The History of The Bold and the Beautiful: The 1980s

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The History of The Bold and the Beautiful: The 1980s

CBS eagerly accepted the newest soap from William J. Bell and his wife Lee Phillip Bell, co-creators of The Young and the Restless. Originally titled ‘Rags,” the 30-minute serial about a wealthy family in Los Angeles set against the fashion world became known as The Bold and the Beautiful.


Five-year old soap Capitol is canceled by CBS around Christmas Time. The show is set for a March finale. The Bold and the Beautiful, created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, is announced as the replacement for the John Conboy-created series.


The Real World: William J. Bell assembled his creative team. Writers include Y&R scribes Jack Smith, Meg Bennett (ex-Julia, Y&R), and Bradley Bell, Bill and Lee’s son, who would later take over the show as head writer/executive producer. Gail Kobe, former executive producer of Texas and Guiding Light, serves as producer. Bill Glenn (formerly of Y&R) is director and production consultant. On March 20, Capitol concludes with heroine Sloane facing a firing squad and an unknown fate. On Monday, March 23, viewers are introduced to B&B. For the first few months of the show, the office received angry letters from Capitol fans but viewers soon warmed to the show. B&B lands in the middle of the ratings.

The Reel World: In the first week, viewers are introduced to the Forrester, Spencer, and Logan families. We meet Eric Forrester (John McCook), family patriarch and top designer at Forrester Creations, a first-class couture house. His team includes eldest son Ridge (Ronn Moss), right-hand associate Margo Lynley (Lauren Koslow), and second son Thorne (Clayton Norcross), who manages logistics. Ridge proposes marriage to virginal Caroline Spencer (Joanna Johnson). Does he truly love her or is he just trying to rile up her controlling father Bill Spencer (Jim Storm), a publishing magnate?

During the show’s premiere week, it’s abundantly clear that malaise has crept into Eric and Stephanie Forrester’s (Susan Flannery) near 30-year marriage. We meet the Logan clan – matriarch Elizabeth (Judith Baldwin; soon, Nancy Burnett took over the role), a hardworking caterer and single mother to son Stephen Logan, Jr. (Ethan Wayne), nicknamed ‘Storm’ due to his anger over his father walking out on the family; Beth’s daughters are beautiful chemistry student Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang); high school student Donna (Carrie Mitchum), and Katie (Nancy Sloan), who suffers from acne. The family remains close to Grandma Logan (Lesley Woods), Stephen’s mother.

The rest of the show’s original cast includes Dave Reed (Stephen Shortridge), Brooke’s lawman boyfriend, and Katie’s crush Rocco Carner (Bryan Genesse). Also, Donna had a handsome boyfriend — Mark Mallory (Michael Philip) — but he cheated on Donna and fell out of her life. Brooke Logan helped her mother out on a catering gig at the Forresters and fell instantly in love with Ridge, who mistook her for Caroline from the back of her head. Beth was devastated that Eric did not remember her or their college romance at Northwestern – at least not right away.

Stephanie and daughter Kristen’s (Teri Ann Linn) icy relationship was exposed when the latter returned home from New York City for Ridge and Caroline’s almost-wedding. The ceremony was halted when the bride fainted after seeing photos of Ridge in bed with another woman. Later, Caroline is date-raped by Ron Deacon (Greg Wrangler) and is taken in by the Logan family while she emotionally recovers. Bill had a nightmare that Ron walked and so he shot him. In reality, Ron was found guilty.

Stephanie hired Spectra Fashions designer Clarke Garrison (Dan McVicar) to romance Kristen. Caroline grew to lean on Thorne and accepted his marriage proposal. The two wed. Ridge had written a letter to Caroline asking for another chance well before the wedding. Brooke chose to hide the note from Caroline so that Ridge could be hers. At the end of the year, Ridge and Brooke along with Caroline and Thorne all wound up together at the family cabin in Big Bear. It was clear that Caroline was not over Ridge. And whom did Ridge love more? His enigmatic stance made it difficult to tell.


The Real World: After a year of running the show from the Stage 31 control booth, Gail Kobe exited the series. Former Y&R director Dennis L. Steinmetz became B&B’s producer. The Bold and the Beautiful takes home Daytime Emmys in the categories of Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Direction/Scenic Design for a Drama Series, Outstanding Achievement in Graphics and Title Design, and Outstanding Achievement in Technical Direction/Electronic Camerawork/Video Control for a Drama Series.

The Reel World: The Bold and the Beautiful storylines laid out in the show’s first year kick into high gear. Eric stands by Beth as she undergoes a breast cancer ordeal. Stephanie supported Beth, too, unaware that she was the woman whom Eric was seeing. Stephanie orders some college yearbooks so she can do some investigating. She comes upon a bible in Beth’s hospital room with her name on it – Liz Henderson, the woman Eric dated in college. Beth Logan and Liz Henderson are the same woman!

