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(INTERVIEW) General Hospital’s Lynn Herring Talks Bobbie Spencer Memorial Episodes, The Loss of Jackie Zeman and Her Enduring Legacy

Photos: JPI and ABC

Beginning today on the January 10th episode of General Hospital and continuing tomorrow on the January 11th episode, Port Charles says goodbye to Bobbie Spencer.

In story, Bobbie passed away while in Amsterdam settling her late brother Luke’s affair. While in real life, the cast and the viewers have been mourning the loss of the beloved Jackie Zeman.

Jackie passed away back in May of 2023 following a short bout with cancer that was sudden and broke all of our collective hearts. One of the people closest to Jackie during her incredible 45-year run as Nurse Bobbie Spencer is Lynn Herring (Lucy). Through the years, Bobbie and Lucy were adversaries, foes, constantly at odds with each other, but in real life, the two couldn’t have been closer.

In honor of Jackie, and the legacy of the character she played, Bobbie Spencer, Michael Fairman TV chatted with Lynn Herring ahead of the memorial episodes for a preview of what fans can expect, what it was like taping the emotional shows, and to share her memories, her grief and sorrow, and to discuss how Jackie remains in our hearts forever.  Now below, here’s what Lynn had to say.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a scene that aired this week that was very touching; where Lucy admits to Scott (Kin Shriner) that she realized she was jealous of Bobbie all these years because Bobbie was forgiven of her misdeeds, and she never was. What did you think of that moment and scene?

LYNN: It’s so interesting because I think people could identify in real life with that, and that you don’t realize what it is that sticks in your head, maybe about somebody. I really think Lucy was very envious that Bobbie had become a head nurse. Bobby had become very respected, and had an amazing family.  Lucy always wanted the grandkids and the whole respectability. And then, to actually realize that and be able to admit it to Scott of all people was a huge growth moment for Lucy; whether she realizes it or not.

Because then, Lucy went right back to now, “Let’s scheme against Tracy (Jane Elliot)!”

LYNN: Yup, she’s like, “Okay, let’s go.” (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

Lucy attends Bobbie’s memorial service. Can you talk to me about how you were the day of filming the memorial? How was it being on the set?

LYNN: The duality of having a friend was the most difficult part because as you know, in group scenes, some of us do tend to act kind of silly occasionally, or will kind of team up against the powers that be, and, you know, try to sneak off set for a donut. However, without Jackie there, it was the biggest hole. There are all these people that love her so much, and she wasn’t there to play. Lucy had to be by herself there because people realized her relationship with Bobbie. Lucy sits in the pew behind Maxie (Kirsten Storms), Anna (Finola H and Felicia and literally the three of them together were such a force of contained emotion; that I was grateful to be sitting by myself because I felt like I would get caught up in this whirlwind of how passionate we all miss Jackie. I felt like we were all poised in this moment of not being able to handle how much we were feeling, but we had to keep playing our characters. Our professionalism had to be heightened because we just wanted to hug each other and cry all day, and you can’t do that. We had to tell the story. So, it was a tricky balance of being ourselves and being our characters, and doing the most honorable job for our friend.

Photo: ABC

When all was said and done, after you taped the two episodes on Bobbie’s passing and in Jackie’s honor, did you feel the show properly honored her?

LYNN: I did. I felt we honored her. Bobbie is the kind of character that you could have spent a month showing clips and talking about her accomplishments in real life. I know we’ll never have serviced totally the complete picture of Jackie and Bobby, but I did feel very good about. I feel the clips they’re showing and the nod to the audience’s love of her, and the way they’re going to deal with the next two days, it was complete. When you see the next two days, you’ll go, “That’s it. They did it.”

So many fans have posted that of all the people that passed in the soap world in 2023 that Jackie’s death is hitting them the hardest. Partly, because many of us watched her on GH for 45 years.

