Jennifer Leak, 'The Young and the Restless' star, dies at 76

FILE-Jennifer Leak as Gwen Sherman in the CBS daytime drama series "The Young and the Restless," 1974. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Jennifer Leak, an actress best-known for her role on "The Young and the Restless," died at the age 76.

Leak died after a seven-year battle with progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological disease, FOX News reported, citing the East Hampton Star. 

On March 18, the actress died at her home in Jupiter, Florida. 

James D’Auria, Leak’s husband of 47 years, told the East Hampton Star that she donated her brain tissue to the Mayo Clinic for further research.

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Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare neurological disorder that affects body movements, walking and balance, and eye movements. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, PSP is caused by damage to nerve cells in areas of the brain that control thinking and body movements. It is one of a family of neurological conditions called atypical parkinsonism and belongs to the category of frontotemporal disorders.

Leak was born on Sept. 28, 1947, in Cardiff, Wales, and began her career at the age of 17 after filming a pilot for a Canadian television series called "Wojeck."

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FOX News reported that she moved to Los Angeles and got her big break with her first American movie role as Lucille Ball’s daughter in the 1968 film "Yours, Mine and Ours."

Following her movie debut, Leak starred in multiple TV shows, including "Hawaii Five-0," "Nero Wolfe," and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and roles on soap operas, including "Bright Promise," "The Young and the Restless" and "Another World."

In 1968, Leak married her first husband, actor Tim Matheson, but they divorced a few years later in 1971. Leak married D'Auria in April 1977, and the two lived in Florida at the time of her death, FOX News noted. 

The actress is survived by her husband and her brother Kenneth Leak. 

FOX News contributed to this report.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.