Bobbie Spencer, R.N. Returns Today on General Hospital
When I began watching General Hospital in 1993, one of the first characters I gravitated to was Nurse Bobbie Jones played by Jackie Zeman. Utilizing my trusty Soap Opera Weekly subscription, I learned everything I could about Bobbie. Sorry, kiddos. There was no Wikipedia for the 80's and 90's era soap fans!
Her real name was Barbara Jean. She was the little sister of Luke Spencer (Tony Geary), whom she summoned to Port Charles to help break up young marrieds Scotty (Kin Shriner) and Laura Baldwin (Genie Francis). She used to be a hooker. She bought a kid on the black market. What wasn't there to love about Our Ms. Bobbie?
I was glued to my television every afternoon, as Bobbie's marriage to Dr. Tony Jones (Brad Maule) strained to the breaking point. The tragic death of their daughter B.J., coupled with Bobbie's sinful connection to Damian Smith (Leigh McCloskey), proved too much for the couple to find their way back from.
I wanted to throw my remote at the wall in outrage, as Bobbie's secret, long-lost daughter Carly (Sarah Brown) dismantled her mother's life brick by brick. I cheered with pervy glee as Bobbie sweated up the sheets with Stefan Cassadine (Stephen Nichols) and Jerry Jacks (Julian Stone).
Along the way, someone decided Bobbie was no longer needed in Port Charles. Carly—a character that went on to be recast multiple times, whereas Zeman made her singular, game-changing mark on Bobbie—usurped her mother's position as the soap's central flawed heroine.
On today's episode of General Hospital, that grievous wrong will be righted, as Zeman reprises one of the most significant characters in the soap's history. It's about damn time. Welcome home, Barbara Jean.