Kate Linder was cast as Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless over 39 years ago in April 1982. She remains a key member of the top-rated daytime drama’s cast. On April 10, 2008, Linder received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Linder was elected to two terms as the Television Academy’s Governor of Daytime Programming Peer Group and was elected to multiple terms as a SAG-AFTRA board member.
Linder’s feature film credits include Hysteria, Erased, Miss Meadows, Garry Marshall’s Mother’s Day, Voice from the Stone, The Charnel House, and she’s also one of the leads in Charlie Matthau’s upcoming Book of Leah and Echo Boomers.
She enjoys the best of both worlds — on the air and in the air. “Acting is my life and my creative satisfaction,” says Linder. She never quit her pre-Y&R weekend job as a United Airlines flight attendant because it keeps her grounded.
Linder was born on November 2nd in Pasadena and raised in Arcadia by her CPA father and homemaker mother, with her younger brother, Randy. She entered dance classes at age 3 and by the time she graduated high school, she had appeared in major singing and dancing roles in Promises, Promises, Three Penny Opera, L’il Abner, Jesus Christ Superstar, and many others.
Earning a degree in Theater Arts from San Francisco State University, Linder kept busy in school productions and Bay Area stock and repertory theaters. Linder remained in San Francisco following graduation and between stage roles, she worked part-time at the University, where she met her husband, Professor Dr. Ronald Linder, who subsequently joined the Public Health and Medicine faculty at UCLA. Married on Valentine’s Day in 1976 (thus her character’s last name), the couple settled in Los Angeles. Linder soon broke into TV with sitcom and drama guest-starring roles. Linder starred in Cotillion ’65 as a dance teacher with a dual life that won multiple film fest awards.
Linder is the celebrity spokesperson for the ALS Association following her brother-in-law’s diagnosis and is especially active in the ALS Association’s Golden West chapter. Linder spends most holidays serving food at the Los Angeles Mission. Linder made many USO tours with the late Johnny Grant and spent Thanksgivings visiting troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Korea, later visiting Guantanamo Bay and sent off departing troops from Fort Hood. Linder and Robin Wyss debuted her charity tea featuring her Y&R castmates in 1998 in Victoria, BC. They hosted the event in Vancouver for over 20 years for different charities. In 2012, Linder began hosting teas to benefit March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education® (CE) program in Toronto and Calgary and serves as the program’s celebrity spokesperson. Linder also served as Grand Marshal for the Lupus Foundation of America’s last two Los Angeles walks.
She became the first daytime actress to compete in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach celebrity car race. Linder devotes her time to work and her charities since her husband passed after 41 years of a happy marriage.
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