Always Flying High, Kate Linder's Ever Paying & Moving Forward


Gil Kaan

Writer, Registered Critic


Known to The Young & The Restless aficionados for 36 years as Esther Valentine; as well as, the personable United Airlines stewardess to UAL passengers, Kate Linder takes on another role - that of Sarah in DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE opening at the Whitefire Theatre June 29, 2018. Kate managed to find some time between flying, rehearsing and fundraising to answer a few of my queries.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Kate! It's been quite a while since our paths have crossed at an opening or charity event I've covered.
Between your day job (The Young & The Restless), your other day job (United Airlines flight attendant), and your various charities involvement (ALS Association and others), how do you juggle your time to be a part of Ryan Paul James' DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE?
You know what they say, if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know!
What forces of nature brought you to this project?
I ran into some friends of mine and they told me about the project. Once I read it, I knew it was something that I had to do.
Did you happen to see the 2012 production of this at The Pierson Playhouse with Bernie Kopell and Mariette Hartley?
No, but if I had known about the production, I'm sure I would have gone to see it.
Would you describe your character in DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE?
Sarah was married for 35 years. Her husband has passed away and now she is trying to figure out how to move forward with her life.
Does the character of Sarah hit too close to home for you? Or is that why you chose to take it on?
Sarah is definitely in the same stage of life that I am. Reading the play for the first time was an unbelievable experience. Some of the dialogue is exactly what I have said myself. It was almost as if Ryan had been inside my head.
Do you find this role cathartic in dealing with your Ron?
It's too soon to tell until the play opens, but I'm hoping that it will have a cathartic effect on me. I just know that I was instantly drawn to it because of the parallels to my own life since I lost my husband of 42 years.
What would you say was the key for your successful 42 years in marriage? That's like 294 dog years in Hollywood!
Definitely communication and mutual respect for each other. Every time I left on a trip, I always left a note on his pillow.
What would Esther Valentine say or do to console Sarah? Would Esther be the one to push her into dating again?
Esther would tell Sarah to hang in there. That things will get better.
You are a fan favorite at the Y&R conventions. What's the most outrageous fan incident that you can laugh about?
Thank you. As the police were escorting a problematic couple off the airplane, one of them turned to me and said, "Aren't you Esther on The Young & The Restless?"
Airline passengers must do double takes recognizing you as you recite the safety instructions. Do you do them as Esther Valentine? Or as Kate Linder?
I am usually the Purser and since the safety demonstration is serious, it should not be done in a humorous way.
As a former office-holder in both AFTRA and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; what improvements in the Los Angeles theatre community have you noticed since you settled down in Los Angeles in the late 1970s?
I'm a current and longtime SAG-AFTRA board member, but I think that question would be better answered by a member of the Actor's Equity board instead.
What upcoming charity event would I have a good chance running into you?
July 15th is the 20th anniversary of the Vancouver Afternoon Tea with Kate Linder & Friends benefiting the Canucks For Kids Fund. I fly up with several of my The Young & The Restless castmates and Robin Wyss, my charity tea partner, always makes sure that the fans and the castmates have a wonderful time while raising money for a great non-profit.
Any immediate plans in the near future for Kate Linder, besides being Young and Restless and flying United?
I'm looking forward to bringing Sarah to life in DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE and helping to introduce this wonderful play to a new set of theatregoers.
Thank you again, Kate! I look forward to seeing you live on the ground! (You know, as opposed to on the tube or in the air!)
For ticket availability through August 3, 2018; log onto WhitefireTheatre.com

Gil Kaan, a former Managing Editor of the now-defunct Genre magazine, has had the privilege of photographing and interviewing some major divas in his career, including Ann-Margret, Diana Ross, Faye Dunaway, Carol Channing, Shirley MacLaine, Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minnelli, Sandra Bernhard, Anna Nicole Smith, Margaret Cho, and three Catwomen—Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether and Julie Newmar. He had the fortuitous opportunity to conduct Lily Tomlin’s coming out interview. Gil has since reviewed movies and theatre for a number of local and national outlets.
A photo montage of Gil’s Halloween Carnavale photos through the last decade was recently included in the WeHo@ 25 juried exhibition.