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Kristen Stewart reveals her heartbreak whilst filming final scenes of the Twilight movie while Blake Lively shares how she went from Gossip Girl to sex siren in Savages. Tragedy strikes Katie on The Bold and the Beautiful when she goes into early labour – will the baby survive? On Days Of Our Lives Sami and EJ re-united by death.

THE WORLD OF SOAP… with Rebecca Lake

September 24th, 2010 by Soap World | Filed under Celebrity, The Bold and the Beautiful.

Sayonara, Stephanie Forrester?

If any of you have been checking up on your soap gossip online over the last week, you will probably have stumbled across the rumour that the great Susan Flannery – aka, Stephanie “don’t mess with my family or I’ll run you over with a herd of stampeding elephants” Forrester is gearing up to leave The Bold and the Beautiful.

The source of this rumour was US TV Guide’s Michael Logan, who recently sat down with B&B show-runner Bradley Bell to discuss Stephanie’s upcoming controversial cancer storyline, only to score a scoop when Bell revealed that there is a “possibility” that the marauding matriarch will not survive her disease! (For the full article, click here:

Before we start sticking pins in voodoo dolls of Bradley Bell (for contemplating killing off Stephanie) and Michael Logan (for revealing that Bradley Bell is contemplating killing off Stephanie), let’s pause and think of the bigger picture here, and that is a B&B without Stephanie Forrester.

Can you even imagine it? It’s like picturing a sky without a sun, or the cast of Home and Away without their radioactive fake tans – it’s just a completely alien concept. If Stephanie leaves B&B – who will keep Eric’s eye from wandering? Who will remind Brooke of her past sexcapades? Who will give Ridge a spine?

Aside from the loss of a fantastic character and actor, the biggest problem with Susan Flannery’s possible retirement is that the show itself really isn’t ready for Stephanie to leave.

Every soap opera is built around a matriarchal character that is there to metaphorically (and occasionally physically, if everyone is being really naughty) whip their kids, grandkids, maids, dogs and dining room furniture into line. On most soaps, there are back-up matriarchs, for whenever the primary matriarch is unable to fulfil her butt-kicking duties (like Days’ Maggie, Kate and Caroline or Y&R’s Nikki and Phyllis).

B&B, however, have not been grooming any of the their other leading female characters to step into the alpha role, once Stephanie has vacated it. It’s long been established that Brooke is a flake, Taylor is weak, and Felicia is… non-existent. The only character who could potentially step into Stephanie’s enormous shoes is her namesake, Steffy, but she is too busy pointlessly chasing Hope’s boyfriends to undertake the task of being a rallying-point for her family.

While we would like to think that Bell’s pronouncement is a way of scaring up ratings as the show moves into its November sweeps period, there’s no escaping that although Stephanie (and the rest of her soapy companions) is never a day over 45 on B&B, her portrayer is now 71 years old, and has made no secret of her desire to retire.

We can only hope that either a) Susan Flannery decides to remain with B&B until she’s 125, or b) Brad Bell finds some way to clone Susan Flannery so that she stays with the show forever, as a B&B without Stephanie would be a very dark (and very quiet) place indeed.

What are your thoughts on the (possible) end of Stephanie Forrester’s reign? Send your comments to:

3 Responses to “THE WORLD OF SOAP… with Rebecca Lake”

  1. Deanna says:

    If Susan wants to retire, she should be able to do so, we will just live without Stephanie and the show will go on. Don’t need all the drama anyway, sometimes it is way to repetitive what happens on the show. Let Eric meet another person like Stephanie or Sally, with same type of looks and personality to take her place, sure it won’t be Stephanie, but someone who will step into her shoes like she never left. Not someone to become Stephanie, but someone for Eric who will be like Stephanie. I remember her from when she played Dr. Laura Horton on Days. 🙂

  2. Sam Bell says:

    i hope susan doesnt retire anytime soon, i know thats greedy and selfish of me, but id miss her too much, fingers crossed susan doesnt leave B&B, but if she does then im happy for her

  3. Gen1977 says:

    Susan Flannery is a great lady and an amazing actress. I was very impressed by her when she appeared on TV while visiting Australia a while ago. Her presence in the show cannot be matched by anyone else – she IS B & B. Sadly, she must retire at some time, but she will be sorely missed by her many fans!

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