Throughout soap opera history, perhaps the most key character on any show is its matriarch. The Bold and the Beautiful struck gold when it cast Susan Flannery as Stephanie Forrester. “Remember” Stephanie? As if she could be forgotten!
Malaise In The Marriage
After nearly 30 years of marriage, Stephanie and Eric Forrester had reached an impasse. Stephanie assumed Eric was more devoted to his loyal assistant, Margo, than he was to her and she didn’t seem to care past a certain point.
After all, Steph had her children — Ridge, Thorne, Kristen, and Felicia. She doted more on her sons, especially Ridge, so it wasn’t a surprise when she took an instant dislike to Brooke, his new girlfriend.
Stephanie learned that Beth, Brooke’s mother, was Liz Henderson, Eric’s old college flame. Steph shipped Beth and her estranged husband, Steven, off to Paris with help from Brooke and Bill Spencer, Sr. Next, Steph confessed to accidentally shooting Ridge when, in reality, it was Thorne who pulled the trigger after learning Ridge had slept with his wife Caroline as a “prank.”
Stephanie had kept an enormous secret from Eric — their brain-damaged daughter, Angela, hadn’t died but was alive in a secret home in Santa Monica. Stephanie and Eric united after learning “Angela” was an imposter and that the real one had truly passed away from injuries she suffered after her caretaker forgot to lock her wheelchair brakes and Angela sped down a hill to her death.
Battles With Brooke
Steph was happy when Ridge dumped Brooke but stunned after Eric took up with her. She was humiliated as she watched her nemesis give birth to Eric’s son, Eric, Jr. (ouch!), and then marry him.
Steph had a stroke, lost her memory, and lived for months on the streets. In a shocking move, Sally Spectra helped her rival get home. Next, Stephanie nearly had another stroke after Brooke leveraged her rights to BeLieF to take controlling interest of Forrester Creations.
Steph’s next nemesis was wicked Sheila Forrester, Eric’s third wife. The nasty nurse poisoned Steph and later, she shot her! Post-Sheila, Eric and Stephanie were close to remarrying but Sally put a photo of Eric and family friend Lauren Fenmore being intimate in the minister’s bible. The wedding was off!
Tea and Zero Sympathy
Stephanie snapped when Brooke took up with Thorne and nearly strangled her. Next, Stephanie found a formidable foe in Morgan DeWitt, Ridge’s former girlfriend, whom he’d impregnated twice. The Forrester matriarch came close to giving Morgan some tea containing a drug supplied to her by Bill Spencer, Sr. that would have caused Morgan to lose her baby.
From The Heart
Stephanie faked a heart attack so that Ridge would stay with his back-from-the-dead wife Taylor and dump Brooke. Jackie and Brooke forced Steph to confess all at Nick and Bridget’s wedding.
Steph declared her guilt — but first, she let everyone know what she thought of Brooke — AKA the “plague that swept through her family” — resulting in Steph’s life becoming “blood and ashes.” Eric walked out on Stephanie once more and married Brooke a second time.
We learned why Stephanie was so controlling after it came to light that she’d been physically abused by her father when she was growing up. Ann, Stephanie and Pamela’s mom, turned the other way. (Steph and Ann reconciled before she passed away.) Steph showed she hadn’t given up her manipulative ways after she blackmailed Donna into leaving Eric — or else her brother Storm would go to jail for shooting her.
Stephanie faced her mortality after a cancer diagnosis. She made peace with Eric, her children, family members, Sally, and other people in her life. Ironically, she died in Brooke’s arms.
At Ridge and Brooke’s last wedding, Brooke heard Steph’s voice speak to her. She called her a slut from the valley — not with malice, as she had many times in the past, but with an endearing tone. The Bold and the Beautiful (BB) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.