Y&R star Jess Walton recalls losing 'love of her life' after 40 years of bliss

Yasmine Leung August 16, 2022
Y&R star Jess Walton recalls losing 'love of her life' after 40 years of bliss


Y&R actress Jess Walton paid tribute to her late husband on the anniversary of his death. Jess posted an Instagram photo thanking him for four decades of happiness.

Jess Walton has portrayed Jill Foster Abbott since 1987, the longest stint out of all her predecessors. With 35 years in the role, the actress has witnessed many co-stars leaving the show, including good friend Jeanne Cooper, who played Jill’s enemy Katherine Chancellor until her death in May 2013.

The one loss that hit Jess Walton the hardest was her husband John James, who sadly passed away on August 10, 2021. On the tragic anniversary last week, the Capitol actress opened up about her marriage to her “extraordinary” husband.

The star sadly lost one of her close friends this year, and paid a heartbreaking tribute to her pal.

Jess Walton’s husband was “the best thing that ever happened” to her

Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images

In a heartfelt Instagram tribute, the 73-year-old actress recounted the devastating day her husband passed away.

She admitted that he was the ‘best thing’ that ever happened to her.

“It’s been a year since I lost the love of my life,” she wrote.

“He was the best thing that ever happened to me and his death was the worst.

“But oh my God, I had 40 years of this extraordinary man! Thank you John James for loving me and sharing your life with me.”

Just one day before, she shared another old image of the pair. It’s unknown what exact year it was photographed, but it’s likely to have been around 2003 since they looked similar to paparazzi photos from a charity event.

Fans and fellow soap stars rushed to send their love to the actress on the difficult day.

Michelle Stafford penned: “I love you Jess!! ❤️ John was an original. A beautiful man. Your union was precious”.

The Young and Restless CBS official Instagram account sent her three red heart emojis.

Lauralee Bell added: “I’ll be thinking of you today ❤️ sending love!”

And Jessica Collins wrote: “Two beautiful humans and the most beautiful love story. I love you Jess.”

John James was diagnosed with liver cancer

Walton mourned James’ passing in a touching upload. James, author and founder of The Grief Recovery Institute, was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer three months before his death.

“This has been far and away the most painful period of my life, and our children’s,” she spoke of his battle at the time.

The loved-up couple met through mutual friends in Beverly Hills and went to the circus for their first date. James’ then-five-year-old daughter also tagged along to ensure that Walton got along well with her. Thankfully, she did and the rest is history.

The Grief Institute founder was survived by Walton and their two kids, a son and daughter called Cole and Allison, respectively.

In the US, contact Cancer Care at 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) or visit this link. You can also call the American Cancer Society on 1-800-227-234 or visit their website.

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Yasmine Leung is a full-time writer at GRV Media. Having entered the company as a freelancer in 2020 during her BA (Hons) Anthropology and Media degree at Goldsmiths, University Of London, the first-class graduate works across the company's several sites, including HITC, Reality Titbit, The Focus, and Forever Geek. Her content ranges from social media trends and K-Pop news, to interviews with TikTok stars, such as Brody Wellmaker. She is, however, most glad her knowledge of the Kardashians has finally come in handy for GRV’s Audience team. You'll also find her scrolling on Instagram searching for the latest celeb updates for her next piece.