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Brighton Hertford Says Her GH Return Was “Serendipitous”

After spending eight years playing young B.J. Jones on GENERAL HOSPITAL, Brighton Hertford went on to appear in some primetime television but had left Hollywood behind to make a home for herself in Utah and work full-time in a tech career. So it was quite a surprise when the soap’s casting director, Mark Teschner, reached out to her to see if she would be interested in coming back for a couple of episodes as part of the memorial tribute to Bobbie Spencer and her portrayer, the late Jacklyn Zeman.

“I will be super-honest with you,” Hertford admitted to Soap Opera Digest. “There were times in my life where I was like, ‘You know, I don’t know if I’m exactly interested in going back into film and TV.’ I had some internal work that I needed to do about that. And you know, over the last couple of years, I have gotten to be in a really good place where I feel like I could handle it [and] the criticism that comes along with film and television.”

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Hertford last appeared on GH back in 1994 when B.J. tragically passed away.Michael Yarish/ABC

The invitation also couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. “[Mark] told me, ‘Your name has been thrown into the ring and we wanted to see if you’re available. Are you even in the area? I looked you up and it seems like you’re in Utah and I don’t know if you would be free,’” she confided. “I was like, ‘Well, this is very serendipitous.’ I already had a flight scheduled and was going to be out in Los Angeles at the time of the projected filming date! I was like, ‘It really seems like this is supposed to happen.’”

After nearly three decades away, returning to the GH studio naturally caused some nerves, but Hertford was just grateful to be a part of the special occasion. “I felt blessed that I had the opportunity, but it wasn’t for me, it was about Jackie, and I was happy to be there in service of that,” she said.

Reuniting with her former castmates and friends was full of emotional moments, but those feelings had to be kept in check when it came time to film scenes featuring her character of Angela Brighton. “It wouldn’t have made any sense to have this stranger, this reporter, sobbing in the corner during the funeral, so I had to put those personal feelings in a box, kind of,” the actress confessed. “But of course, it came out in between scenes and when people were talking about missing Jackie…”

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Hertford enjoyed reuniting with the cast and crew she remembered from her time in Port Charles.Christine Bartolucci/Disney

At the end of the second memorial episode, it was revealed that Hertford’s reporter was actually B.J.’s spirit back to help bring closure to Bobbie’s story, and as powerful as that moment was for viewers to watch, it was also emotional for the actors involved.

“After I wrapped that second day, my boyfriend picked me up from set and gave me some flowers because he knew how much this meant to me. And I just started weeping,” Hertford revealed. “I was just like, ‘I can’t believe how complex my feelings are about this,’ because obviously the reason for me being there is horrible and sad and tragic, to lose such a bright light [in Zeman]. At the same time, it was so joyful. And I was just truly so grateful for the experience.”

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