Stephanie Forrester (The Bold and the Beautiful)

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Stephanie Forrester
SF Stephanie.png
The Bold and the Beautiful character
Portrayed by Susan Flannery
Duration 1987–2012
First appearance March 24, 1987
Last appearance December 10, 2012
Introduced by William J. Bell
Crossover
appearances
The Young and the Restless
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Businesswoman

Stephanie Forrester (née Douglas) is a fictional character on the American soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. Stephanie is known for her marriages to the famed fashion designer, Eric Forrester, and for her rivalries with Brooke Logan, who has been involved with Eric and her sons, Ridge and Thorne, and with competing designer Sally Spectra. She has been portrayed since the show's inception in 1987 by Emmy-winning actress Susan Flannery.[1][2] Stephanie's death of lung cancer played a central role when she passed away peacefully on November 26, 2012.[3]

Casting and creation[edit]

The role of Stephanie was originally created for actress Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie, of Days) fame but, after Hayes turned it down, the producers contacted Hayes' former Days co-star, Susan Flannery, and she eventually won the role. Jane Elliot was contacted by producer Gail Kobe for the role but, lost to Flannery at the request of creator Bill Bell. Hayes did, however, appear in 2003 as Joanna Manning (Lauren Fenmore´s mother) in one episode. Stephanie has been played since the show's beginning in 1987 by Flannery, who, besides playing Stephanie, has also directed some of the show's episodes.[4] In September 2007, Flannery asked the show for a medical leave, as she was suffering with fibromyalgia.[5] Flannery along with John McCook as Eric Forrester, Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke Logan and Ron Moss as Ridge Forrester were referred to as the "Core four", having been still present on the series since the show's beginning.[4] However, on August 11, 2012, It was announced that after twenty-five years, Moss would be leaving the show, thus breaking up the core four, leaving only Susan Flannery, Katherine Kelly Lang, and John McCook as the sole remaining characters from the show's inception.[6] On October 10, 2012, it was announced that Flannery had made the decision to quit the show as well after twenty-five years. During an interview with TV Guide, Bradley Bell announced that Stephanie's character will be killed off after she loses her battle with cancer. Bell said: "It is huge. And amazing. I knew this day was coming but I've been in denial about it. I've been loving and treasuring every one of these last few days we have with Susan."[7] Flannery signed a contract that would allow the show to build a storyline surrounding her exit.[7] Stephanie last appeared on-screen via flashback on November 26, 2012, and video recording on December 7 and 10, 2012.

Character development[edit]

Bradley Bell said that Stephanie: "has always been a woman of great strength and character."[7] She is known for her long-running feud with Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang). However, in recent times, it has calmed down and they are extremely close. Bell has stated that: "Stephanie and Brooke are the true supercouple of B&B."[7]

"I wanted to create the biggest mountain possible for Stephanie to overcome. It's the weightiest, most intimate and difficult thing she has ever had to wrestle with and to have to share it with Brooke is torture. This is a story about a highly functioning woman that will delve deeply into issues of self-worth and denial. But it's not going to be morbid or depressing. Stephanie is determined to party right into her grave. It'll be a hell of a lot of fun to watch."

—executive producer and head writer Brad Bell, during an interview with TV Guide on the storyline[8]

During a confrontation with Brooke, Stephanie collapsed. On September 24, 2010, after being taken to the hospital, Stephanie was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Brooke became the only person to know this secret; instead of "rejoicing" that her nemesis and arch-rival may soon be out of the picture, she became a confidant and motivator to Stephanie.[8] At first, Stephanie refused treatment. Head writer and executive producer of The Bold and the Beautiful, Brad Bell, said that this was because she felt that her family and the family company (Forrester Creations) no longer needed her. Bell also said that "She'd rather die than be the center of attention."[8] When asked about the development of the storyline, Flannery said that the advice she offered head writer Brad Bell—having survived through colon cancer herself—was for Stephanie to keep her sense of humor while diagnosed with Cancer.[9] Stephanie then created a goofy bucket list; Bell said that this was all a part of her denial, and wanting to focus on something else other than her cancer.[8]

In a second-level to the story, Stephanie meets a young woman, Dayzee Leigh (Kristolyn Lloyd) who gives her a new lease on life, and convinces her to undergo treatment.[8][10] Dayzee lived on skid row in Los Angeles; Stephanie wanted to survive her cancer to advocate for poverty after learning more about it. Stephanie has since overcome her cancer. Prior, there was much speculation that Flannery was leaving the show, and that Stephanie would be killed off.[9] During an interview with TV Guide in February 2011, she explained:

The storyline not only raised awareness about cancer, it also raised awareness about the Union Rescue Mission through Dayzee's character.[8][9] In 2012, she was diagnosed again, and according to Bell: "She receives the diagnosis that the cancer has spread and that there is no chance for survival."[7] Stephanie decided to throw a party which would be the last time she sees her loved ones.[7]

Storylines[edit]

Eric (John McCook) and Stephanie (Susan Flannery) (pictured) have been a couple since the series began in 1987.

