"I'm having the time of my life right now," Jacklyn Zeman says. "My whole life has changed. It's transitioned in the last few years, and I love it." The popular actress, beloved for her long stint – 5,000-plus episodes – as Bobbie Spencer on the soap opera General Hospital, currently co-stars on an independently produced online soap called The Bay, serves as the spokesperson for Zestra and juggles a variety of other projects – all in addition to guiding her daughters, Cassidy and Lacey Rose, both of whom are in college. And as her many fans know, it all began in Bergen County, as Zeman was born at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and raised in Bergenfield.
"I loved growing up in Bergen County. I live in Malibu now, but I still go back there all the time. I still have family and friends there. In fact, I was in Bergenfield yesterday with my sisters and my mom. It's fabulous every time I come back because I get to see all the people I know and love. Plus, I just love New Jersey. It's the Garden State. It's beautiful. The people are high-energy. There's a lot going on. It's a beautiful lifestyle.
"When I'm back in Bergen, I love to drive through RIDGEWOOD. I took my dance lessons there as a girl. I love Kinchley's in Ramsey. They've got a really good thin-crust pizza. We've been going there for years, since the kids were little. It's an all-time favorite. I used to go with my sisters and their kids, but now all our kids are in college and we're still going, my sisters and I, just not always with the kids.
"I'm playing Sophia Madison, the mayor's wife, on The Bay. It's so much fun. It's the future of soaps. As you know, a lot of the television soaps are going off the air for monetary and ratings reasons, so now the creative process has gone over to the Internet. And we don't have the same constraints that the networks put on these shows. So, creatively, it's something to celebrate.
"I'm the national spokesperson for Zestra. So I've had the opportunity to travel around and talk to women about love and romance, intimacy and sex, what's going on in their lives, what it's like to date when you're over 40. I'm over 50 and dating for the first time again after having been married for 20 years to the father of my children. So I've been trading stories and hearing from women about what's going on, and I'm enjoying every minute of it."