LYNN: Yes, that’s exactly right. Jackie was also open and sharing about having children, having a divorce and the emotionality of her life, the struggles, the ups and downs. She didn’t hide anything. You met Jackie and you got this brilliant, joyous person who also had been through real life like all of us do. She didn’t hold back. So, people identified with her.

Photo: ABC

Does Lucy speak at the memorial?

LYNN: No. But you will see, there’s a tiny scene with Jane Elliot where Tracy and Lucy agree to hold their venom because of Bobbie. We stopped for the moment, and that was so heartfelt. I loved looking into Jane’s eyes during that brief moment. The second day, you’ll see where everybody reminisces for a particular reason, Kin and myself, we had our moments of remembering things. I loved that they also let Lucy have the scene with Scott about her I think by Friday’s episode, everybody will see that every character got to honor her in a unique way.

Photo: ABC

I know Kin was so close to Jackie. How was it for him?

LYNN:  I love him so much because underneath all of the silliness, the comedy and bits he wants to do, he has this huge caring heart. He was on edge. He walked a very fine line. I know he was desperate to honor her and make right by her. At the same time, he doesn’t deal with grief well. So, he had to go through a lot of processing and that’s okay. People have such a journey of grief and his is going to continue for a long time.

We all grieve in our own way and grief can just sneak up on you in a very emotional and powerful way, when you miss someone terribly.

LYNN: Yes, truly, you also you have to remember throughout his whole life, Kin has loved General Hospital so much. That he can’t always separate Bobbie and Jackie, he saw them both ways. To lose the character and a work partner, was as devastating in some ways to his artistic life as well as to his internal life. So, it wasn’t just a personal loss, it was also that she was part of him as Scotty.

Photo: ABC

The 2023 Nurses’ Ball featured the moment where Lucy bursts onto the stage and tears the projection screen and falls as Bobbie is speaking. The two had been at it from separate locations and it all culminated at the ball. It was great. What do you recall about taping that scene?

LYNN: I will never forget the look that Jackie as Bobbie gave me when I did burst through at the Nurses’ Ball. We did comment to each other that it should have been this big hug, but we knew we were at odds at that moment as our characters. But she gave me this look. I can see it now.  She’s in that blue dress that represented everything to me and that the characters had been through, like, “You idiot! You just crashed through the set of the Nurses’ Ball. But, I honor you for what you’ve done, and I see you.” I just felt Jackie was looking at Lynn, and Bobbie was looking at Lucy. I will forever cherish that. She was so professional. Jackie was so honored that Carly (Laura Wright) gave the speech about Bobbie and that she had gotten to do all that with the Nurses’ Ball. There was not a glitch. She just looked beautiful, and she really was proud to be there.

Photo: ABC

Do you have a favorite scene with Jackie through the years?

LYNN: Well, the BJ heart transplant storyline, of course. But that’s such a given, because it’s so well-written. I loved when we were just being snarky and indifferent, because sometimes on the page it’s a certain way. Jackie would find little ways to nudge me as Lucy and we had a back and forth. So, it’s not like a big scene. It was the quality of the day-to-day life of Bobby and Lucy such as, when we would have a little cat fight, or we talked about Tony Jones (Brad Maule), and Jackie would add something to the scene, which is what I loved, They weren’t just the words. She would add a little flip of her hair or side-eye at Lucy. Those are the times I cherished; and that I knew coming into work that we were going to have fun.

Speaking about the BJ heart transplant story, which is still one of the most iconic in soap operas, I saw a clip on on X the other day where Lucy tells Felicia that its BJ’s heart that Maxie received. What do you recall about taping those? And did you ever watch those scenes back at some point?

LYNN: Initially, I couldn’t. It just dawned on me how the rawness that the three of us felt that day was a lot like what we felt at her service, because you don’t mean to be so real. We didn’t mean to be Lynn and Jackie and Kristina, but the loss was so visceral that it felt the same way during Bobbie’s memorial. I didn’t deal well with that going home after the loss of BJ. After Jackie’s memorial when we taped it, I felt the same. You’re just completely gutted.

