As The Young and the Restless’ Kate Linder celebrates her 40th anniversary on the show as Esther Valentine, the actress’ latest fundraising event will be in support of March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education Program taking place virtually this Sunday, Feb. 27.
The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to catch up with Linder to discuss the details about this year’s virtual fan event, OpportuniTea where fans will get a chance to connect with Y&R stars in a Q&A and participate in an auction of unique show-related items. Linder, who has no plans to retire or slow down, calls her character an “eternal optimist, praises her on-screen daughter – Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) – and suggests a way for fans to have their voices heard if they want to see more of Esther on the show.
You’ve been doing a number of charity events in Canada since 1998 but 2022 marks the 10th year of your OppotunityTea with the March of Dimes Canada.
I know! I can’t believe it’s come so fast!
You started out West in Victoria and Vancouver before bringing this to Toronto and it’s been so successful that you’ve even had them in Calgary. Must be incredible for you and your Y&R costars to see the fan response here in Canada.
Oh, it’s so exciting! The Young and the Restless is the number one soap and in Canada, it’s on twice a day. I love seeing the fan reaction. My castmates are so great. They’re terrific for participating and they really enjoy themselves. The fans get to see them and we’re able to raise money to help the March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education program.
It’s a fabulous program and I’ve been able to see firsthand where in the beginning a child may have cerebral palsy or muscular sclerosis and they’re not able to even sit up. Then, when I come back I am able to see that they are walking. It’s just so great what we can do for them and their families.
That’s amazing that you have been able to witness first-hand where the funds raised are helping those kids.
Oh yeah, definitely. It’s also so nice to see the fans who come year after year. They get to know us and we get to know them and their families [who attend with them] and it’s just great.
In Toronto, we’ve usually come around Christmas time and we get to attend the Christmas Market in the Distillery District and everyone has a good time.
It must be like a homecoming in a way for you guys.
Yeah, definitely. I can’t wait until next December when we’ll be back in person, hopefully. In the meantime, we’re really happy to be able to do a virtual event this year. I owe my fellow cast members so much. We’ve got Christian LeBlanc (Michael), Bryton James (Devon), Cait Fairbanks (Tessa), Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and Brytni Sarpy (Elena).
We had done a virtual event before where it was pre-taped but this one will be live. We have some great auction items and different cast members are donating Zoom calls.
The show has been so supportive – from the cast, crew, and the PR team. Everyone works so hard to make this happen. It’s wonderful that this show is so supportive.
That’s amazing. The fans will be in good hands because Christian LeBlanc will be co-hosting with you.
Yes, he has been hosting with me for years. I had been doing it myself for a while and then he joined me. Everyone had loved him so much! Carolyn MacKenzie from Global News will be hosting with us.
A quote you gave me when we first spoke years ago which has stayed with me is “If you want something done, you give it to the busiest person.” You’re still acting, you’re still working as a flight attendant and you’re also involved with all these charities. Is there going to be a time where you’ll ever think about slowing down?
No, I don’t believe in that! I don’t believe in retirement, whatever that is. For certain people, it might be good for them but for me, I really feel that you have to have a reason to get up in the morning. You know, you have to have a reason to keep going and if you can help others along the way, we’ll that’s a really good thing.
I don’t plan to stop any of it anytime soon!
That’s a beautiful response! I know the fans want to see more of Esther on Y&R. Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) has been back in Genoa City for a while now but her character has essentially revolved around Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan). I feel that there’s still so much more story to tell with Esther and Chloe and their connection to the Chancellors.
A lot of people don’t know this, but they really should. There’s a comment line on CBS.com and they can go there. It takes a couple of seconds and they can tell the show what they want to see [on the show]. When they get enough of those [comments], then things can happen.
I think back to when the Chloe character first appeared, people, were asking “Where is Esther’s daughter, Kate?” I told them to let the show know they want to see this character and then suddenly one day, Chloe was Kate! There was my daughter!
Elizabeth is fabulous and I’m really glad that she’s back.
You both have a wonderful mother/daughter chemistry.
I just love her and she’s a tremendous actress. I’m just so happy to be there and do whatever I can. Whatever they want me to do, I’m there. We have incredible writers. I mean, can you imagine writing for a show that airs Monday through Friday? They keep it going and I have tremendous respect for them.
But like I said, if viewers want to see certain things, they just have to make comments and it let everyone [at production] know that and let them who the fans are missing.
I feel like there’s still so much story to mine from the show’s history for Esther. Chloe’s father, Tiny the plumber, is still out there somewhere.
It’s so nice that you remember that because a lot of people wouldn’t know about him. Wouldn’t that be great if he showed up? And then there was also Norman (Mark Haining), who turned out to be not so good!
Esther hasn’t had the best of luck but she’s always been a romantic.
You are so right. None of those relationships worked out. But she’s an eternal optimist.
You know, it’s just like you don’t know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning. When you’re going to bed, you think “Okay, I’m going to do this and this,” but really, you never know what’s going to happen, so I think we just have to be open to all the possibilities. [Not just for Esther, but with myself as well,] I’m open to all the possibilities.
Remind me, is Esther still working at the Chancellor Mansion?
She’s been watching her grandkids. With Chloe and Kevin (Greg Rikaart) busy.
You’ve worked on some great indie films like Hysteria. Your next film is Shriver.
Yes, it’s a film I did with Kate Hudson, Michael Shannon and Don Johnson. It’s fabulous. I know they are in the final stages of post-production. They’re wrapping it all up, and hopefully, it will be out soon.
We look forward to checking it out! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me and for how much you give back to the fans and our community here with your charity work. We’re truly grateful and hope to see you back in town soon!
I look forward to seeing you in person again and I thank our viewers in Canada. They’re so supportive!
The online OpportuniTea with Kate Linder & Friends takes place Sunday, February 27, 2022, at 1 p.m. EST, with a VIP-Pre-Show taking place from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. ($100 CAD) and the main program taking place between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. ($50 CAD).
The virtual event is open to fans worldwide and will benefit the March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education program.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://marchofdimes.akaraisin.com/ui/OpportuniTeaTO2022.
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on Global and CBS. Canadians can catch up with episodes on demand, the Global TV app, STACKTV, and at GlobalTV.com.
For the latest soap news, previews and spoilers, visit TheTVWatercooler.com/Soaps.