Jacklyn Zeman Celebrates 40th Anniversary with General Hospital!

Jacklyn Zeman, Bobbie Spencer on General Hospital, then and now.

Jacklyn Zeman and her GH character, Bobbie Spencer, marked their 40th year on the show this month!

Time Flies–but the Character Endures!

It seems like it was yesterday that we were introduced to Luke’s (ex-Tony Geary) scrappy sister, Bobbie. It actually was 1977, and her portrayer, Jacklyn Zeman, had just come off of One Life to Live as Lana. She reminisced about her time on GH with TV Insider, and gave her take on Bobbie’s enduring appeal.

“She and her brother Luke were raised in a whorehouse by their Aunt Ruby (the late, great Norma Connolly), the madam, who one day said to Bobbie, ‘It’s time to sing for your supper!’ and then Bobbie got pregnant at age 14! She has survived a lot of crap, but she faces her fears. And now she’s wise and the salt of the earth. The fans like that. They think, ‘If Bobbie can pull out of her hell, I can figure out my own problems.’ Bobbie gives you hope,” Zeman said to Michael Logan of TV Insider, one of the industry’s premiere journalists.

Related: This GH star is headed back to a dance competition she’s already won once!

Those Were the Days!

Zeman also looked back fondly on the frenzy that surrounded her character when Bobbie was front and center amid the iconic Luke/Laura/Scotty storyline that gripped soap fans.

“We were all so hot at the time that people actually dressed like us for Halloween,” she said. “There were Bobbie’s everywhere, with their curly red wigs, the boobs, the little nurse’s uniform [laughs]. It was insane!”

Older and (Much!) Wiser

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Of course, Bobbie has matured over the years and has evolved from soap ingénue/vixen to a respected and much-loved member of the Port Charles community. She has been through many-an-ordeal, and she’s come out on the other side a survivor. This was most evident after the death of her onscreen daughter, B.J., who was killed by a drunk driver. Zeman has commented on that storyline as being a key one during her tenure on the soap.

“They [the cast]are as much family in real life as they were on the show,” she said, referring to when the storyline was being filmed. “The B.J. story, sad as it was, was incredible to act, and that feeling doesn’t fade away.”

Both Jackie Zeman and co-star Kin Shriner both celebrated their 40th Anniversary with GH this year.

Present Time

Must-Read: See what these two GH stars said about their oh-so-popular/controversial onscreen pairing!

Now that Bobbie’s been front and center with her grandson, Michael’s (Chad Duell), and Nelle’s (Chloe Lanier) often turbulent storyline –and let’s just say Bobbie’s no fan of naughty Nelle and had her number from the outset–and has had many heartfelt scenes with TV daughter Carly (Laura Wright), we at Soap Cities are delighted to see how far Bobbie has come from the misguided girl she once was, to the respected nurse and citizen she is today. Above all, Zeman is very aware of the influence the soap has on fans.

“The people who watch GH connect with us as if we are family, and I am so proud of that! What we do is important,” Zeman said in a separate interview with yours truly.

Congrats to Zeman on her wonderful milestone, and here’s to many more years in Port Charles!

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. If you want more soap action 24/7, go to Soap Fans United!

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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