Jacqueline Ziman, the Emmy Award-nominated actress who played Nurse Bobbie Spencer for nearly half a century on the long-running television series “General Hospital,” died Tuesday in Thousand Oaks, California, at the age of 70.
Her family said her death was in Los Robles Regional Medical Center, came after a “brief battle” with cancer.
As Barbara Jean Spencer, better known as Bobby, Ms. Zieman was among the longest-lived cast members of any television series. She first appeared in 1977’s “General Hospital” and Seen in approximately 900 episodes from which offer Since 1963 Her work centered on the lives of characters who work in a hospital and the wealthy business community in the fictional town of Port Charles, New York.
Originally a student nurse who moved on from her previous life as a prostitute and gave up a child for adoption in Florida, Bobbie competed for the affections of a law student named Scotty Baldwin. She was the younger sister of Luke Spencer, played by Anthony Geary, one of the most popular characters on the show.
Mrs. Ziman portrayed Bobby as a loving but tough nurse who emerged from a difficult past. in one scene She defended her difficult upbringing to Scotty, saying she never handed anything to her.
she said in an interview last year with TV from the inside. “I wanted her to have wit and humor and love people. Poppy came from a dysfunctional background, but she wanted to have kids and be a mom.”
“I wanted the character to be funny, to come like a hurricane,” she said.
Ms. Zeman was nominated for Four Daytime Emmy Awards for her work on the show and received a fifth nomination in 2021 for another TV series, “The Gulf”.
Jacqueline Lee Zeman was born on March 6, 1953, in Englewood, NJ, and raised in Bergenfield. She was the eldest of three daughters of Richard Zeeman, an engineer at IBM, and Rita (Dohart) Zeeman, who worked at Scholastic magazine.
She began training in ballet at age five, her daughter Cassidy Zee MacLeod said, and moved at age fifteen to New York City, where she pursued dance and briefly attended New York University. She was a cast member on the TV series ‘One Life to Live’ in 1976 before moving to ‘General Hospital’ in 1977.
In addition to Mrs. MacLeod, Mrs. Zeeman, who lived in Calabasas, California, was survived by another daughter, Lacey Rose Jordan; two sisters, Lauren Fichte and Carol Culp; and two grandchildren. Her marriage to disc jockey Murray Kaufman (professionally known as Murray the K) and Steve Gribbin and Glenn Jordan, the father of her daughters, ended in divorce.
In April, “General Hospital” celebrated 60 years of being on the air. Mrs. MacLeod said one of her mother’s last appearances was in an episode that month that included A.J Nurses Ball.
the show’s executive producer, Frank Valentini, wrote on Twitter Wednesday“Just like her character, the legendary Bobby Spencer, she was a bright light and a true professional who brought so much positive energy to the business.”
Ms MacLeod said her mother loved the “strong-willed” role of Bobby, and that she and her sister saw how much their mother’s role affected people when some of the nurses caring for her described how Bobby had inspired them.
“We realize how many lives you’ve touched,” said Mrs. MacLeod. “They said they became nurses because of it.”
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”