’Auria in 1977 marked the start of a new chapter away from the film industry.

Leak is survived by her husband and her brother.

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