Denise Alexander is paying tribute to Jacklyn Zeman, a fellow cast member of General Hospital, who passed away suddenly on May 9 following a brief fight with cancer. Zeman passed away just three days after turning 70 and less than two weeks after her final episode of General Hospital, which aired on April 27.
“Oh girl, I can’t stop crying because I keep hearing your voice and laughing. I have always loved and cherished your sweetness, humor, brilliance, and lovely goodness. The finest embraces, too. I will always love you. Denise,” Alexander wrote in a brief letter that was first made available by Soap Hub on May 15.
Jacklyn Zeman has been a beloved member of the ‘General Hospital’ and ABC family since she originated the iconic role of Bobbie Spencer over 45 years ago. She leaves behind a lasting legacy for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of the bad girl turned heroine and will always be… pic.twitter.com/iFQpoKb72b
— General Hospital (@GeneralHospital) May 11, 2023
As Dr. Lesley Webber, Denise Alexander joined the General Hospital cast in 1973. Jacklyn Zeman didn’t join the cast as Nurse Bobbie Spencer until 1977. Up until Jacklyn’s untimely death on May 9, Denise and Jacklyn developed a close friendship both on and off camera.
Not all of Alexander’s old cast mates honored Zeman. On May 11, a few days after the star’s passing, Anthony Geary, who played Luke Spencer in the program, gave TVLine an exclusive message. For more than 40 years, Zeman’s character had Geary’s character as a big brother.
“I never once overheard her speak ill of any actor, crew member, or colleague. In reality, Jackie never once spoke ill of someone in front of me. I’ve discovered this quality to be incredibly uncommon in a highly competitive industry where ego, feelings, and emotions are the lifeblood,” Geary wrote.
Frank Valentini, a soap opera executive producer, first revealed her passing. She was “a bright light and true professional that brought so much positive energy to work,” he said, adding that while she would be sorely missed, her upbeat attitude will never be forgotten.
As word of the late actor’s passing spread online, condolences to Jacklyn Zeman began to pour in large numbers. Her General Hospital TV family mourned the 70-year-old with praise for her generosity and upbeat outlook, even on her worst days. For all time, her legacy will be cherished.
“I’m very happy that I got to spend so much time with this lovely woman. Jackie had the best stories to tell, a contagious spirit, and such a remarkable life. She enjoyed working on General Hospital,” Laura Wright, who portrayed Carly Spencer, the character who was Zeman’s daughter in the serial show, stated on Instagram.
Wright took over Carly’s role before Tamara Braun, who played Carly, joined Tamara Braun in praising Zeman. “I am at a loss for words. This hurts and disturbs me beyond words. I wish to hug you. Join us in our laughter. Tell stories. Talk real talk because that’s what we did,” Braun urged in her own Instagram tribute.
“Remembering Sarah Joy Brown, the first actress to play Zeman’s daughter on General Hospital, is important. Beautiful both inside and out, queen. Everyone who cared for her is saddened, I know that. My love to her girls, family, work fam, and admirers,” she wrote in a Twitter tribute, attributing her success to Zeman.