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What Happened to Bobbie Spencer on GENERAL HOSPITAL


Bobbie Spencer on GENERAL HOSPITAL was an important part of the canvas whose absence will be keenly felt. If you’re only familiar with the more recent advice-giving Barbara Jean, you missed out on the former prostitute who had a habit of dating dangerous men! The character first appeared in December of 1977 and was played by the lovely and talented Jacklyn Zeman until the actress passed away in May 2023.

Bobbie arrived in Port Charles as a former prostitute now working as a nurse. She put on a kind face and befriended nurse Jessie Brewer, but she was really a secret schemer, trying to get Scotty Baldwin away from Laura Webber. In fact, she even brought her brother, Luke Spencer, to town to steal Laura’s heart. Bobbie even went so far as to claim to be pregnant with Scotty’s child, but her lie was exposed and Scotty and Laura were married. 

Next, Bobbie fell in love with Roy DiLucca, a mobster who died in her arms after he was shot. Bobbie continued to feud with Laura, but was a good nurse and loyal friend to others. Her attitude finally began to change when Luke and Laura went on the run from Frank Smith. Bobbie made peace with Laura and was even one of her bridesmaids when she and Luke finally tied the knot. 

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Even laughing at his every joke didn’t help Bobbie keep Noah from leaving in the end. ABC Photo Archives/ABC

Bobbie fell madly in love with Dr. Noah Drake, and even pretended to be blind to keep him around, but he didn’t want a commitment and their relationship fizzled out. She then had an affair with D.L. Brock, but after they were married, he became abusive. After D.L. was killed, Bobbie was charged with his murder, but it turned out his daughter, Terri, was the guilty party. Next, Bobbie married Jake Meyer and was temporarily paralyzed after being scratched with a deadly syringe by a DVX agent. After recovering with the help of paraplegic Martha McKee, Bobbie agreed to raise her children, Skeeter and Melissa. But they were troubled kids and helping Melissa escape a life of forced prostitution landed Bobbie in jail. Scotty got her out, but she lost custody of the teens and then Jake left town.

This time, Scotty wanted Bobbie, and destroyed Jake’s letters to her explaining why he left. When she learned about his deception, Bobbie dumped him and fell for Gregory Howard, whose marriage and political ambitions meant that relationship was also a dead end. Finally, Bobbie found happiness with Dr. Tony Jones. Still desperate for a baby, Bobbie purchased one through the black market, and after an ugly custody battle, she was awarded custody of the boy, Lucas Jones.

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Tony was probably the best guy Bobbie ever married… and he still ended up sleeping with her daughter!ABC Photo Archives

While spying for Luke, Bobbie started flirting with Damian Smith, and Tony caught them in a clinch the same day their daughter, B.J. was killed in a bus crash. After Tony threw her out, Bobbie slept with Damian, but dumped him when she learned he’d only seduced her as part of a bet with Lucy Coe. Bobbie and Tony went through counseling and finally reconciled. But then she found him in bed with Carly Roberts, and turned to Stefan Cassadine, even marrying the guy! She soon realized he was as evil as Luke had warned, and helped her brother expose the villain.

Once Carly was engaged to Tony and carrying his baby, Bobbie learned that she was actually the daughter she’d given up for adoption as a teen. Carly resented her mother, but the birth of her son, Michael, helped bring them together. Bobbie fell for Jerry Jacks, but their wedding was interrupted by FBI agents and he went on the run. Then she found out that Roy was still alive — and a federal agent! — and they rekindled their relationship. But Roy’s involvement in trying to turn Sonny Corinthos into the feds backfired and hurt Carly, so Bobbie couldn’t forgive him and they ultimately parted as friends.

Bobbie was in denial when her daughter was presumed dead, and proven right when Carly showed up at her own memorial. She also got back together with Scotty, but it didn’t last. Bobbie wasn’t happy when Carly wanted to know more about her biological father, and even less so when John Durant made his way to Port Charles. Bobbie was crushed when Tony died during an encephalitis outbreak, and in 2010, moved to Seattle to be closer to Lucas.

In 2013, Bobbie briefly returned to Port Charles when Lulu Spencer was kidnapped to support her family, and then returned again when Carly was kidnapped by Heather Webber. She rekindled things with Scotty once more, and fought with Lucy over the guy. When Luke began acting erratically, Bobbie was on hand to help him discover the truth about his past and how he had killed their abusive father. And Bobbie went into protective Mama Bear mode when Nelle Benson arrived in town and proceeded to make Carly’s life a living hell.

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Bobbie is happy to offer advice, even though Carly rarely listens!XJJohnson/

Bobbie is always there to lend Carly a shoulder to lean on whenever she needs one, and of course, she’ll always be on stage performing at the annual Nurses Ball. But while trying to help Lucas and Brad with their potential custody battle over their adopted son, Bobbie suddenly passed out! She insisted she was just dehydrated and refused to let Lucas run the blood tests he wanted to. Scott urged her to get herself checked out and she learned she had type two diabetes. Epiphany Johnson shared her own diagnosis with Bobbie to assure her she wasn’t alone. Scott also decided to pop the question, but she gently turned him down.

Bobbie felt terrible when the villainous Shiloh dressed like a cop and tricked her so he could abduct Wiley. She also found herself at a loss when she and Monica were both fired by Cyrus Renault when he took over running the hospital. When Carly had Cyrus’ mother, Florence Grey, abducted, Bobbie helped out by taking care of the ailing woman at the safe house. Bobbie also tried to help Maxie Jones protect her baby girl from Peter August by agreeing to help deliver the infant, but that plan didn’t actually come to fruition. Unfortunately, a slip of the tongue to Detective Harrison Chase led him to figure out what Maxie had really done with her daughter.

When 2022 began, Bobbie was absolutely heartbroken to learn the news of her brother, Luke’s, death, and immediately suspected that it was not an accident but that someone had murdered him. In the spring, she naturally took Carly’s side in her battle with Nina, even going so far as to taunt her and throw a drink in her face! Bobbie also urged her daughter to explore her feelings for Drew and start a new chapter in her life. When Carly found herself stranded in Jacksonville, Bobbie surprised her by flying down to check on her and she was pleased that Drew was already there to support her. When Carly revealed that in the wake of her divorce, she no longer wanted to be Carly Benson but Carly Spencer, Bobbie was thrilled to have her take on the family name.

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Bobbie was touched when Carly presented her mother with a special tribute at the Nurses Ball.Christine Bartolucci/ABC

In 2023, Bobbie was honored with a special tribute at the Nurses Ball in the spring and later attended Michael and Willow’s wedding. She was also mentioned as being very busy at the hospital in the wake of Epiphany’s death before Liz was promoted to head nurse. After Carly lost her share in The Metro Court due to an investment gone wrong, Bobbie sold her Kelly’s Diner for a dollar to keep the business in the family. Then, in November, Tracy Quartermaine announced that she and Bobbie were flying to Amsterdam to settle Luke’s estate.

As 2024 began, Carly was crushed to receive a call from the American embassy to let her know that Bobbie had passed away in her sleep. As Port Charles gathered together for the memorial service, a reporter informed Carly that she was doing a story on Bobbie and her work helping an organization in Amsterdam rescue women from human trafficking! Inspired, Carly decided to go overseas to deal with her mother’s unfinished business and Felicia tagged along to help.

Stay tuned to GH to see how Bobbie’s memory lived on.

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