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SANTA BARBARA Co-Creator Bridget Dobson Dead at 85


The daytime community has lost one of its most talented creators. Bridget Dobson died on Jan. 3 at the age of 85. The sad news was shared by Pierpaolo Dongiovanni on his Facebook page where he wrote that “Jerome Dobson told me that his beloved wife, Bridget, passed away three days ago.”

Dobson had soaps in her blood as the daughter of GENERAL HOSPITAL creators Frank and Doris Hursley. She married Jerome Dobson in 1961 and began working as a team writing scripts for GH in the early ‘70s. In 1975, the Dobsons were made headwriters of CBS sudser GUIDING LIGHT and later AS THE WORLD TURNS.

In 1984 the Dobsons created the iconic NBC soap SANTA BARBARA which became well-known for its wit and humor as well as its creative and dramatic storylines. “We wanted to take risks,” Bridget told the L.A. Times. “Otherwise, we know the show would die in that time slot as other soaps and game shows had. So we created two competitive families, the Capwells and the Lockridges, who were psychologically complicated but also psychologically and emotionally valid. We took the core of our own inner souls and put it on screen, for multifaceted characters with multidimensional personalities. That there was humor made the show unique — each character has a sense of humor.”

Nancy Lee Grahn, who now plays Alexis on GH, became a soap star playing Julia Wainwright Capwell on SANTA BARBARA and paid tribute to the legendary soap creator in a heartfelt Instagram post. “Bridget Dobson and her husband Jerry hired me to play the most curious, absorbing, complex, inspiring character of my career,” she wrote. “Realizing the role of Julia Wainwright, having the privilege of feeling my way through this beautifully constructed character’s relationship with herself and others was life-altering for me. It advanced me as an actress and a woman. It introduced 140 -some countries to me and me to them and it set the path to a career that has so far lasted 38 years. The effect just one person can have on your life is quite extraordinary. Rest in greatness, Bridget, and thank you.”

Our thoughts are with Dobson’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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