Jacklyn Zeman, Veteran ‘General Hospital’ Star, Dies at 70

MALIBU CA - OCTOBER 19:Actress Jacklyn Zeman 48 who is famous for playing nurse Bobbie Spe
Paul Harris/Getty

Veteran General Hospital cast member Jacklyn Zeman has died, her family announced Wednesday. She was 70.

Zeman, who became one of the most recognizable actors on daytime television during 45 years and more than 800 episodes playing Bobbie Spencer, died after a short battle with cancer.

News of her death was first announced by the show’s executive producer, Frank Valentini.

“I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Jackie Zeman,” he wrote on Twitter. “Just like her character, the legendary Bobbie Spencer, she was a bright light and a true professional that brought so much positive energy with her work.”

ABC Entertainment and General Hospital also released a statement stating, according to AP. It read:

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.

Born in New Jersey on March 6, 1953, Zeman studied ballet as a child and attended New York University to study dance, but she shifted to acting with her first credit coming on The Edge of Night in 1976.

In the same year, she received a lengthy arc on One Life to Live, appearing in more than 40 episodes.

File/Actress Jacklyn Zeman being photographed on April 12, 1983 at ‘Exclusive Photo Session’ at her home in Studio City, California. (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Zeman joined General Hospital in 1977 as Barbara Jean, who went by the name Bobbie, and was the feisty younger sister of Anthony Geary’s Luke Spencer.

She grew to embrace Geary as family off camera. “I’m probably closer to him than I would be a real-life brother,” she told co-star Maurice Benard last year on his YouTube series “State of Mind,” AP reports.

Zeman last’s appearance on General Hospital was in April for the wedding of her character’s grandson. The same month, she also celebrated the show’s 60th anniversary by posting a video on Instagram to fans, the AP report sets out.

File/Actress Jacklyn Zeman attend the 22nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 19, 1995 at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, New York. (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

“A great, big heartfelt thank you to the very special people who have been watching us and supporting us and keeping us on the air all these years. We love you.”

She was married and divorced three times, first to Glenn Gordon and later to Steve Gribbin and disc jockey Murray “Murray the K” Kaufman.

Zeman’s survivors include two daughters, Cassidy and Lacey, from her marriage to Gordon.

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