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40 October 10th, 2012 B&B’s Brad Bell Reveals His Plans For The Heart-Wrenching Exit of Susan Flannery!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

The time has finally come for fans of The Bold and the Beautiful, and the soap world, to see Susan Flannery’s final storyline play out on-air.  As had been previously announced and reported, on the heels of Ronn Moss’ (Ridge) departure from the ever-popular CBS soap, series icon Susan Flannery also announced her plans to exit the series after 25 years as Stephanie Forrester.

This conundrum gave series head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell the chance to write Stephanie’s exit story which has now been revealed that her lung cancer has returned.  However this time …   she won’t survive it.   Bell spoke to TV Guide revealing his plans to take Susan and her alter-ego Stephanie on one last emotional journey.   Stephanie finds out on this Friday, October 12th’s episode that her cancer has returned, setting the stage for several weeks of heart-wrenching moments.  Susan’s last airdate will be in December.   Here are a few excerpts below from Bell’s preview of Daytime Emmy winner, Flannery’s exit story.

Bell on how there is no hope for Stephanie to survive the cancer this time around:   “She receives the diagnosis that the cancer has spread and that there is no chance for survival. Stephanie has always been a woman of great strength and character and she’s determined to deal with this in her own way. She doesn’t want tears and long faces — she wants a celebration of her life, a blowout to end all blowouts. She’ll definitely be in touch with her mortality, living each day as if it’s her last, and she’s determined to make the most of every moment. After the diagnosis there is some initial shock, but she is quick to create a purpose — the party — and that becomes her obsession. She wants everyone to remember her in peak form. And that’s the way Susan feels, too. She wants to go out on top.”

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

Bell on if Stephanie’s party plans are similar to the bucket-list she had last go-round with her battle with cancer:  “Yes, only much bigger! She’ll be inviting a lot of people to the party but certain people will receive hand-written invitations that will be delivered personally by Stephanie. This is going to play out on air starting Oct. 18 for eight [consecutive] episodes. Each day Stephanie goes to one of the key people in her life — her sister Pam, her son Thorne, her best friend Taylor, her namesake Steffy — and tells them her time is up and that she’s throwing herself a party. Donna will also have a day, as will Brooke, of course. Stephanie and Brooke are the true supercouple of B&B. Each day will be a video tribute to one of Stephanie’s great relationships, with lots of flashbacks featuring the “best of” moments. We’ve even worked out a way to have Stephanie visit with her old pal Sally Spectra (played by the late Darlene Conley), with Fabio as a special guest since he was a part of their story.”

Bell on if the character of Ridge, Stephanie’s son, would show up:  “There’s a big question as to whether or not Ridge will show up for the party. He may make a surprise appearance…you never know! (Laughs)  It’s a possibility. Stephanie’s daughters Kristen and Felicia will also be there. We’re firing up the Forrester living room set for the last time. Emotion will be filling that room.”

Bell on as difficult as it is to see Susan leave the series, how it is an honor to write her out this way:   “In a way I feel we’re doing this for the entire soap-opera community. We all know each other and we deeply respect the great actors who play our matriarchs and patriarchs — the ones who made this business — and it’s been sad to see so many of them drop away without getting a proper homage. This is a wonderful opportunity that’s bigger than B&B, a very special and universal thing. I’m so happy to be able to do it this way. And I’m only able to do it because Susan came to me and said, “I’m ready to leave the show, but I will give you the time you need to write out the character.” She also said, “I don’t want to know what you’re going to do. I just want you to do it your way, and I will play it.” So I’m writing it and I can’t wait to see what she does with the material.”

So soapers, get out your hankies for this one!  Do you like the exit strategy for Stephanie Forrester and icon Susan Flannery, that Brad Bell has planned?  Weigh-in!

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  1. Scott (ATWT Fan) says:

    It’s sad knowing that this exit is likely a permanent one, and not like Felicia’s cancer storyline. I’m happy that he’s reuniting the Forresters one last time, with Felicia and Kristen making appearances. Both of those women need to come back on a more permanent basis right now.

