Zende on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL is a Forrester, although some newer fans might not be completely clear on his background. Who is Zende Forrester Dominguez, really? Let us fill in the blanks! The character first appeared on B&B in 2001 and was played by child actor Daniel Smith for about a year. He reprised the role for an additional appearance in 2005, but when the character was brought back to the canvas in 2015, Zende was aged into an adult and played by actor Rome Flynn. He exited the soap in 2017, but Zende resurfaced again in October 2020 with Delon de Metz stepping into the role.
Kristen Forrester and Tony Dominguez were on their honeymoon in Africa when they lost a roll of film and ended up bonding with the young boy who returned it to them. They were shocked to learn that Zende had been orphaned when both of his parents had died of AIDS, and later his brother died of the same disease in the orphanage where they lived. Kristen and Tony were concerned to learn that when Zende became too old to live in the orphanage, he would likely end up on the streets.
After returning to Los Angeles, Kristen and Tony admitted to each other that they couldn’t stop thinking about Zende. Diagnosed as HIV+ himself, Tony felt a special connection to Zende. They returned to Africa to start adoption proceedings and gave the boy both of their last names. Zende lived with Tony and Kristen as a part of the extended Forrester family for a time in LA before the family eventually moved to Florida. He returned to LA in 2005 with his mother for a visit, but they quickly returned home.
In 2015, Zende returned to Los Angeles to strike out on his own and began working as an intern at Forrester Creations. He immediately became smitten with fellow intern Nicole Avant and finally made a move after Thomas Forrester kissed her. However, their relationship hit a snag when she agreed to act as a surrogate so that her sister, Maya Avant, could have a baby with her husband, Rick Forrester. Worried the pregnancy would come between them, Zende split up with Nicole and fell into bed with Nicole’s friend, Sasha, who had been pursuing him relentlessly.
After Nicole gave birth, Zende wanted to reunite, but Sasha claimed to be pregnant. Thankfully that was a lie, so he and Nicole reconciled and made love for the first time. Unfortunately, Nicole considering becoming Rick and Maya’s surrogate for a second time sent Zende on a drunken tailspin where he whisked Sasha away to Hawaii, and upon their return home, Nicole found them in bed together! Zende attempted to apologize and proposed to Nicole, but she wasn’t having any of it, having been burned by him multiple times before.
Eventually, Zende was able to wear her down and Nicole accepted after an extravagant proposal involving a horse-drawn carriage. The couple finally tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony held at the Forrester mansion on Valentine’s Day, 2017. Nicole was crushed to learn she may never be able to have another baby, but Zende convinced her not to take Lizzy away from Rick and Maya as her father, Julius Avant, was pressuring her to do. When a job opened up at Forrester International in Paris, Zende moved overseas with Nicole, not realizing that Maya had arranged for the job as Lizzy had begun calling Nicole “Mama.” But he still hoped that it would be a fresh start for both of them.
In September 2020, Zende returned to Los Angeles solo, his marriage to Nicole having fallen apart. And despite having just begun a relationship with Carter Walton, Zoe Buckingham was quick to start flirting with the handsome young Forrester. Zende’s attentions turned to Zoe’s sister, Paris Buckingham, and he even rejected Zoe’s advances when she threw herself at him while engaged to Carter.
Although Zende initially wanted to take things slow so as not to ruin their relationship, he eventually fell head over heels for Paris and commissioned Quinn Forrester to make an engagement ring for him. However, when he was about to propose, Zoe started gushing about how much she enjoyed being single, having been given a heads-up by Carter Walton. Heartbroken, Zende tried casually dating one of the Forrester models, but suspected Paris had another man in her life. Grace Buckingham arrived in town and tried her best to push Zende and Paris back together, horrified she had fallen for Carter.
When Paris confessed her feelings for Carter, Zende urged her to pursue them, and later did the same for Carter. And when Carter popped the question, Zende resisted pressure from Grace to stop the wedding. In fact, he even attended the nuptials, and when Quinn showed up to declare her love for Carter, Zende took a heartbroken Paris home.
For a long while, Zende just kept his head down and worked at Forrester Creations, but after the big fashion face-off in November 2023, he expressed his frustrations. He told Ridge Forrester that he wasn’t happy to have been passed over so that the newly returned RJ Forrester could work with Eric Forrester on his collection for the show. He argued that he was also Eric’s grandson and RJ never wanted to be in fashion anyway.
Stay tuned to see what happens next!