Jennifer Leak: 'The Young and the Restless' actress died aged 76

Jennifer Leak, star actress of the 70s, died on Monday March 18. Her former companion and on-screen partner, Tim Matheson, has revealed the cause of death.

Jennifer Leak cause of death
© CBS Photo Archive / Gettyimages
Jennifer Leak cause of death

Known for her role as Colleen North in the series Yours Mine and Ours, Jennifer Leak was a renowned television actress in the 60s and 70s. Tim Matheson, her first husband, announced some terrible news on Facebook following her death on the 18 March. He explained that the star had been suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy for seven years.

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Jennifer Leak died aged 76

Leak was born on in 1947 in Cardiff, Wales. Growing up, she lived in many different cities, including Hertfordshire, England, Nova Scotia, Canada, Jerusalem, and Toronto. She was discovered in the Canadian TV series Wojeck, when she was just 17. Jennifer Leak's career was mainly in TV series, notably The Young and the Restless, where she played the role of Gwen Sherman for three years. Her death comes a few months after that of Billy Miller, the star of the series.

At the age of 76, the actress passed away in Jupiter, Florida, from progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological disease she had endured for several years. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare neurological disorder that affects body movements, walking and balance, and eye movements. PSP is caused by damage to nerve cells in areas of the brain that control thinking and body movements.

Unfortunatly, 'there is currently no treatment that effectively stops or slows the progression of PSP, and symptoms usually do not respond well to medications'. Tim Matheson, a fellow actor who was married to Jennifer Leak from 1968 to 1971, paid her a heartfelt tribute.

Tribute from her ex husband Tim Matheson

Matheson shared the following message:

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Jennifer Leak's passing. She was not only my on-screen sister in Yours, Mine, Ours, but also my beloved first wife. Jennifer was a remarkable, strong, charming and incredibly talented woman. My deepest condolences go to her husband of 47 years, James D'Auria, and their many friends.

The pair played step-siblings in the comedy - which was about a blended family of 18 children. Jennifer Leak also had roles in hit series such as Another World, McMillan and Wife and Hawaii Five-O. By the mid-1980s, she had retired from life as an actress and started working as a sales agent for a real estate company. She remarried, to James D'Auria in 1977, and the pair split their time between New York City and the Hamptons.

Leak is survived by her husband and brother, Kenneth Leak.

This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.

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Sources used:

People:Jennifer Leak, Yours, Mine And Ours Actress and The Young And The Restless, Another World Soap Star, Dead at 76

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

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