Bobbie Spencer May Not Be on 'General Hospital,' but She Is in Our Hearts

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jan. 4 2024, Published 9:28 a.m. ET

Jacklyn Zeman played Bobbie Spencer in 'General Hospital'
Source: ABC

Soap operas have a unique place on television because of their long-running status. Throughout the decades of long-running shows like General Hospital and Days of Our Lives, actors come and go, but characters stay forever. However, a character will occasionally get killed off of the show for one reason or another.

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Lately, Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) hasn’t appeared in any episodes of General Hospital. As the show returns after the holidays, her fans will be devastated to learn what really happened to Bobbie. So where is she and what happened to her?

Jacklyn Zeman standing in a dinning room on Oct. 17, 2001
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to Bobbie Spencer? The ‘General Hospital’ character died.

In May 2023, news broke that Jacklyn Zeman, the actor who has played Bobbie since her first appearance in 1977, passed away after a short battle with cancer at just 70 years old. “I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Jackie Zeman,” General Hospital executive producer Frankie Valentini 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.”

Bobbie’s character went through quite the arc over her time in the series. She began as a teenage sex worker who had to give up a child for adoption. “Bobbie has been a fascinating person for me to play,” Jackie said in a 1982 interview (via USA Today). “I get to do... all the things that most women think about but wouldn’t dare.”

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Jacklyn Zeman as Bobbie Spencer on 'General Hospital'
Source: ABC

Throughout her nearly 50 years in General Hospital, Bobbie had relationships with mobsters, doctors, and many more men. She was once charged with murder, she was part of several deceptions and more, but she was always lovable. A major arc occurred when she discovered Carly Roberts (Laura Wright) in bed with her former husband, Tony Jones.

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When Carly is pregnant with Tony’s baby and the two get engaged, Bobbie learns that Carly was the daughter she once gave up for adoption many years earlier. This began a lifelong process of reconciling with her long-lost daughter and granddaughter, who happens to be her ex-husband’s daughter. But Bobbie and Carly’s relationship grows with love and she always takes her side.

Laura Wright and Jacklyn Zeman in 'General Hospital'
Source: ABC
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In 2022, Bobbie lost her brother, Luke, to a potential murder. And now, in early 2024, Carly learns from the American Embassy that Bobbie died in her sleep.

‘General Hospital’ will honor Bobbie (and Jackie) with a memorial service special.

On Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, 2024, Port Charles will come together to honor Bobbie, according to a PEOPLE exclusive. The special farewell episode is not just to say goodbye to Bobbie, but also to Jackie, who worked on the show for over four decades. Characters from the past will allegedly return, such as Maxie (Kirsten Storms), Laura (Genie Francis), Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Scott (Kin Shriner), and of course, Carly.

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Jacklyn Zeman as Bobbie Spencer in 'General Hospital'
Source: ABC

“When we shot the memorial, the entire cast was there. And it wasn't just for Bobbie; it was for Jackie as well,” Laura explained to PEOPLE. “I mean, walking on set and seeing her photo, seeing all the pamphlets of like when you come to a memorial or a celebration of life, the pamphlet speaking about the individual and who is going to speak, it was bittersweet. It was about Jackie and everyone was so present … It was like we as a cast got to really say goodbye.”

It’s a sad but fitting tribute to Bobbie, without whom General Hospital wouldn’t be what it is today. Fans continue to mourn Jackie's passing as well as Bobbie's absence in General Hospital.

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