Jess Walton, who was born on February 18, 1949 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, left home at the age of 17 to join a Toronto theater company. She moved to Hollywood in 1969 and a year later, signed with Universal Studios to guest star on Kojak. She also appeared on films such as The FBI and The Peace Killers. 1980 saw Walton's rehabilitation after engaging in drugs and alcohol. Shortly after her recovery, she was cast as Kelly Harper on the soap opera Capitol, which was cancelled in 1987. Walton's most prominent role would be that of Jill Foster Abbott on the soap opera, The Young and the Restless.
Jill Foster Abbott is portrayed by Jess Walton on CBS' The Young and the Restless. Jill is the former CEO of Jabot Cosmetics and ex-wife of business tycoon John Abbott. The mother of Billy Abbott, she used to believe that Phillip Chancellor III was also her son. The truth finally came out that Phillip III was just a replacement for her real son who was stolen at birth. Jill also used to be a hairdresser who became friends with Katherine Chancellor, who was an alcoholic and the wife of Phillip Chancellor II. Jill and Phillip later fell in love, and Jill became pregnant with his baby. Phillip II was then killed in a car accident where Katherine was driving. On his deathbed, Phillip II married Jill. After his death, she became involved with a number of men such as Jack Abbott, Blade Bladeson, Rex Sterling, Larry Warton and Victor Newman.