Photo: ABC

Here is the sad thing about life. Once somebody’s passed, you start to look at all their work and go back and look at clips and you go, “Oh, my God. She was so good!” You just watch clip after clip of Jackie’s work and realize just how phenomenal she was. I know awards aren’t the ultimate, but looking back now, I really wish Jackie would have received an Emmy for the BJ heart transplant storyline.

LYNN: I know, it’s a tricky thing. I thought about that too, because she made it look so easy. It’s that same old thing. Sometimes the people that are playing a character that they have to take on this whole physicality, or some makeup win awards. Jackie was just was good. She didn’t need the extra contrivances. She made it look very easy to be this complex character. That’s why I think the accolades don’t come until now, because she was an artist at just being Bobbie. That’s why she was for 45 years so endearing to the audience, The viewers may be missing her more than anybody, because she was like them. 

Photo: ABC

How are you at this juncture? Have you been able to process Jackie’s passing?

LYNN: I don’t think I have, and that’s part of the problem of having so many pictures and tapes of her.  She’s still very alive to me. In talking to her daughters, and that’s her legacy, that makes it real to a point, because they don’t have their mom. I haven’t accepted that she isn’t going be around for talking more about grandkids, or talking about the future of the show and I don’t know what’ll do it. I really don’t. When you’re at the show some weeks you’re there every day. Sometimes you have a month off. It’s like she’s still going to show up.

When you think back to the heyday of GH, was that a a terrific time for you and Jackie?

LYNN: I think sometimes we didn’t realize how amazing it was. Then, when we would go to events and see all the people that wanted to hear about the stories, we were amazed. But of course, that was a sparkling time. We had budgets and lavish sets and the stories were very thought out because we had the money to take the time to do it. Jackie and I would talk about that we still got to be Bobbie and Lucy and that we had that impact of time, and shared so much with the audience. I still feel like the audience is our partner, always. I loved the heyday, but I think now that we’re still putting the show on is a miracle. It’s brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

It’s sad to know that now Bobbie will be added to the memorial wall on the General Hospital set, and join all the characters that have passed.

LYNN: I don’t go near that wall. These people make you who you are and you owe them this gratitude. Jackie just made everybody feel that way. I spoke at Jackie’s memorial and I said that line that Dr. Seuss said about, “You can’t cry for what’s gone. Smile for what happened. ” That’s what I have to hold on to, because Jackie made us smile. I just can’t go with the loss and cry. I have to smile about her.

Photo: JPI

In preview for the memorial episodes, you would tell the fans that we are obviously going to need boxes of Kleenex?

LYNN: I would tell them that what they will get out of this will be that we honor Jackie and Bobby, but we’re honoring them, because they loved Bobbie and we love them. The dignity they gave Bobby, they’re also giving the fans the credit to live through this with us and to go down these memories with us. I think it’s about the fans. When they see the two days, they’ll know it’s us thanking them for sticking with us through all of this.

Photo: JPI

It’s always hard to produce a show like this to hit on every note, every clip, etc., ultimately someone may be disappointed, and especially when it’s a character that has been on for 45 years.

LYNN: The fans have to know the intent was pure. That because she was so special, the intent was purely to honor them, honoring her.

Photo: ABC

And lastly, what will be your takeaway moment from your time with Jackie?

LYNN: Probably sitting on the floor at a “Mommy and Me” class with her two girls, and my two boys. They’re jumping all over us and we’re trying to sing along, but we have like 400 pages of dialogue the next day. So, both of us have our scripts to one side and the kids on the other, and we look at each other and just burst out laughing. We look ridiculous. It was just so fun because we think we’re being these professional working moms, and we’re just these insane women laughing hysterically at each other.

What did you think about the sentiments shared by Lynn on working with Jackie through the years, and her personal loss of losing a dear friend? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Great interview. Thank you. And thanks to Lynn and the show for honoring Bobbie and Jackie!

