Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Sad News: Jackie Zeman, Star of “General Hospital, Dies at Age 70, Mourned by Fans and Castmates


Jackie Zeman was one of a bunch of actors brought into the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” around 1977 to liven things up. They were all so popular they stayed, coming and going but always returning. Most of them are still on the show now.

Zeman passed away Wednesday at age 70 after a short battle with cancer, accordingto ABC.. She played nurse Bobbi Spencer, who was a major part of the show for four decades. Unlike a lot of scene chewers on daytime TV, Zeman had a light touch that endeared her to fans. She started out as a bad girl but became a heroine in the 1990s. Along the way she picked up four Daytime Emmy nominations.

Zeman was married three times, and had two daughters with her third husband. But I always thought it was cool that her first husband, from 1979 to 1981, was Murray the K aka Murray Kaufman, one of the most famous radio disc jockeys of the early rock and roll era. He was 31 years her senior. I’m sorry she didn’t get to write a book about that, the best of all her soap opera plots, no doubt.

Zeman’s real life death is in stark contrast to a soap opera death. On those shows characters often “die” only to return via science fiction like stories. A real death of an actor and a character is harder to take. Reality sucks.

Condolences to Zeman’s leagues of fans, her friends, and family.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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