    I’m not ready to say goodbye to Stephanie Forrester or Susan Flannery, but it sounds like this exit is going to be handled beautifully and respectfully in every way!! I hope that periodically, she pulls a John Abbott and appears as a ghost at special family events, etc.

    Reply

  2. Michael says:

    Oh my word! Her scenes haven’t even aired and I’m already getting emotional! Wow! That’s a testament to how powerful of an actress Susan Flannery is and how important she has been to this show and to the daytime drama genre. I’m soooooooooooooo going to miss her!

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  3. saundra says:

    I will really miss Susan. She has been a mainstay from the begining. Thanks Susan for everything you have done for the B&B fans. As you close this chapter I wish for you an awesome journey of new beginings and smiles. Many, many thanks – a fan.

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  4. 1loveabcsoaps says:

    She is a staple in the genre. I am not a DIRECT fan, but I have gotten the opportuntity to see Susan when my ABC shows weren’t on, over the year’s. What a find, and wonderful actress! May God be with her through her ordeal, and blessings be bestowed on Susan and her family.

    1loveabcsoaps

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  5. Eileen Hargis says:

    A terrific exit to honor an iconic acunforgettable role.Kudos to Susan for taking her her retirement.

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  6. Mary SF says:

    I haven’t been a fan of the show in a while, but I was there to watch Susan’s first show as Stephanie and I will be there to watch her last episode. This character was complex which I like; she wasn’t all bad or all good, and I respect Susan’s talent to breathe life into Stephanie even when the writing wasn’t always up to par. Got my box of kleenex ready because I’m sure Susan will deliver an outstanding performance. I just hope they really let the character pass away, like a normal person, no ghost scenes, no forgotten twin sister or cousin, no recast with a new actress in two years, explaining some way she died but didn’t die. Let this character go with the respect she deserves as well as for the actress who played her.

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  7. toscanti says:

    Exceptional send off for the Great Susan Flannery. Will miss her tremendously, kudos to Brad Bell for staying true to his show all these years and the fans. When a writer stays with a show from the beginning there certainly is no need to replace them such as Y&R, DOOL, GH and all of the other now defunct shows we loved so much. Look forward to Stephanies scenes no matter how bitter sweet.

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  8. lisa says:

    Maybe she could show up on Dallas as Leslie Stewart – the character she played for several episodes and rile JR up.

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  9. su0000 says:

    I will not watch her death, part or no party..
    In real life a great many have lost their loved ones to lung cancer and other cancers and to go through the emotions of that time, watching a loved one die, and awake the pain of it, is too much and it will upset and awaken real pain in the hearts of the people who have lived through the pain..
    It’s not cool to do.. there were other ways to exit her that would not haunt the hearts of the people who have lost to cancer and to bring that pain forward, relive those heart wrenching pains again, is wrong..

    Reply

    Scott (ATWT Fan) replied

    They aren’t doing this to haunt you or anyone else. And why shouldn’t they and can’t they do a cancer storyline where someone succumbs? It’s realistic and it’s what happens in life. And Brad Bell wouldn’t trash anything o make it unrealistic. And you don’t know what it will do to those who have been affected by cancer. It could bring closure and help into their lives and dealing with their loss. It’s not wrong. There are many other things in daytime that are wrong. And you should target primetime as well for those who did cancer storylines.

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    Christine replied

    I agree with you, Scott (ATWT Fan).

    Sadly people die from cancer – all types – every day. I am sure just about everyone in the US and abroad has been touched by someone who succumbed to cancer. I think it is much better, when you know there is no hope, to enjoy your last days and enjoy the company of those you love then to sit around and be sad and waste those final days. The sadness and desperation make things so much worse when you lose your will to live.

    I applaud Bell for doing this. It might serve as an example for someone in the same situation to celebrate their life rather than be miserable because there is nothing else they can do.

    su0000, your point is valid and you are entitled to your opinion, but compared to many other storylines we have seen in daytime and primteime (like Scott has mentioned), this is much better than seeing a preschooler run over by a car (GH); someone murdered; someone raped; a house burned to the ground, etc. I think having Cassie die (a child) on Y&R was worse than this will be. This is a celebration of a life.

