Good times continued as long-time friends and co-stars, General Hospital’s Jacklyn Zeman and Kin Shriner joined Maurice Benard for his weekly video podcast of State Of Mind, for round two of their discussion of GH’s heyday and early Port Charles residents who went on to even bigger fame.
Jacklyn Zeman & Kin Shriner: When The Party Started
Back in the 70s and 80s, when Studio 54 was all the rage, Los Angeles hosted its share of all-nighters, and the cast and crew of General Hospital were not strangers to burning the midnight oil. Benard (Sonny Corinthos) wanted to know if Shriner (Scott Baldwin) and Zeman (Bobbie Spencer) ever partook in that, eh, lifestyle.
Zeman quickly denied participating, “I never did drugs. I never even smoked pot. I mean, I did no drugs. Never have. I don’t even take aspirin.”
Shriner told a different tale. Their second dinner break was around 11:30 pm and often was hosted near the studio. “I have always known that Jackie was never the party girl as some of us…were party people. In fact, the cast and crew were pretty much in the 80s.
“We had a prop guy on the show who also lived close enough on Beechwood Canyon,” continued Shriner. “He kind of dealt a little bit of drugs. So, anyone who was kind of interested in drugs, he would say, ‘Well, I got more at home’, and then people would go to his house. Before you know it, he would have a little party going on.” He explained, trying to put it into context, “We were all very young, and we all worked very hard. It was a way to goof off and unwind.”
Sometimes it didn’t end well. “I don’t want to speak out of school,” added Shriner, “but there was something about someone having a bachelor party, and they all got really liquored up, and they shot. And the next day, [executive producer] Gloria [Monty] looked at it and said, ‘We can’t use this! We have got to reshoot this.’ It is easier to play like you’re liquored up than it is to be liquored up and act straight.”
Before They Were Stars
General Hospital fans are lucky enough to have fan favorites like Sonny, Bobbie, and Scott in their living rooms or laptops on a regular basis, but there were many other fan faves who moved on to blockbuster careers on the big screen and huge arenas such as Rick Springfield (Dr. Noah Drake, 1981 – 2014), Demi Moore (Jackie Templeton, 1982 – 1984), and John Stamos (Blackie Parrish, 1982 – 1992). Zeman and Shriner shared their early impressions of the first spark of the “It” factor these stars had early on.
The rock star played Bobbie’s love interest, Dr. Noah Drake. Zeman was impressed right away by his work ethic. “First of all, I have to say, I adore Rick Springfield. Not only is he creative and talented and fabulous, and the most professional person, he comes in, knows his stuff, and hits his marks. And he was a gentleman. I just adore him. And his wife, Barb, the same thing. They have been married forever. She was dating him when I met him on GH . She was like 18 at the time.”
The future Mrs. Springfield had a few ideas about their love scenes. “It would say in the script, Noah kisses Bobbie, and she would write on the script, ‘Watch out, no tongues!’ or ‘No hugging!’ She would write funny things in the scripts, and we would laugh when we would run the lines. It was fun working with him.”
Shriner was taken aback by Moore’s natural chemistry. “Demi, when she came on the show, everyone kind of stopped in their tracks. She oozed a kind of sexuality. Everybody was like, ‘Wow. She’s a hit.’ She was very nice and very fun to be around.” Zeman just remembered thinking how young she was — only 18 at the time.
Stamos was gung ho to start, and Shriner decided to show him the ropes. “I kind of did to John what you [Benard] did to Steve Burton [Jason Morgan]. Take him under my wing. He was a young kid, and he was very eager. I had already been on the show for 10 years. So, when he came on, he was just all over the place. He would come into the room, and he was like Paul Drake to my Perry Mason. Like a flunky. I was a lawyer, so he was the kid that I hired to get this or get that.”
He spoke of how his co-star has matured. “He’s a song and dance man. He does everything. But he has tremendous comedy timing. That is why John has had a career all this time. He’s charming and funny. He’s like a Cary Grant.”
Jacklyn Zeman & Kin Shriner: More, More, And More
The three Port Charles amigos shared a lot of laughs and more stories about Springfield, Moore, and Stamos. Their conversation included tales of other guest appearances on GH by such greats as Milton Berle (Mickey Miller), Sammy Davis Jr. (Eddie Phillips), Elizabeth Taylor (Helena Cassadine), and Emma Samms (Holly Sutton). Benard shared his own wild ride story from the 80s and how his wife Paula handled it.
Shriner recalled when he knew he wanted to be an actor and spoke of his twin Wil, and their early days making their mark in Hollywood, his stint as a Universal contract player, and his on-air rivalry with Luke (Anthony Geary) and Sonny. Benard, Shriner, and Zeman shared their thoughts on mental health and how it has touched their lives. Watch the full episode here.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) July 24, 2022
Thank you @MauriceBenard for inviting @kinshriner +me to join you @mbstateofmind And TY to all our @GeneralHospital friends + family for your love and appreciation. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/mdAh8tfKko
— Jackie Zeman (@JackieZeman) July 24, 2022
— Kin Shriner (@kinshriner) July 24, 2022