Susan Flannery has told the brass at THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL she intends to leave the show. A source tells Soaps in Depth the actress signed a short-term contract with the soap to allow executive producer and head writer Bradley Bell "some time to strategize in terms of storyline."
Flannery has played Stephanie Forrester since B&B debuted in 1987. In 2010 she was voted No. 1 by our panel of critics in the We Love Soaps 50 Greatest Soap Actresses of All-Time countdown.
The news of her departure comes on the heels of Ronn Moss (Ridge) announcing his own exit from the show. A B&B rep confirmed that Flannery recently signed a new contract with the show but states, "It's our policy not to comment on the terms of actors' contracts."
Meanwhile, Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) issued a statement on Friday saying she was staying with B&B: "I'm very happy to tell you that I have re-signed my contract with THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL for two more years. Brad has come up with an exciting new storyline for Brooke that I think the fans are going to love."
Flannery reportedly asked to be written out of B&B after 25 years, but the show managed to work out a new deal with the daytime legend. "Susan, for quite some time, was thinking she needed a break or just have some personal time," Executive Producer/Head Writer Bradley P. Bell told Soap Opera Digest. "She's been through a lot personally; we know that she had her own battle with cancer and she’s had such an amazing career that she will continue to have as Stephanie Forrester, but I think it's not so much as a disagreement between her and the show, but more Susan figuring out where she is right now and what she needs. Now, Susan is going to have an incredible time with a new storyline that we've never seen before; something completely unique and interesting."
According to TVLine.com, Flannery is indeed exiting the show in December.
- THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: Exit Plan Revealed For Stephanie Forrester
- We Love Soaps Interview Archive: Susan Flannery
- 50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #1 Susan Flannery
- 30 DYNAMIC DUOS OF DAYTIME: #27 B&B's Stephanie & Sally, #7 Stephanie & Brooke