As 'The Bold And The Beautiful' Introduces Caroline Spencer, Highlight Hollywood Reminisces About The Original Caroline, 25 Years Ago, Highlight Hollywood Spotlight

“The Bold and the Beautiful” goes into its 26th year on air in great shape. The talented cast is led by my neighbor, the legendary three time Emmy Award winning executive producer and head writer, Bradley P. Bell.  Bell’s show was co-created by his parents, Lee Phillip Bell and the late William J. Bell.  Brad’s father was one of my mentors, and he told me 25 years ago how his core cast would last, and how he would focus most of the storylines around the Forrester, Spencer and Logan families. Well, 25 years later, these are still the show’s major core characters, but what about the original Caroline Spencer?  Bill Bell once told me of Caroline, “Joanna [Johnson] is reminiscent of the late Grace Kelly.” That was definitely true. The cool-blonde beauty from L.A.’s most premiere family, the Spencers rivaled the Forresters. Caroline was a younger version of Stephanie Forrester with all the right Westside credentials in Los Angeles County.

Caroline was the apple of her dad (Bill Spencer, Sr.’s) eye. We never knew 25 years ago that she’d also have a twin sister, who was kidnapped at birth, named Karen. We also didn’t find out until the past 3 years, when Bradley created the role of Bill Spencer, Jr. or Dollar Bill as we call him, that is now played by handsome soap veteran Don Diamont.  Now we know the family is complete. But Caroline died of leukemia years ago on the show, and it was not only a disruption to fans, but Mr. Bell felt very sad about her leaving. He had placed a great deal of investments in this character, the show revolved around Caroline, believe it or not, for new viewers, Brooke was a supporting character, not the lead. Joanna charmed audiences, Johnson got more fan mail than any of the stars. I’d sat many mornings in Lee Bell’s office, helping her and then production assistant Teresa Z. help Joanna answer thousands upon thousands of letter. Gosh, it’s hard to believe two decades later, Joanna is back, but now as character Karen.

Well, this week, if you saw that Karen brought daughter Caroline, named after her late aunt Caroline to L.A. to work at Forrester Creations. Now who in their right mind would bring an impressionable daughter to work at Forrester Creations? Luckily for us, soap characters are not always the smartest; except Queen Stephanie Forrester that is!

Well, now Rick and Thomas Forrester have their eyes on the new Caroline, but 25 years ago, Joanna Johnson’s Caroline was the epitome of an L.A. socialite. She was from the premier family, she was the Ivy League educated beauty who captured Ridge Forrester’s eye, only to lose him, as every woman in L.A. has, to the sexpot Brooke Logan.  But “B&B” featured exclusive scenes from Lee Bell’s mansion in Beverly Hills over the past week, and it was said that it was the mansion of Stephanie and Eric’s. Bradley knows how to capture the ambiance of L.A.’s high end scene; probably because he grew up in it, and also he knows like his later father; William “BILL” J. Bell, and the late Aaron Spelling, just how fantasy can meet reality, and Brad is now the most talented of Hollywood producers today.   He ignores the carnival barkers and continues to create the most enthralling daytime drama in TV history.

More exclusive news from the “B&B” Italy shoot coming soon!

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: All images by Bell Phillip TV Productions
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd

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