Stephanie Douglas Forrester was the matriarch of the Forrester fashion dynasty and the mother of five children: Ridge, Thorne, Kristen, Felicia, and Angela. Eventually her husband Eric Forrester became interested in other woman such as Margo Lynley and his former college love, Beth Logan. Eric was with Beth years earlier but left her when Stephanie became pregnant. Eric found Beth catering a party one night and reconnected with her. Stephanie decided against an affair with gigolo Clarke Garrison, whom Stephanie had hired to date Kristen. Stephanie was also enraged when Ridge began romancing Beth's daughter Brooke. Stephanie had mysterious absences. It was revealed she was visiting a comatose brain damaged girl; It was Angela, the daughter Stephanie had, whom she said died at birth. The couple grew closer over Angela. However, it was revealed that the doctor hired an actress to Play Angela to get money from the Forresters; and the real Angela had in fact died. The fake Angela escaped. Stephanie had to deal with her warring sons, Thorne and Ridge, who were both in love with Caroline Spencer, Thorne's wife.

Stephanie lost it when her other son, Thorne, got involved with Brooke. Stephanie terrorized Brooke at the Big Bear cabin with a fire poker before punching her and trying to strangle her. But Thorne proposed to Brooke, and Stephanie had a stroke. In the hospital, Stephanie again tried to choke Brooke. The stroke made Eric reevaluate his feelings for Stephanie, and he remarried Stephanie at her bedside. Brooke tried to make inroads with the wheelchair-bound Stephanie by massaging Stephanie's feet. Brooke and Thorne's ex-wife, Macy Alexander, were battling over Thorne and got into a car accident, where Macy died in an explosion. Macy's mother, Sally, exposed Thorne's continuing involvement with Brooke at Macy's funeral, and Stephanie suffered a second stroke. Stephanie softened toward Brooke a bit when Brooke gave Stephanie a photo album documenting Stephanie's life.

Years before, Stephanie had forced teenaged Morgan DeWitt to abort Ridge's baby. Morgan came back and befriended Ridge's wife, Taylor, in a scheme to again carry Ridge's child. Morgan faked a series of e-mails between Ridge and Taylor to make it seem like Taylor gave Ridge "permission" to impregnate Morgan. After Taylor found out and Morgan lost the baby, Morgan kidnapped Taylor's daughter, Steffy Forrester, and imprisoned Taylor. Morgan escaped after Ridge rescued Taylor and Steffy, but showed up as a clown for a Forrester kiddie party. Morgan fell into the pool and Stephanie left her to drown, but later Morgan tried to drown Stephanie in her bathtub. Stephanie survived, and later mended fences with her daughter, Kristen, after Kristen got involved with the HIV-positive Antonio Dominguez.

Massimo Marone,Stephanie's childhood friend and first love, came back to romance Stephanie, who wasn't interested. But when Ridge lost blood in an accident, it turned out that Ridge and Eric's blood types didn't match, and Massimo was revealed as Ridge's father. Stephanie hid the truth from Eric and Ridge. Meanwhile, Brooke, who couldn't have Ridge, had an affair with Deacon Sharpe, her daughter's husband. Stephanie was outraged, but later, Stephanie tried to help Brooke turn over a new leaf and even helped deliver baby Hope at the Big Bear cabin with Bridget.

Stephanie and Massimo saved Amber after Sheila kidnapped Amber to make way for Sheila's daughter, Erica Lovejoy. But when Taylor died in an altercation with Sheila, Stephanie was devastated, and the repercussions included Ridge considering a relationship with his "ex-sister," Bridget, which forced the issue of Ridge's paternity. Stephanie finally told Eric that Massimo was Ridge's father, and Eric walked out on her. Stephanie warned Jackie Marone to stay away from Eric, although Stephanie encouraged Jackie's son, Nick Marone, to be with Brooke, and arranged for Nick and Brooke to be stranded on an island together. After Sally and Stephanie, who had become friends, drowned their sorrows, a soused Sally gave Stephanie a sloppy haircut. For Christmas, Stephanie gave Sally a locket with both their pictures inside.

