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Inside 'The Young and the Restless' Star & Stewardess Kate Linder's 41-Year Marriage

Gaone Pule
May 26, 2022
06:30 P.M.
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Veteran star Kate Linder is now in her seventies and has been married twice. She has no biological children of her own but is a doting stepmother to three kids.


Actress Kate Linder was born Katherine Wolveck and is the only child of a Pasadena, California CPA and a homemaker. Her love for acting began in junior high school, where she participated in a skit that she and a seventh-grade classmate wrote.

Kate later studied drama at San Francisco State University and had no time for anything else. Even her love life had to take a pause.

Kate Linder posing at the Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services Mentor Awards at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on October 26, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. / Source: Getty Images


At age 20, the soap star was married to a department store executive, but she could not make time for their marriage and admitted that her career took preference:

"He was fixated on me, but I focused on my career. It was sad, but it just didn't work out. He wasn't really behind me."

While juggling her Hollywood career, Kate was also a flight attendant and worked for United Airlines in the '90s on weekends. She specifically chose that profession to have time to look for acting gigs in between.

Actress Jess Walton as Jill Abbott and Kate Linder as Esther Valentine on the daytime TV show "The Young and the Restless." / Source: Getty Images


She had the chance to chat with her fans on the plane who recognized her from the long-running TV soap, "The Young and the Restless," where she plays Esther Valentine:

"I tell them to write a letter to the producers and ask them to write up my character."

After years of being a flight attendant, Kate landed the TV show role in 1982. When she started with her part of Esther, it was only a walk-on with one line, "Dinner is served."

Kate Linder as Esther Valentine in the CBS daytime drama "The Young and The Restless," November 27, 1985. / Source: Getty Images


She cemented her role as daytime's favorite comic character and credits her flight-attendant training. "I already knew how to pour wine, so I could concentrate on being creative," said Kate.

While working as a flight attendant, the "Erased" star has had her fair share of experiences on the airplane. One, in particular, was when a woman who was suspected of transporting chemicals to make illegal substances was being dragged off the plane by airport authorities.

Kate revealed that the said individual suddenly stopped, stared, and shouted, "Aren't you Esther on 'The Young and the Restless?'" Then there was another instance where a couple was on board, and the woman exclaimed, "Oh my God, Esther!"


She explained that the man pulled her aside and said, "I'll pay you fifty bucks if you say it's not you," which left her perplexed. The man said his partner saw her and bet him $100 that she was a celebrity, but he refused to believe that Esther would be on an airplane as a flight attendant.



Professor Ronald Linder and his wife Kate Linder during the 17th Annual Movieguide Faith And Values Awards Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. / Source: Getty Images

When it comes to her love life, Kate found love again when working at her alma mater university at the activity's office. She met her future second husband, Ronald Linder, and revealed that they learned they were different people.


But he was incredibly supportive of her craft and went to see her perform on stage while doing a play. For forty years, Ronald supported his wife throughout her acting career.

Ronald Linder and Kate Linder arriving at the 2011 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards at Club Nokia on March 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. / Source: Getty Images


Ronald was born in February 1940 in Tacoma, Washington. He met his wife when he was teaching at San Francisco State University, who graduated with a Theatre Arts degree.

In addition to being an educator, Ronald was an author, an innovator, and an expert on public health and substance abuse matters. He graduated with a BA and MS degrees in health education from the University of Washington.


Ronald Linder and Kate Linder during The ALS Association's "Partners For Hope" Awards Gala on April 11,2008 at the LA2DAY.com Mansion in West Hollywood, California. / Source: Getty Images


Ronald was Kate's biggest fan and was the one who suggested she take a job as a flight attendant to become independent. He told People in June 1987 why he encouraged his wife to reach for the stars:

"I thought she was attractive and bright, a high-energy lady. I thought she would benefit from getting into the world and meeting lots of people."

The couple got married on Valentine's Day in 1976, four years after Kate's divorce from her first marriage. Ronald was a proud husband and cheered his wife on her accomplishments, including when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Kate Linder during a ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 10, 2008 in Hollywood, California. / Source: Getty Images


He also remained supportive of her career and was her biggest cheerleader during their long marriage. When Kate learned that she had bagged the role of Esther, Ronald, a science professor, was elated for her.

During Kate's appearance on "The Locher Room," she revealed that whenever people asked her husband how long they had been married, he would divide the number of years in half. She was gone most of the time as a charter for Trans International Airlines.

Moreover, the lovebirds had no children together. Though Kate is not a biological mother either, she is a stepmom to her beloved husband's kids, with whom she is close.


Ronald Linder and Kate Linder during the opening night performance of "Camelot" at UCLA's Royce Hall on September 11, 2007 in Westwood, California. / Source: Getty Images

They come from Ronald's first marriage; he has two sons and a daughter. Jay, Jon, and Karyn. Their stepmother Kate spends time with them whenever she can. Sadly, the TV star announced the death of her spouse in June 2017 on Twitter, writing:


"It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that my dear husband Ron passed away Monday night."


Ronald died in Los Angeles, California, from natural causes. He and Kate were married for 41 years before he peacefully passed at age 77.

The father of three is survived by his wife Kate and his kids, Karyn, Jay, and Jon. His nine grandchildren, his sister Janis and her spouse Frank, his brother David and his wife Marilyn, his brother Gene, his sister Jorjann Buzzell, his mother-in-law Molly, his brother-in-law Randy and his wife, Gina.



It was bittersweet for Kate to celebrate her milestone as Esther on "The Young and the Restless" with her husband gone. The person who was overjoyed when she got the role that was supposed to last for one day.

However, Kate exceeded expectations with her character, and she has been playing Esther for 40 years now. The 40th-anniversary milestone was also emotional for the "Mother's Day" star because it brought back memories of Jeanne Cooper, someone "she thinks about all the time." Cooper played Katherine Chancellor in the TV series.

Actress Jeanne Cooper and Kate Linder during Cooper's 80th birthday celebration on "The Young and the Restless" stage at CBS Television City on October 24, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. / Source: Getty Images


One of the episodes that made her emotional looking back was the October 1991 masquerade ball, and she recalled a touching moment to Soap.com. Kate sang "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" while dressed as a French maid, holding a feather duster.

What makes her choke up every time is the introduction at the beginning of that scene. Where Mrs. Chancellor was the emcee, and she introduced her as her friend instead of a maid. But the most notable point was that she was singing and dancing in that scene which is how she started her career.


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