Soap Cities Exclusive Interview, Jacklyn Zeman, Part 1–Carly Should Move On

Jaclyn Zeman, Bobbie Spencer on General Hospital.

Jaclyn Zeman has played General Hospital‘s incomparable nurse Bobbie Spencer since 1977. It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by, yet Zeman has made and continues to make the role all her own. She offered her take for us on everything from Bobbie’s integral part in the Nelle storyline, her onscreen relationship with daughter Carly, the evolution of Bobbie from young troublemaker to mature and wise mom, and much more! Read Part 1 below!

A Nose for Naughty Nelle’s Antics and Compassion for Carly

Zeman delighted in figuring prominently in the storyline involving Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Bobbie clearly saw through Nelle’s sugary-sweet exterior early on, yet after the ugly truth was revealed–that Nelle came to town essentially to destroy Carly’s (Laura Wright) life out of what turned out to be misguided resentment–she wisely didn’t throw it back in her daughter’s face in what could have easily been an “I told you so” moment. “It speaks to a mother’s unconditional love for her daughter,” said Zeman. “I am a mother myself in real life, [of two grown daughters, Cassidy and Lacey]and thankfully haven’t had that kind of drama. That said, you can’t stop loving your children, and I love the way the writers positioned our [Bobbie and Carly’s] feelings in that scene.”

Bobbie and Nelle–Fireworks or Détente Going Forward?

Zeman admitted that she is very eager to see how Bobbie will handle bumping into Nelle as time goes on in Port Charles, especially now now that her granddaughter Josslyn’s (Eden McCoy) kidney donor has made a  possibly unwise decision, given everything that’s happened so far: to stay in Port Charles. “Bobbie, I am sure, looks back to when she was Nelle’s age at some of the mistakes she made back then,” she said, reflectively. “I know Bobbie feels disdain for Nelle’s actions, but I can imagine that she’d tell Carly, ‘Look, you gotta move on, babe!'” Zeman added with a chuckle. “I really don’t even try to second guess what the writers will do. Bobbie could even do a complete about face and forgive Nelle for all I know, so it’s all exciting to play.”

Mother/Daughter Bond

Zeman is relishing her onscreen time with TV daughter Wright. Indeed, the relationship has come a long way from the days when Bobbie and Carly were at odds, especially after Carly slept with mom’s then-hubby, Dr. Tony Jones. “Bobbie’s been such a source of support to Carly, so there’s room for all sorts of things to happen,” mused Zeman.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our exclusive one-on-one with Jackie Zeman, coming soon!

Give us your input in the comment section below. Check back with Soap Cities for more GH spoilers, recaps, news, and fun! Follow us on Twitter at @soapcities, on Instagram at @soapcities, and come chat with us in our Facebook group. Catch “General Hospital” weekdays on ABC.


Christine is a native New Yorker and freelance writer who now lives in southwestern Connecticut. She is a longtime, avid soap fan who has always had an affinity for ABC soaps, in particular her favorite, General Hospital. (She will even tell you she sleeps, eats and breathes that soap!) She is passionate about the soap genre, and in addition she enjoys traveling, attending plays and musicals, reading biographies and various pursuits in between. She was a political science/history major, English minor and has published a book of paranormal short stories under her nom de plume, Prudence MacGregor.

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