HOLLYWOOD—Never in a million years did fans of the popular soap opera “Bold and the Beautiful” expect to see icon Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) bid farewell to the series that made her a household name. Monday, November 26, marked the final appearance of the actress as matriarch Stephanie Forrester who died of lung cancer. The episode was heartfelt, chilling and what great acting is all about. The episode absolutely tugged at the heart, as characters came to reminisce their favorite moments with the icon who has been known to be the primary nemesis to her daughter-in-law Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang).
It was surprising for the writers to let Brooke be the only person aware of Stephanie’s ongoing battle in the beginning through her time of need. Stephanie was determined to not undergo treatment and began to implement her bucket list. It was through that bucket list that she had an encounter with Dayzee Leigh (Kristolyn Lloyd), a young woman working in the dire Skid Row region ofLos Angeles. It is Dayzee’s spirit that causes Stephanie to undergo treatment and fight for survival.
During her remission, Stephanie still found ways to stir drama, by interfering with her son Ridge’s (Ronn Moss) love life by attempting to reunite him with former flame Taylor (Hunter Tylo), she even dabbled into the love life of her grandkids to ensure they were with the “right” person. She found herself at a cross-road with her on again and off again marriage to Eric Forrester (John McCook).
Over the years, Stephanie went to extreme lengths to protect her family. She did battle with sociopath Sheila (Kimberlin Brown), was shot on multiple occasions, suffered a stroke, fought amnesia, had countless shouting and slapping matches with nemesis Brooke, acknowledged past misdeeds from her mother, father and mentally ill sister; to sum things up, Stephanie has dealt with a lot in the last 25 years. There is a reason she is revered as a daytime diva, because acting doesn’t get this much better. Flannery has taken home three Daytime Emmy Awards for Lead Actress for her work on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
The most touching moment of Monday’s episode was for the audience to see two enemies come together during an emotional moment; it was some of the best acting I have seen from both actresses (Lang and Flannery) in a long time. To see Brooke comfort and soothe Stephanie during her final moments was superb. If one of these women do not take home an Emmy award next year it will be a travesty.
“The Bold and Beautiful” has been a staple on the air since 1987 and is heralded by many as one of the best soaps on television. With Moss and Flannery now departed from the series it makes audiences wonder what direction the soap will head in next. I’m sure genius Bradley Bell has ideas of where the characters from the show will go next, but one thing is certain, Stephanie Forrester will dearly be missed. “The Bold and Beautiful” airs weekdays at 1:30 p.m. on CBS.
By LaDale Anderson