It was great send off and very emotional. Well done.

I loved it

I was extremely disappointed in today’s tribute episode – truly underwhelming. It was all Carly Carly Carly – grrr! Lucas shows up but is given nothing to say or do. The clips were o.k. but the whole thing was handled poorly in my opinion – I wanted it to be about BOBBIE, not Carly! (I am so sick of Carly).

I agree about Lucas. What an insult to the character, the relationship that Bobbie and Lucas had as mother and son; it was as if Carly was the only “child” who was grieving her mother and Lucas was just there to support her. Laura came up to offer condolences and only hugged Carly; spoke mostly to her, the scene where Carly finds out about Bobbie helping out trafficked kids should have had Lucas, too, so he would hear what his mom had been doing. He didn’t even do a eulogy!
The few flashbacks were nice, and I felt the genuine grief from Lynn Herring, Kristina Wagner, and Kin Shriner. In this case I felt fiction and reality interwined.

I loved this interview you had with Lynn. Good to see the background on what happened behind the scenes. GH’s tribute to Bobbie was excellent. Felt like they rushed it a little. However 2 weeks of crying over a beloved character would have been hard. So I partially get a bit of the rush. I loved that they focused on the heart transplant story as I don’t feel any other soap has ever done one. And the scenes they had with Liz’s rape. I remember how compassionate Bobbie was to Liz. And i feel this is how nurses work with rape victims now. I can’t give enough praise on how GH wrote this memorial. They did the character of Bobbie proud. I think this is why I really love this soap opera more than any other.

General Hospital

‘General Hospital’ Reignites Scott’s Feud with Sonny Over His Past Misdeeds of His Late Daughter, Karen Wexler

In what now seems like many moons ago, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) was a small-time mobster who owned a strip club in Port Charles. He enticed a young Karen Wexler (Cari Shayne) to work as a stripper at the Paradise Lounge.

But things got worse from there! Sonny convinced Karen that stripping was her idea, and he eventually got her hooked on drugs and into his bed!

Karen’s father, Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner) has never forgotten what Sonny did Karen and for years wanted to take him down when he was the D.A. Fast-forward and on Wednesday’s February 28th episode of GH, Scott visited Karen’s gravesite on her birthday.

Courtesy/ABC

However, Scott had a visitor at the gravesite when John “Jagger” Cates also showed up to pay respects to his ex-wife.  This was the first time Scott laid eyes on the new incarnation of “Jagger’ on-screen as played by Adam J. Harrington.

Scott realizes he might have an ally to put the screws to Sonny after John reveals the pain and sorrow he still has over what Sonny did to Karen. Speaking to his former son-in-law about the break-up of his daughter’s marriage to him, Scott pipes up that Sonny, “walks around like he’s the mayor.” Then, Scott shouts to John, “Make him pay! Take him out!”‘

Photo: ABC

In Karen’s backstory: after getting help, Karen was reunited with “Jagger” and left Sonny. The two married and left Port Charles. Karen returned as medical student and had divorced “Jagger” in 1997, and the character landed on the General Hospital spinoff soap opera, Port Charles. Eventually, Karen was struck by a car and died. Three actresses played the role during Karen’s history: Cari Shayne, Jennifer Harmon and Marie Wilson.

Watch Scott and John talk about their vendetta against Sonny Corinthos in key scenes from GH below. Now let us know, do you think Sonny should pay for his manipulation of Karen Wexler many years ago? Comment below.

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General Hospital’s Kate Mansi on Her First Scenes with Eva LaRue: “It Was So Tense and Uncomfortable, Which Was So Fun For Us.”

This week, General Hospital viewers have witnessed the arrival of Eva LaRue as Blaze’s (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) mother, Natalia. When Natalia blew into her daughter’s life, she also caught Kristina (Kate Mansi) in bed. The next moment, Mansi and LaRue played the awkwardness of the scene.

