Days of our Lives News January 6, 2024


In Memoriam: Santa Barbara Creator Bridget Dobson Passes Away at 85

Santa Barbara, a timeless soap opera beloved by many and honored with Daytime Emmy Awards, owes its existence to the creative brilliance of Bridget Dobson and her husband, Jerry Dobson. Sadly, the world bids farewell to Bridget Dobson, who, at the age of 85, has left an indelible mark on the world of daytime dramas. Her last known residence was in Atlanta, Georgia.

Days of our Lives News January 6, 2024
Bridget Dobson made a lasting mark on daytime.

Born on August 31, 1938, to Frank and Doris Hursley, the creators of the iconic General Hospital, Bridget Dobson’s destiny seemed intertwined with the world of soap operas. Moving to Los Angeles at the age of 7, she pursued English studies at Stanford University before attending Harvard Business School. Despite her academic pursuits, Bridget’s true passion was writing, and with determination, she persuaded her parents to support her journey into the professional writing realm.

Bridget and Jerry Dobson became the creative forces behind several soap operas, including General Hospital, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns. Their foray into prime time with Emerald Point, N.A.S. showcased their versatility, but their hearts always remained devoted to daytime dramas.

The pinnacle of the Dobsons’ success came with the creation of Santa Barbara, which premiered on NBC on July 30, 1984. The show captivated audiences with its compelling characters, historical conflicts, warring families, lavish sets, and a rare infusion of comedy. Notably, Santa Barbara won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for three consecutive years starting in 1988.

However, the Dobsons’ journey wasn’t without its real-life soap opera twists. A creative control battle with New World Television, the show’s distributor, led to their temporary removal from the NBC lot. Yet, their resilience and Bridget’s legendary acceptance speech at the Daytime Emmy Awards marked a triumphant return.

After Santa Barbara concluded in 1993, Bridget explored other creative avenues, co-writing the musical Slings and Eros, which premiered at the Globe Playhouse in West Hollywood. The Dobsons then sought a quieter life in Atlanta, where Bridget found joy in painting and plate design.

The soap opera community mourns the loss of Bridget Dobson, a mentor and friend to many. Her legacy lives on through the impact she made on the genre, and sincere condolences go out to Jerry Dobson, her husband of over six decades, their daughter Mary, and all who cherished Bridget.


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