Jacklyn Zeman, who had been an integral part of the cast of General Hospital as Bobbie, died unexpectedly on May 10, just two months after her 70th birthday.
Her death was announced by General Hospital's executive producer Frank Valenti, who tweeted, "On behalf of our General Hospital family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Jackie Zeman. 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."
The show's official account posted, "Jacklyn Zeman has been a beloved member of the General Hospital and ABC family since she originated the iconic role of Bobbie Spencer over 45 years ago. She leaves behind a lasting legacy for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of the bad girl turned heroine and will always be remembered for her kind heart and radiant spirit."
Zeman was born on March 6, 1953, in Englewood, New Jersey. She studied dance at NYU, and her first job after college was as a Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club (1972).
She made her film debut in the adult film Deep Throat Part II (1977), the sequel to the most infamous and important X-rated film of all time, albeit in a nonsexual bit part.
Zeman appeared on the soaps The Edge of Night (1976) and One Life to Live (1976-1977) ahead of her casting as General Hospital's Bobbie, a scheming nurse whose character arced from bad girl to good, from vixen to grieving mom — and who got to have an affair with a doctor played by Rick Springfield (b. 1949) along the way.
As the sister of the show's famous Luke (Anthony Geary, b. 1947), Bobbie was in the center of it all.
She reflected on her famous character in 2022, saying:
"Bobbie wasn’t always right but she wanted to do her best. She was never evil but she was naughty. She didn’t know what it was like to trust. She never got a birthday present. She never had anyone teach her anything except for Luke [Spencer, her brother, played by Anthony Gear], who had his own stuff going on. I was given a lot to work with."
Zeman was one of the most respected actors in her field, winning four Daytime Emmys for her work (1981, 1995, 1997 and 1998).
Other work included Young Doctors in Love (1982) and Class Reunion (1982), as well as the series The Bay (2010-2022).
Zeman was married and divorced three times. Her first marriage was to the late DJ Murray the K, with whom she appeared in the 1977 documentary The Day the Music Died.
She is survived by her two daughters, Cassidy and Lacey, with her third husband, Glenn Gorden.