    I think with Katie having her baby, it is only natural to have someone pass away on the show – the circle of life. My own grandfather passed away a few months after I gave birth to my first son.

    Mary SF replied

    I lost my father to lung cancer 17 years ago and I was more offended when Stephanie “recovered” the first time around. This is realistic, she gained a few months, and now the cancer is back. Will it bring back memories for me, no doubt and that is part of the grieving process, which never really stops. But for those whose loss is more recent maybe it would better not to watch these shows. I remember during my father’s illness and about a year after his death I could not watch medical shows, like ER because sickness and death did not seem entertaining anymore. I’m sure others who had loved ones who were murdered would find cop shows difficult. It sound like you were speaking from experience and if you have lost someone to cancer like some many of us have, just know it is okay to grieve as needed and if you need to skip this storyline you should.

    Reply

  10. Carolyn Baum says:

    Yes, I like the idea of the family reunion, and it would be especially nice if you could convince Ron Moss to come back one last time to have Ridge say goodbye to his mother. As a long-time fan/viewer of B&B, I’m not particularly going for the Ridge story- line right now. When I first knew “Ridge” was gone, and before I knew Ron Moss was leaving the show, my immediate thought was maybe he’s off getting plastic surgery done and so they’re writing this not very believable story until he comes back. When I found out he left the show abruptly, the non-believable Ridge storyline made sense. Taking into consideration the suspension of disbelief that is necessary for long-term soap opera watching, and the history of the Ridge and Stephanie characters, it would not make sense for Ridge to not be there for his mother’s good-bye party unless he’s dead. For us to be able to continue suspending disbelief and buying the story, it needs to at least make sense. In the world of soap operas, the younger generation eventually becomes the older generation and their parts fade more into the background as the younger roles take the forefront. It’s been going on forever and the actors have got to be able to accept that reality. I think Ron Moss owes it to the show and to the fans to come back at least one last time. And if he won’t, then get a look-alike to stand it for that part. I would buy that before I would buy Ridge not being in the story any more.
    .

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    Christine replied

    Everything you said makes sense except ” I think Ron Moss owes it to the show and to the fans to come back at least one last time.” I don’t think any actor owes anything to anyone but themselves. He fulfilled his contractual obligations. If Bell asks him to come back and do a cameo or something and he refuses, that is his decision. He may upset people, but he is entitled to do so because he owes noone anything. Others may feel differently, but at the end of the day, it is just a business and he doesn’t work for them currently.

    Reply

    kay/kay replied

    The word is out they have already signed an actor to take over for the character of Ridge. That is what loose lips says but I find she is right half the time so maybe it is a rumor. In the TV Guide interview BB was very cagey with the Ronn Moss question. I think their was some bad blood that went down after all.

  11. Nikki says:

    While I find it tradgic that Stephanie will die, I feel like it is the appropriate exit for Susan and this character she has played, brilliantly, for the past few decades. I think this will give Ms. Flannery excellent emmy material (as well as other cast members) and I really like the idea of the “one-a-day character invitations” because I (hope) think it will pay great tribute to the history of this character. I wish Susan nothing but health and happiness after her retirement (at least from B&B) and wish I could thank her personally for what she has given to this show, because love her or hate her, Stephanie Forrester IS a large component of Bold.

    Reply

  12. mo says:

    It’s going to be so sad and I hate that Stephanie/Susan is leaving. I understand she deserves to retire and relax. I wish they didn’t kill off Stephanie, but kept her alive to pop in and out, but maybe she doesn’t want to do that. Glad Kirsten and Felicia will return. Ridge has got to be there too. I’m sure it’ll be well acted with Susan. Show won’t ever be the same.

    Reply

  13. Millie says:

    Where is Rj? His father is gone, grandma ill they need to bring him back for these big family events!

    Reply

    Scott (ATWT Fan) replied

    They’re probably preparing a SORAS, though, there is no significant other for him. Children on soaps rarely work out since they can’t bring drama, suspense and sex to the series.

