General Hospital icon Anthony Geary is pausing his retirement to remember his late TV sister Jacklyn Zeman, who died Wednesday at age 70 following a brief cancer battle.
In an exclusive statement to TVLine, the eight-time Daytime Emmy winner says, “For 40 years, I was fortunate enough to play Jackie Zeman’s big brother on General Hospital. In all those years, I never heard her utter one disparaging word about any actor, crew member, or co-worker. In fact, I never heard Jackie express an unkind word about anyone, ever. In a highly competitive profession where ego, feelings, and emotions are bread and butter, I’ve found this quality to be extremely rare. I expect it will be even more rare now that dear Jackie is gone.
“She was quite simply one of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever known,” Geary continues. “I will miss her laugh, and the deep, soulful look in her eyes whenever she expressed the love and pride she had in her two lovely daughters. Tonight, l already miss her, and feel a powerful ache where Jackie’s smile used to be.”
Geary and Zeman shared the screen together as GH siblings Luke and Bobbie Spencer on and off for nearly four decades, up until Geary’s 2015 retirement.
Zeman’s death was announced late Wednesday by GH executive producer Frank Valentini, who tweeted, “On behalf of our General Hospital family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Jackie Zeman. Just like her character, the legendary Bobbie Spencer, she was a bright light and true professional that brought so much positive energy with her to work. Jackie will be greatly missed, but her positive spirit will always live on with our cast and crew. We send our heartfelt sympathy to her loved ones, friends and family, especially her daughters Cassidy and Lacey.”
GH vets past and present inundated social media on Thursday with tributes to Zeman.
“I’m struggling to wrap my head around this,” the actress’ GH daughter Laura Wright lamented Thursday morning on Instagram. “I’m so grateful to have shared so many years with this beautiful woman. Jackie told the best stories, had an incredible spirit and lived such an amazing life. She loved working on GH. She adored her daughters and lit up when talking about her grandchildren. Saying she will be missed is an understatement. Thank you Jackie for sharing your heart and soul with all of us. Much love to [her daughters] Cassidy and Lacey.”