by Casey Chan
She made her mark on the daytime soap scene in 1982 when she first appeared on The Young and the Restless. Since then Kate Linder has stayed strong with the show playing the role of Esther Valentine, Katherine Chancellor’s maid, who daytime audiences still can’t seem to get enough of. Linder, who just received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spoke with us about her recent tours with the USO and how she’s juggling soap opera stardom with her love for flying. Get this—she’s a flight attendant for United Airlines! [Watch full episodes of The Young and the Restless on Fancast]
It’s been 26 years now that you’ve been on The Young and the Restless. That’s a long time…
It’s really hard to believe that it’s been 26 years because I can remember the first day like it was yesterday…for it to have gone by so fast. It’s also so wonderful because our show is also celebrating its 35th anniversary. I’m really thrilled because The Young and the Restless is the number one show, and I really feel like it’s the best. Having been there 26 years is really just icing on the cake for me.
You received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What was that like?
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke. He said such amazing things. I was so overwhelmed, and I just couldn’t believe the whole thing was happening. It felt like it was happening to someone else.
Do you ever encounter fans on the flights you work?
Yes. I love to see them because they’re viewers of the show. I think that’s really great. Most everyone is great. Some viewers get it confused that you’re a person…but usually everyone’s really good.
Now, do you have a special remedy for jet lag or any tips on flying that you would like to share?
[Laughs] It’s a very real thing and it happens to everyone—even a flight attendant. I try to just stay on the same time-zone. So I try to acclimate to the time zone I’m going to. I don’t really change my watch…but if you’re going somewhere and its morning then I’ll try and stay up as long as I can or maybe take a little nap and get up again. And, you have to really keep hydrated when you’re flying. You have to drink lots of water and move around too. That’s another thing that people don’t do they might sit in their seat for hours…it’s really dangerous and blood clots can form.
Speaking of long flights—what’s the longest flight you’ve been on?
Probably Australia…it’s far. Maybe 14-16 hours. On a faraway place like that sometimes you only get 24 hours there. Lately because I’m trying to balance everything, I’ll maybe take a trip to Portland, Seattle, or San Francisco so I can still come home and do a personal appearance sometimes.
How do you balance your double-life—being an actress and a flight attendant?
I do the show during the week and I fly on the weekends…not every weekend. It depends on what I’ve got going on. But, I trade things around. I just have to juggle it. It can get crazy sometimes, but it works out somehow.
I read you traveled with the USO multiple times. What was that experience like?
I did 4 USO tours. The first one was to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Then I actually went to Korea. And, the last one I completed was with Johnny Grant who I went to Afghanistan with. He was an amazing, amazing man. He just recently passed away, which is sad. He would have been the one giving me the star. We went to Guantanamo bay at Christmastime and that was an amazing experience as well. But, it’s great. To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re for the war or not for the war, I’m just for the people who are there supporting us so that we can still be here living our lives. I’m not really for war. It’s not really about that for me.
Now is it a weird coincidence that your character’s name is Esther Valentine and that you were married on Valentine’s Day…or are you just a romantic?
I definitely consider myself a romantic. But, getting married on Valentine’s Day wasn’t my idea. It was my husband’s idea. When I thought about it I didn’t want to do that because I thought then you’re anniversary gets lost…it sort of all rolls into one. He kept saying, “That won’t happen!” But, of course, it does. He talked me into it! I guess that way he won’t forget it.
Do you have any upcoming projects? Any wishes to venture outside of daytime television?
I just actually finished a film opposite John Aniston and the Farley brothers so hopefully that will be coming out. I like to do theater. I would love to do Broadway; it’s always been a dream of mine. I’m hoping someday that will come true.