Very, very sad news today out of the daytime television world:
Jacklyn Zeman, a mainstay on General Hospital for well over four decades, has passed away after a brief battle with cancer.
She was 70 years old.
News of Zeman’s tragic passing was revealed on Wednesday night by General Hospital executive producer Frank Valentini… who took to Twitter to share a tribute to the actress.
“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,” Valentini wrote.
“Jackie will be greatly missed, but her positive spirit will always live on with our cast and crew.
“We send our heartfelt sympathy to her loved ones, friends, and family, especially her daughters Cassidy and Lacey.”
Zeman starred on this long-running drama as Bobbie Spencer, originating the role of Luke Spencer’s younger sister way back in 1977.
She portrayed the character in over 880 episodes and was still playing Spencer until the time of her death.
Zeman also played Bobbie in the televisin movie spin-off of the series, General Hospital: Twist of Fate in 1996, while appearing in several other TV shows throughout her career — including One Life to Live, The Bay, and Chicago Hope.
“Bobbie has been a fascinating person for me to play,” Zeman said in an interview in 1982. “I get to do… all the things that most women think about but wouldn’t dare.”
Singer Rick Springfield — who famously appeared on General Hospital in the early 1980s — shared his own tribute to Zeman with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday.
“Incredibly stunned and broken-hearted to hear of Jackie’s passing. Such a truly kind soul with no touch of the diva and only sweet things to say about everyone,” he said.
“She was the one (along with Gloria Monty) who helped launch my 80s career when after the screen test along with several other hopeful young men Gloria asked Jackie who she thought would make a good Noah Drake and God bless her if Jackie didn’t say me.
“Love to your spirit as it ascends sweet girl. You left your mark on many of us and you will not be forgotten.”
Elsewhere, ABC Entertainment and General Hospital as a while released a statement that read as follows:
“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.
“We are devastated by the news of her passing, and send our deepest condolences to Jackie’s family, friends and loved ones.”
Zeman is survived by her two daughters. May she rest in peace.