Bridget and Jerome Dobson

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Bridget and Jerome Dobson were writers for American soap operas, best known as creators of the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara.

Bridget Dobson is the daughter of General Hospital creators Frank and Doris Hursley. Bridget and Jerome married in 1961. Bridget began writing for General Hospital in the early 1970s and Jerome joined her soon after.

In 1975 the Dobsons were hired as the head writers for the long-running CBS Daytime soap opera Guiding Light. They spent the rest of the 1970s at Guiding Light where they created alluring nurse Rita Stapleton (who became the show's heroine for the remainder of the 1970s), the rich, upper class Spaulding family in 1977 (who would remain one of the show's core families until the show's cancellation in 2009), and wrote the infamous storyline of Holly Norris Bauer's rape by her own husband Roger Thorpe in 1979. The Dobsons would later go on to become the head writers of another Procter and Gamble soap opera, As the World Turns where they created the infamous character of James Stenbeck and also paired the characters of Tom and Margo.

In 1984, NBC debuted Santa Barbara where Bridget and Jerome Dobson had creative control of the show's storylines until they were locked out of Santa Barbara's NBC offices in 1988 after the Dobson's repeated attempts to fire then head writer, Anne Howard Bailey. The Dobson's filed a $53 million lawsuit against NBC and New World Television (the company that owned SB). That same year, when claiming Santa Barbara's Outstanding Daytime Drama Emmy, a bittersweet Bridget Dobson taunted, "Though New World Television locked me out of the studio, they couldn't lock me out of the Emmys!"[1] By 1991 the case was settled out of court and the Dobsons returned to the show they created.

In 1995, the Dobsons moved to Atlanta, where Bridget transitioned into a career in painting. More than sixty of her paintings were featured in a solo traveling museum tour. Bridget Dobson's series of fine china, crystal, and giftware—sold by the company Bridget Dobson Studios—was unveiled in 2006 in New York City.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Daytime Emmy Awards


  • (1976 & 1978; Best Writing; Guiding Light)
  • (1987; Best Writing; Santa Barbara)

Writers Guild of America Award


  • (1980 season; Guiding Light)
  • (1992 season; Santa Barbara)


  • (1993 season; Santa Barbara)

Positions held[edit]

Preceded by Head Writers of General Hospital
April 1973 – June 1975
Succeeded by
Richard Holland and Suzanne Holland
Preceded by
James Lipton, Robert Cenedella and James Gentile
Head Writers of Guiding Light
June 1975 – December 1979
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head Writers of As the World Turns
January 7, 1980 - May 20, 1983
Succeeded by
Paul Roberts
Preceded by
Head Writers of Santa Barbara
July 30, 1984 - December 1986
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head Writers of Santa Barbara
February 1991 - February 1992
Succeeded by


  1. ^ 1988 Daytime Emmys: SB Wins!. YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19.