Stephanie hires private eye Conway Weston (Jerry Ayres) to track down Stephen (Robert Pine). He finds him and Stephen returns to Los Angeles and shares an uneasy reunion with his family. Storm is furious that his dad walked out on the clan, leaving his mother to take on so much responsibility.

Stephanie gets Bill Spencer to hire Stephen at Spencer Publications and later, Bill, at Steph’s urging, offers him a promotion overseas in the Paris office. Stephen accepts and asks Beth to go with him. Stephanie visits Beth and encourages her to go to Paris in the fall with a man who loves her. While her plan worked, Steph’s victory was bittersweet. Eric agreed to remain in the marriage in name only. He and Stephanie would not share a physically intimate relationship.

One reason Eric agreed to stay is that he learned of the existence of his and Stephanie’s comatose daughter Angela (Judith Borne). Steph had kept the girl’s identity a secret, letting Eric believe that she’d died after birth.

Tensions began to rise among Brooke, Ridge, Caroline, and Thorne as they were all living under the same Forrester mansion roof. Caroline felt betrayed upon learning that Brooke withheld Ridge’s letter and that her own husband encouraged Brooke to do so. Caroline thought others had manipulated her chance at happiness with Ridge and she was right!

One night after celebrating Caroline’s success with one of her father’s publications, Eye on Fashion, which Caroline ran, Ridge crept into bed with his drunken sister-in-law while Thorne was down in the kitchen making a sandwich. Ridge’s plan was for Caroline to wake up, realize which Forrester man was in her bed, become irate, and kick him out! In reality, one thing led to another and Ridge and Caroline ended up making love.

When Thorne overheard his parents talking about Ridge’s ‘adolescent prank,’ he got zonked out on booze and painkillers, picked up his mother’s gun and shot Ridge in the head. Ridge survived but Thorne had no memory of his actions.

Believing Angela could not comprehend anything Stephanie was saying, the Forrester matriarch lamented the mess her family was in to her bedridden daughter. Stephanie was doubly horrified to learn that not only had the real Angela died after her wheelchair went careening down a hill in Santa Monica but that the imposter Dr. Todd Powell put in Angela’s place had overheard Steph’s confession. Faux Angela (whose name we never learned) threatened to tell the authorities that Thorne shot Ridge if Steph and Eric didn’t pay up. They did and Todd and Angela left town…but that wasn’t the last we saw of them.

Meanwhile, Donna posed for nude pictures on the condition that they’d only appear in foreign publications. However, Bill Spencer made sure they were printed domestically in Spencer Publications magazines. She got revenge on Bill Spencer by having some nudies snapped of him. Also, Clarke romanced Kristen and married her but the Forrester heiress was unaware that Clarke had gotten Margo pregnant. She demanded money in order to raise her son, Mark, as a single mom.


The Real World: The Bold and the Beautiful went through a sweeping change this year. The Logans – except for Brooke and Donna – were phased out and a new family made the fashion scene. Darlene Conley joined the show as ‘have-not’ Sally Spectra, owner of Spectra Fashions, the design house that made money by ripping off Forrester originals.

Joining Sally were her daughter Macy Alexander (Bobbie Eakes), newly graduated from college, Sally’s right hand man Saul Feinberg (Michael Fox), and her loveable but dim-witted assistant Darla Einstein (Schae Harrison). Dennis L. Steinmetz left the producing team. Hope Harmel Smith, a member of the show’s original producing team, and John C. Zak, director, became B&B producers. B&B takes home one Daytime Emmy in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Technical Direction/Electronic Camerawork/Video Control for a Drama Series.

The Reel World: Sally more or less stalked Stephanie Forrester, her idol, and maneuvered Forrester Creations into doing a joint fashion show with Spectra Fashions on board the Queen Mary. Stephanie saw through Sally’s manipulations but as the event was a charity fundraiser for Children’s Hospital, the Forrester matriarch went along with it. A fashion catastrophe ensued when Kristen and Donna, respectively modeled the Forrester and Spectra showstoppers together. The colors of the dresses were different but the patterns were the same because Clarke had designed them both, creating the Spectra dress under the fake name Beau Rivage.

The moment fans of The Bold and the Beautiful waited for finally happened! Ridge proposed to Brooke at the Forrester Big Bear cabin by putting an engagement ring in her champagne glass. Later, Brooke became pregnant.

It turned out that Angela hadn’t died in the car crash with Todd. A woman bystander saw the accident and attempted to offer aid. She died in Angela’s place. Disfigured from the wreck, Angela told Thorne that he had shot Ridge because Ridge slept with Caroline. Ridge and Thorne had a confrontation. Stephanie prevented it from escalating.Brooke miscarried. Ridge put a pause on their wedding. Later, Ridge went to both Caroline and Brooke and told them he wanted a future with neither of them. After a talk with Eric, Ridge re-thought the situation. He invited Caroline to the private dining room at the club where he proposed marriage. She said yes! Was it really over between Ridge and Brooke?

The Bold and the Beautiful (BB) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Los Angeles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on B&B spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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