February 18, 1949 |
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Years active||1969 - present|
|Spouse(s)||Bruce Davison (1973, annulled)
John James (1980-present; 2 children)
Mary Jess Walton was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but raised in Toronto, Canada, where she attended Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School. She left home at the age of 17 and joined a Toronto theater company. In 1969, she moved to Hollywood and in next year, signed with Universal Studios.
In 1970s, Walton guest-starred in a number of television shows, such as Medical Center, Kojak, Marcus Welby, M.D., Ironside,The Rockford Files, Gunsmoke, Cannon, and Barnaby Jones. She co-starred in film The Strawberry Statement (1970), and portrayed the female lead roles of The Peace Killers (1971) and Monkeys in the Attic (1974). She also appeared in The Hunted Lady (1977) starring Donna Mills. During that time her social life also heated up and she was briefly wed to actor Bruce Davison from 1972–73; the marriage was annulled within the year. However, her life began to spiral out of control when she turned to alcohol and drugs. In 1980, she battled her addiction and completed rehab.
In 1984, Walton returned to acting with the role of Kelly Harper on the CBS daytime soap opera, Capitol. The show was cancelled in 1987. Later in that year, Walton joined the cast of another CBS soap opera, The Young and the Restless, in the role as Jill Foster Abbott. The role was originally portrayed by Brenda Dickson, who departed in 1980, and the role was first recast with Deborah Adair. In 1983, Dickson returned to the role, and though she stated that she would never leave, she was replaced by Walton in 1987. Walton won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1997 for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Jill, and was nominated in 1996 and 2000. She also won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1991, after a nomination in 1990.
Walton is married to John James, an author and founder of The Grief Recovery Institute. In an interview, Walton stated that "[B]efore [John James], I had always gone for bohemian, rock and roll types. John didn't fit the image; he was straighter". The couple have two children and reside in Oregon.
Walton briefly dated one of the managers for Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and for a time, she associated with them and other musicians, including Laura Nyro and Neil Young. In an interview, Walton recalled a memorable occasion where Nyro taught Walton and Mitchell how to belly dance. Walton says that one of the houses featured on Joni Mitchell's Ladies of the Canyon cover belonged to her.
|1969||The Guns of Will Sonnett||Abbey Garcia||Episode: "Robber's Roost"|
|1970||The Strawberry Statement||Student|
|1970||The Young Lawyers||Clara Smith||Episode: "MacGillicuddy Always Was a Pain in the Neck"|
|1971||The F.B.I.||Mary Douglas||Episode: "The Last Job"|
|1971||The Peace Killers||Kristen|
|1971||Medical Center||Nancy||Episode: "Martyr"|
|1972||Young Dr. Kildare||Libby Cabot||Episode: "Death of Innocents"|
|1972||The Sixth Sense||Lilly Warren||Episode: "Coffin, Coffin in the Sky"|
|1972||The Victim||Susan Chappel||Television film|
|1972||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Naomi Sobel||Episode: "Unto the Next Generation"|
|1972-1973||The Bold Ones: The New Doctors||Sharon McGraw||Episodes: "Short Flight to a Distant Star" and "The Night Crawler"|
|1973||Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law||Sheila Arnold||Episode: "Seed of Doubt"|
|1973||You'll Never See Me Again||Vicki Bliss||Television film|
|1973||Ironside||Debbie||Episode: "The Ghost of the Dancing Doll"|
|1973||Cannon||Melanie||Episode: "Arena of Fear"|
|1974||Griff||Penny Coyle||Episode: "All the Lonely People"|
|1974||Kojak||Cheryl Pope||Episode: "Die Before They Wake"|
|1974||Rex Harrison Presents Stories of Love||Angelique||Television film|
|1974||Monkeys in the Attic||Elaine|
|1974||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Dr. Janet Oliver||Episode: "The Fatal Challenge"|
|1974||Ironside||Jennifer||Episode: "The Lost Cotillion"|
|1975||The Six Million Dollar Man||E.J. Haskell||Episode: "Taneha"|
|1975||Cannon||Janet Coin||Episode: "Missing at FL307"|
|1975||Movin' On||Olivia||Episode: "Ammo"|
|1975||The Rockford Files||Laura Smith||Episode: "The Four Pound Brick"|
|1975||Gunsmoke||Kattalin Larralde||Episode: "Manolo"|
|1975||S.W.A.T.||Carole Ritchie||Episode: "Hit Men"|
|1975||Cannon||Janice Elder||Episode: "The Victim"|
|1975||Starsky and Hutch||Theresa Defusto||Episode: "Shootout"|
|1976||Jigsaw John||Episode: "Thicker Than Blood"|
|1976||Baretta||Muriel||Episode: "Soldier in the Jungle"|
|1976||The Streets of San Francisco||Lois Flynn||Episode: "In Case of Madness"|
|1977||Switch||Angela Mendarez||Episode: "Three for the Money"|
|1977||Barnaby Jones||Doris Carson||Episode: "The Killer on Campus"|
|1977||The Hunted Lady||Kate||Television film|
|1979||The Return of Mod Squad||Kate||Television film|
|1979||Mrs. Columbo||Judy Arno||Episode: "A Chilling Surprise"|
|1984-1987||Capitol||Kelly Harper||Series regular
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama (1986, 88)
|1987–present||The Young and the Restless||Jill Abbott||Series regular
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1997)
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1991)
Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama (1994)
Nominated — Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1996, 2000, 2017)
Nominated — Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1990)
Nominated — Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Actress in a Daytime Serial (1997, 2003)
Nominated — Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Daytime Serial (1998, 2009)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama (1996, 2000)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villainess in a Drama Series – Daytime (1989)
|1999||Wasted in Babylon||Hellen Cook|
|2005||Paper Bags||Margaret Rose||Short film|
|2006||The Return of the Muskrats||Soap Actress||Short film|
- "Jess Walton 411 - Soap Opera Digest". Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
- "Jess Walton Biography". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
- "A Role as a Gay Companion Brings Bruce Davison An Oscar Buzz". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1997". SoapOperaDigest.com. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1996". SoapOperaDigest.com. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 2000". SoapOperaDigest.com. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1991". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Daytime Emmy Winners & Nominees: 1990". SoapOperaDigest.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Raising Cane". Soap Opera Weekly. 2007-02-27. p. 20.
- "Y&R’s Jess Walton Interview: The Passing of Jeanne Cooper, Their Final Scenes & The Loss of a Friend!". Michael Fairman Soaps. May 14, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2015.