Jacklyn Zeman, the longtime 'General Hospital' cast member who played Bobbie Spencer, has passed away.

Jacklyn Zeman, who played Bobbie Spencer on ABC's "General Hospital" for 45 years, died at the age of 70. Zeman died on Wednesday following a brief fight with cancer,

according to her family. Frank Valentini, the show's executive producer, was the first to break the news of her death. "I am heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Jackie Zeman,"

he tweeted. "She was a bright light and a true professional who brought so much positive energy with her work, just like her character, the legendary Bobbie Spencer."

"Jacklyn Zeman has been a beloved member of the General Hospital and ABC family since she originated the iconic role of Bobbie Spencer over 45 years ago,"

ABC Entertainment and "General Hospital" said in a statement. She will be remembered for her gentle heart and radiant spirit, as well as for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of the bad girl turned heroine.

We are heartbroken to hear of Jackie's death and extend our heartfelt sympathies to her family, friends, and loved ones." Zeman first appeared on "General Hospital" in 1977 as Barbara Jean,

better known as Bobbie, the fiery younger sister of Anthony Geary's Luke Spencer. Off camera, Zeman learned to view Geary as family. "I'm probably closer to him than I would be to a real-life brother,"

she admitted last year to co-star Maurice Benard on his YouTube series "State of Mind." Bobbie had been a teen prostitute and had given up a baby for adoption before turning her life around and became a nurse at General Hospital. 

Spencer was portrayed by Zeman as a vibrant, optimistic woman who was as sweet as pie but also had a sense of self. She didn't put up with fools and was not afraid to revoke the niceties if she thought it was necessary.

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