Jacklyn Zeman, who portrayed nurse Bobbie Spencer on “General Hospital” for nearly half a century and was nominated for an Emmy, p@ssed away on Tuesday(9 May 2023) in Thousand Oaks, California. It was her 70th year on earth.
Her family said she fought c@ncer for a “short battle” before p@ssing away at Los Robles Regional Medical Center.
Ms. Zeman’s de@th was announced on Wednesday(10 May 2023) by the show’s executive producer, Frank Valentini, who tweeted, “Just like her character, the legendary Bobbie Spencer, she was a bright light and true professional that brought so much positive energy with her to work.”
You can view the tweet listed below:
On behalf of our @GeneralHospital family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved @JackieZeman. Just like her character, the legendary Bobbie Spencer, she was a bright light and true professional that brought so much positive energy with her to work. pic.twitter.com/DxGdjYavab
— Frank Valentini (@valentinifrank) May 11, 2023
Ms. Zeman’s character, Barbara Jean (Bobbie) Spencer, was one of the longest-running on the show. The series has been running since 1963 and follows the lives of those who work at the hospital and in the wealthy business community of the fictional New York town of Port Charles. Ms. Zeman made her first appearance in 1977 and stayed on the show for 899 total episodes.
Bobbie, played by Anthony Geary, was a nursing student who had previously worked as a prostitute and given up her baby for adoption in Florida. She also competed for the attention of a law student named Scotty Baldwin and was the younger sister of Luke Spencer.
She presented her character as a nurse who was both caring and fierce after overcoming adversity. She tells Mr. Baldwin she never had anything handed to her despite coming from a tough background in one scenario.
“I wanted Bobbie to be bouncy and have a positive aura and energy,” she said in an interview last year with TV Insider. “I wanted her to have intelligence, humor, and a love of people. Bobbie came from a dysfunctional background but wanted to have kids and be a mother.”
“I wanted the character to be perky and come in like a hurricane,” she explained.
Actress Ms. Zeman has been nominated five times for Daytime Emmys, with four nominations coming for her performance on “The Bay.”
Jacklyn Lee Zeman was born on March 6, 1953, in Englewood, New Jersey, but she spent much of her childhood in Bergenfield. She was the eldest of three daughters born to IBM engineer Richard Zeman and his wife, Scholastic Magazine employee Rita (Duhart) Zeman Rohlman.
One of Ms. Zeman’s two kids, Cassidy Zee Macleod, revealed that her mother began ballet instruction when she was five. Ms. Macleod said the 15-year-old left for New York City to study dance and briefly enrolled at New York University. She first played Lana McLain on “One Life to Live” in 1976 before transferring to “General Hospital” the following year.
Ms. Zeman is survived by two sisters, Lauren Fischetti and Carol Kolb, and two grandsons, in addition to her daughter, Ms. Macleod, and another daughter, Lacey Rose Gorden, whom she had with her third husband, Glenn Gorden (they divorced in 2007).
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Celebrating 60 years on the air, “General Hospital” held a big party in April. Ms. Macleod revealed that her mother made a final television appearance during the show’s nurses’ ball in April.
Ms. Macleod claims that her mother in Calabasas, California, was a huge fan of the “strong-willed” part of Bobbie. When some nurses caring for her explained how Bobbie had inspired them, she and her sister realized how much of an impact their mother’s role had made.
“We recognized how many lives she touched,” said Ms. Macleod. “They said they became nurses because of her.”
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