In the story, and at that point, Natalia apparently didn’t have a clue that her daughter is gay, so finding Kristina is her daughter’s room was puzzling to her.

Kate Mansi spoke to Soap Opera Digest on her introduction to soap veteran LaRue, who has appeared on All My Children as Maria Santos and won a Daytime Emmy for her role as Celeste Rosales on The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

“She just came in like such a freaking pro,” shared Kate on LaRue. “She was so good. It was such a funny first introduction for our characters – it was written so well and it was so tense and uncomfortable, which was so fun for us.”

The two actresses instantly created a bond. As Mansi explained, “Right away, we were doing these funny one-liners back and forth (between scenes). Blaze said something like, ‘Kristina is more than my friend, she’s my partner,’ and then they’d call, ‘Cut!’ and Eva and I would look and each other and we’d be like, ‘She means writing partner,’ or she’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, she means producing partner, right?’ We were just dying laughing.”

Photo: ABC

On Wednesday’s episode of GH, Natalia learned Blaze was gay, but isn’t quite believing her, thinking she had been somehow influenced by Kristina.  In the key scenes, Blaze tells Natalia that Kristina is more than her friend. She’s her girlfriend. Blaze asks if her mother heard what she truly said, and Natalia claims she did, but then starts cleaning up the place as a method of trying to cope with what she just heard.

Things get testy when Blaze says, “Kristina and I…” Next, Natalia cuts her daughter off, firmly saying, “There is no Kristina and you!”

So, did you enjoy the tension-filled scenes between Kate Mansi and Eva LaRue? Are you liking where GH is heading with the story of a disapproving and religious mother, trying to come to terms with her daughter and her girlfriend’s sexuality? Comment below.

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All My Children

Maurice Benard Reveals All My Children’s Lee Meriweather and Daughter’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

At the beginning of the latest episode of General Hospital star, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny Corinthos) State of Mind series, he delivered some heartbreaking news with a purpose.

Kyle Oldham, the daughter of former All My Children star, Lee Meriwether (ex-Ruth Martin), who previously made a guest appearance on Benard’s show, returned for a new interview which will be coming soon.

During their conversation, Oldham shared that her beloved mother has Alzheimer’s. Sadly, according to Benard, Kyle also revealed she has been diagnosed with the disease as well.

Photo: JPI

Maurice expressed, “We talked about her mother and having Alzheimer’s and it was an amazing interview. And then Kyle said, ‘I gotta tell you something. I have Alzheimer’s.’”

Apparently, Kyle has agreed to come on State of Mind, periodically as the effects of Alzheimer’s take a hold of her to help educate others. “We decided that she was gonna come in … she was gonna call me and tell me as she progresses,” Benard shared. “She was going to come in again so the audience could see with their eyes what Alzheimer’s does to someone.”

Benard’s guest for this current episode of State of Mind was Vernee Watson (Stella, GH), who along with Maurice, was part of the Alzheimer’s storyline on the ABC daytime drama series that saw Mike Corbin (Max Gail) eventually pass away.

Photo: JPI

As for Lee Meriwether, not only is she known for her role on AMC, but also for her roles as Catwoman in Batman: The Movie, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and for the television series, Barnaby Jones, the New Andy Griffith Show and The Munsters to name only a few.

In soap operas, Meriwether was cast in The Young Marrieds years prior to her time on All My Children where she replaced Mary Fickett in the matriarchal role in the Martin family. She played the role from 1996-99, 2002-03, and 2007-11.

Meriwether’s daughter, Kyle Oldham, has been an actress and spokesperson herself through the years. She appeared on The Price is Right for over 14 years until she couldn’t anymore after going through multiple surgeries in her adult life.

You can check out the full episode of State of Mind with Maurice an Vernee below.

Share your thoughts on the sad news of both Lee Meriwether and her daughter Kyle Oldham, battling the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in the comment section below.

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