Renowned Soap Opera Actress Dead at 76

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Renowned actress Jennifer Leak, recognized for her performances in soap operas such as “The Young and the Restless,” “Another World,” “Guiding Light,” and the 1968 film “Yours, Mine and Ours,” has passed away at 76.

The news of Leak’s death was shared by her former spouse, actor Tim Matheson, on March 27. Matheson, aged 76, fondly remembered Leak’s exceptional acting skills and resilience. “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Jennifer Leak’s passing,” he stated on Facebook, reminiscing their shared past both on-screen in “Yours, Mine and Ours” and off-screen as his first wife.

Leak passed away on March 18 in her Jupiter, Florida home. She had been fighting a rare neurological disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, for several years, which ultimately led to her death.

Leak’s career in Hollywood started in the mid-1960s with her role in the Canadian drama series “Wojeck.” She then moved to American television with appearances in shows like “Hawaii Five-O” and the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” before transitioning to film and soap operas, gaining her significant fame and recognition.

Leak and Matheson shared more than just screen time; they were married from 1968 to 1971. Matheson also expressed his condolences to Leak’s spouse of 47 years, James D’Auria, acknowledging the deep loss felt by those who knew her. “My deepest condolences go out to her husband, James D’Auria, and their multitude of friends,” Matheson stated, emphasizing Leak’s influence on those in her life.

In the film “Yours, Mine and Ours,” Leak portrayed Colleen, one of the daughters, alongside parents Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. The story, about a large blended family navigating life with 18 children, remains a beloved classic and was remade in 2005 with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo.

Leak exited the showbiz spotlight in the 1980s and began a second career as a real estate agent. Her marriage to D’Auria in 1977 signified a new phase in her life, away from the entertainment industry.

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

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