    Reply

    kay/kay replied

    Millie my sister watches B&B a lot and she said that Brooke mentioned Ridge was visiting RJ at boarding school on Monday’s episode I thought the kid had fallen down a rat hole and why would Brooke care because the only kid she seems concerned with is Hope / the love child with her daughters husband. And really she has sex with both her daughters boyfriend/husband and Ridge leaves her over a text. Please!!!

  14. M . McCune says:

    Don’t write her out. She might want to come back and make a guest appearance sometime in the future.

    Reply

  15. Adele says:

    It’s always sad to see original, dedicated actors/actresses leave. They come into our homes on a daily basis. To have these episodes begin in the month of October being cancer awareness month and knowing she is a survivor herself just adds more emotion I think. This exit along with the cause must be a very trying/brave time for her, and her emotions will most likely be real than acted. The exit sounds like a very positive message to send out (celebrate life, it is sad that we will pass away one day but dont forget we also lived) also for those that have survived the battle of cancer or have been alongside of someone. I love watching her in the B&B & hate to see her leave but I only wish they would have the exit before the holidays, maybe have the party with the decor of all the holidays before the years end (Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years). Having lost both my parents between Thanksgiving & Christmas (19 days apart) its very emotional. I wish her the best of luck, good health & peace plus a THANKYOU for coming into our home for years and making our day more enjoyable :)

    Reply

  16. Kim lynn says:

    I will miss you in your role as Stephanie and i ave been crying everyday I watch you. My mom was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in september . It was a 5.2 cm and she had just found it. It has been very trying and she is now getting ready to start chemotherapy and radiation. I wish Stephanie would continue to fight but I understand now why she wants to enjoy her final days. I’m glad for you Susan to enjoy your retirement but it’s a great loss to the bb …it’s a great loss without Ronn moss as ridge and I hope they bring him in for your party. It would be unbelievable him not returning for his mothers death. Kudos to you both on a next chapter in your lives.

    Reply

  17. Krissy Cummings says:

    Oct 19 2012

    Dear Stephanie:

    I just want to leave a comment to say I shall miss you on Bold Beautiful and I wish you the best of luck in the rest of your furture

    Sincerly
    Krissy Cummings

    Reply

  18. marilyn says:

    I will miss Stephanie – I hope she leaves the show in good health in real life – she will definitely be missed on this show – I wish it was Steffy leaving – I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours – you are a real star xxxx

    Reply

  19. Sheila Leslie says:

    Although I have been crying everyday; I love the story-line. I will miss Stephanie (Susan Flannery). She has made this soap worth watching. I understand that she is ready to retire and I wish her all the best. I don’t know how B&B will go on without the Ridge, Stephanie and Katie Characters.

    One things for sure, I don’t want to see Brooke with Bill; dang- haven’t you made her enough of a slut?

    I really enjoy the soap and will continue to watch, as long as the writers keep their audience engaged.

    I love all the characters and pray they keep B&B fresh and exciting.

    Love you guys like family~

    Sheila
    Jonesboro, GA

    Reply

  20. Sheila Leslie says:

    Oh, one other comment:

    It would be highly unrealistic for Ridge not to show up for his mother’s “Celebration of Life” party. Sooooo, whatever you have to do; get him there. Moss, put aside whatever the differences are, (if any) and please be at Stephanie’s party.

    Smooches,
    Sheila

    Reply

  21. Deborah says:

    A BIG QUESTION? Did more actors leave the show? Jack Wagner,Leslie Ann Down, and Owen Knight?( forgot the actors name). and Bridget. Have they left the show.? wondering.

    Reply

  22. vfocused says:

    Please, please, please bring Ron Moss back —If he must leave for good then please do it after the celebration of life party. Im with the other person who commented, dont care what you have to do to get him back for the party DO IT! I think Ron would do one more episode for his fans if not for B&B. Ridge and Stephanie are so close and it will not just be sad to end things without ron but for the life of B&B. It would make the fans feel better aobut the show and the fans would think that B&B respected their feelings and did the right thing. Without Stephanie and Ridge the show is already in jeopardy of being canceled due to no one watching or fans losing interest. Get Ron back please Mr. Bell just do whatever you have to do to make Ron ok with it. