Article 4
Jess Walton Article  
From: (Dave McCormick)
Subject: Jess Walton Article
Date: 1996/07/03 Message-ID: <4rekge$>
organization: LocalNet Corporation

I found this article on the L'eggs site

Women in Profile: Jess Walton              By Josh Young   

           She's famous, watched on television by millions five days a week, and he seems to know everybody from somewhere or another. Their son would be jaded, you would think, but he's actually unaffected; the result, no doubt, of his parents succeeding at the juggling act of raising a child in a marriage with two demanding careers.

Jess Walton is the Daytime Emmy award-winning actress who plays the ruthless Jill Foster Abbott on the perennially top-rated soap opera, "The Young and The Restless." Her husband, John W. James, is the founder of the Grief Recovery Institute, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to helping people move beyond loss. Their son, Cole James, now 14, is known to their friends as a budding athlete who's forte is, well, just about any sport he tries.

Walton and James have raised Cole in a unique situation, one potentially fraught with peril. Walton works in a business often appropriately cliched as shallow and full of neurotic personalities. James spends his days, often nights and weekends too, listening to people's devastating losses and educating them on one of the most troubling, most swept-aside topics in America, grief. If ever two careers lent themselves to bringing your work home at  night, these are atop the list. Add to this the Los Angeles-specific temptations of the hard, fast and beautiful life surrounding the entertainment industry.

             But Walton and James have taken advantage of the benefits of their situation in raising Cole, which has resulted in him smoothing over many of the pitfalls himself. For starters, instead of the glamorous Beverly Hills or the infamous Brentwood, they live in the more family-oriented environment of the San Fernando Valley, where bowling alleys attached to delis are more common than trendy eateries and neighbors work in more typical professions. They also have help.

             "Most women in my position are able to afford a housekeeper," Walton says. "It's a savior. For the time I didn't have a housekeeper, I would pick Cole up at school and come home to a dark house at night, with everyone hungry and no dinner. Now with a housekeeper,dinner is waiting."

             Walton works unpredictable hours, as much as five days a week, as little as two,depending on the storyline of "The Young and the Restless." James puts in a full day at his office every day he isn't traveling, which is often. These circumstances necessitate planning, from carpools to school in the mornings to whether mom or dad picks Cole up from baseball practice.

             Still, she reminds that having a housekeeper or a live-in nanny doesn't mean letting them raise your child. Walton and James spend most nights at home with Cole, watching movies, working out together, or playing with the computer. "Computers don't enter my life at all,"Walton admits,"but John is always looking around the Internet and Cole is proficient."

             When Cole was born, Walton put her acting career on hold for three years, a risky move in a business known for forgetting people from one week to the next. "I am glad I did that," she says now,"because I never could have gotten those years back."

             It didn't hurt professionally either. When Cole was three, Walton decided to resume her career and promptly landed a role as a regular on the soap "Capitol." The congratulatory calls pouring into the house were Cole's first exposure to his mother's career, which had included several television shows over the years. The three-year-old responded by bragging to a stranger in K-Mart that his mother had landed a plum role on "Capitol."

             Over the years, the simple values instilled in Cole have emerged at unexpected times. "Once I was talking about how John changes peoples lives," Walton remembers, "and Cole said,'Don't ever put down what you do, Mom. You give a lot of people something"

Josh Young writes about entertainment for the New York Times, Esquire and the London Sunday Telegraph.

Nannette McCormick  

Back To The TV MegaSite's Y&R Site