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Jacklyn Zeman, longtime 'General Hospital' actor, dies at 70

Zeman played Barbara “Bobbie” Spencer and appeared in more than 800 episodes.
/ Source: Variety

Jacklyn Zeman, the screen actor who portrayed Barbara “Bobbie” Spencer across more than 800 episodes of “General Hospital,” has died. She was 70 years old.

Zeman’s death was announced by “General Hospital” executive producer Frank Valentini on Twitter on Wednesday evening. No further details about her death were immediately available.

“On behalf of our ‘General Hospital’ family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Jackie Zeman,” Valentini said. “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.”

Zeman, who played the character for 45 years on the ABC soap opera, has died at 70. Zeman died after a short battle with cancer, her family confirmed Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Sterner, File)
Jacklyn Zeman as nurse Bobbie Spencer on ABC's "General Hospital" in 1996. Susan Sterner / AP file

He continued: “Jackie will be greatly missed, but her positive spirit will always live on with our cast and crew."

The soap’s production also released a statement on Zeman’s death.

“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,” it reads. “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. We are devastated by the news of her passing, and send our deepest condolences to Jackie’s family, friends and loved ones.”

Born in New Jersey on March 6, 1953, Zeman studied ballet as a child and attended New York University to study dance, but she shifted to acting with her first credit coming on “The Edge of Night” in 1976. In the same year, she received a lengthy arc on “One Life to Live,” appearing in more than 40 episodes.

She joined “General Hospital” in 1977 and appeared in more than 800 episodes over nearly 50 years. She played Bobbie Spencer, the sister to Pat Spencer (Dee Wallace) and Luke Spencer Sr. (Anthony Geary).

Zeman is survived by her two daughters, Cassidy and Lacey.