- By KEN WERTHER
All of us here at LAArtsOnline are mourning the loss of a dear friend — the talented, fun, loving, and all-around delightful Jacklyn (Jackie) Zeman, the Emmy-nominated actress who for nearly a half-century played the role of Nurse Bobbie Spencer on the long-running soap opera General Hospital (nearly 900 episodes!). She died of cancer at only 70 years old … way, way too young. Making her first appearance on GH in 1977, Jackie was among the longest-lasting cast members of any soap opera. She was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards for her work on GH and had received a fifth nomination in 2021 for a streaming soap opera, The Bay. Frank Valentini, GH executive producer, said, “Just like her character, Jackie was a bright light and true professional that brought so much positive energy with her to work every day.”
She was a great lover of the arts, particularly theatre. Prior to her success on television, she had appeared off-Broadway in productions of Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn and Barefoot in the Park as well as the musical The Boyfriend. She also appeared in several feature films, but it was her enthusiasm and joy as a patron of the arts I will remember most. I often ran into her at the theatre, and she was always (always!) smiling. I daresay we need a lot more energy like hers in the world. Jackie touched many lives. She will be missed.
Jacklyn Lee Zeman March 6, 1953 – May 9, 2023