Stephanie and Brooke bonded briefly when Ridge was believed to be dead. Later, when Thorne defected to Spectra, Stephanie apologized for having always played favorites with Ridge. Stephanie worried when Ridge claimed he had seen Taylor, but Taylor was indeed alive, having been spirited away from the hospital by Prince Omar, who healed Taylor in his palace and held her prisoner. Stephanie paid off a doctor and faked a heart attack to manipulate Ridge into returning to Taylor. The ploy worked, but when Brooke uncovered it, the entire Forrester family turned their backs on Stephanie.

Stephanie was about to leave Los Angeles when she found papers in Eric's safe that said Stephanie was the true owner of Forrester Creations. When it came out that Eric had known about it for decades, Stephanie kneed Eric in the groin, fired him, and installed Thorne as president. Meanwhile, Bridget was hurt when Brooke moved on with Bridget's ex-husband, Nick. Stephanie responded by giving Brooke a gift-wrapped gun with which to shoot herself. Instead, Brooke fired at Stephanie, but missed. Stephanie was stunned when Eric remarried Brooke to keep her away from Nick. But Eric and Stephanie drew together and remarried for the sake of their daughter, Felicia, who had cancer. Felicia "died," but Stephanie secretly forced an unconscious Felicia to have chemotherapy against Felicia's wishes, and the treatment was successful.

The low point of The Logan and Forrester feud was when Stephanie convinced Ridge to go for full custody of Ridge Jr and Hope Logan. Stephanie was convinced that Brooke would get in bed with a guy because he was available and Brooke was easy. So after following Brooke Logan to a bar she told a stranger, Andy, Brooke Logan was lonely and needed company. When the stranger seemed hesitant to approach the ever popular Logan, Stephanie let it be known that Brooke was a girl from the Valley. She jogs every morning, has oatmeal for breakfast, and still hides her house key under the doormat. Within a week Brooke was raped when Andy used the house key. Ridge dropped the custody case. When Eric, Ridge, and Brooke found out Stephanie's role in Brooke's attack, Stephanie left town, to coincide with Susan Flannery's medical leave. Stephanie came back to ask for forgiveness. In the following months, word would spread among the rest of the Logan's and Nick Marone about Brooke being raped and Stephanie's hand in it. In the end, Stephanie would be shot at the end of Forrester Creations Fashion show. Turns out Brooke's brother Storm Logan, pulled shot Stephanie with her own handgun. The motive, not because of Stephanie's treatment of his family, but to get even with his father, Stephen Logan for abandoning them years earlier.

After Steffy wrested control of Forrester from Bill by nearly seducing him, Steffy split the company's stock between Ridge, Eric, Stephanie, and Taylor. Stephanie felt compelled to leave Jackie M and return to Forrester. Eric let Stephanie stay at the Forrester mansion, where she encountered Donna's mother, Beth, who was suffering from the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease. Stephanie and Beth had an argument at the Forrester pool that resulted in Beth drowning after Stephanie walked away. Donna wanted Stephanie arrested, a conflict which ended Donna and Eric's marriage and sent Eric back to Stephanie. Stephen tried to avenge Beth by seducing Pam into going off her medication. Stephen put a gun in Pam's hand and pushed for Pam to shoot Stephanie, but Stephanie got the gun away from Pam and shot Stephen instead.

When Liam Cooper waffled between Steffy and Hope, Stephanie was on Steffy's side. Eric was looking for a way to celebrate 50 years with Stephanie, so when Sally's old friend, Gladys Pope (Phyllis Diller), arrived as a gardener who could also perform marriages, Stephanie remarried Eric in an impromptu and very informal ceremony at the Forrester mansion.

In October 2012, Doctor Lewis told Stephanie that her lung cancer has returned. Despite the desperate pleas of her family and friends, Stephanie refused to accept treatment; she decided instead that she would like to enjoy her final days. An Irish-themed party was thrown in her honor. She was last left under Brooke's care after saying good-bye to all her loved ones. On November 26, 2012, Stephanie lost her battle with cancer lakeside at Big Bear cabin after asking Brooke to sing her to sleep in her arms.

References[edit]