By Jon-Michael Reed
April 21, 1979
LOS ANGELES -- A segment of the soap opera-viewing public is still living in the dark ages; living in the days when audiences were so caught up in the stories they were unable to separate characters from performers.
As a result, actors still are being thumped personally for something their "soap" character did. This non-sense about people accosting performers on the street and berating them over the head for something perpetrated (as the police would say) on screen has got to stop.
Jackie Zeman-Kaufman, who portrays Bobbie Spencer on GENERAL HOSPITAL, admits that "those people scare me. They actually think I am as selfish and as cruel as Bobbie. My mail has contained threats. I've been hit and I've had things thrown at me.
"I've been attacked on the street, I have a security guard who escorts me from the studio and I have alarms and two German shepherds at home. On the one hand, I am complimented because I feel that my work is so good that people believe it. At other times the reaction is disturbing and unpleasant, to say the least."
Jackie was a ballet dancer in her hometown of Bergenfield, N.J., before she danced in nightclubs in this country and in South America. She met her future husband, disc jockey and producer Murray Kaufman, while auditioning for his nightclub act. Jackie was also a Playboy bunny for 2 1/2 years, but, "I refused to be a centerfold," the young actress declares. She also operated a health club in New York before she auditioned for the role of Reenie Szabo on RYAN'S HOPE, which she lost. But that led to an "under five" (under five lines) part as a waitress on ONE LIFE TO LIVE.
A six-month contract in the regular role of Lana McClain on the same show extended to two years until the character kicked the bucket. Four days later, Jackie was shipped out to the West Coast where she became Bobbie on "GH."
"ABC has been really good to me. It's like in the old movie days when studios put people under contract and handled their careers. The network has really taken care of me," Jackie says securely.
Now, if only the network can keep the hounds from her door, Jackie would feel ever more secure. But Bobbie isn't about to give up her scheming, evil-doing ways. Redemption may come some day, but in the meantime, tune in tomorrow to watch her beat the bushes. But, please, don't take it seriously. Just take it.