John McCook turned in one tour de force after another as Eric’s illness kicked in last year on The Bold and the Beautiful. With Donna, played by Jennifer Gareis, by his side, the story had viewers wondering if Eric was going to make it or not. But what was ailing him exactly?
John McCook: Theories Abound
B&B didn’t assign a specific name for Eric’s condition — just that it was life-threatening. Soap Hub had one theory (after hearing Donna mention to Eric that she could fix him up a smoothie…hmm) that the blonde beauty was poisoning her honey bear. (Boy, were we wrong!). Did McCook or Gareis have any theories as to what was ailing the patriarch?
Blame The Newcomer
“I thought for a minute that Luna [Lisa Yamada] might have been poisoning [Eric],” Gareis shares. “We didn’t know exactly what [her] secret was. I thought perhaps she was. But she had a different secret.”
“It never occurred to me that something was going on with the [smoothie] or that Luna was bringing anything bad into the house,” McCook says. “I was just playing that Eric was trying to get all his creativity on paper. That enthusiasm and focus…Eric wanted to be creative and to have those three people [especially] Donna right next to him was what was important. RJ and Luna, too.”
Eric and Donna: It’s a Love Story
Another theory was that the rust from Eric’s trusty (yet perhaps rusty) stapler had somehow caused an infection in him. “That’s so funny!” Gareis chuckles. What McCook was certain about was all the love he was feeling from the fans when it looked like this could be Eric’s swan song. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. The family patriarch is sticking around with his new bride.
McCook says it didn’t matter to him what was wrong with Eric but rather who was by his side, seeing him through the ordeal. “This has been [Eric and Donna’s] love story,” the actor says with a smile. “That’s what I was playing.”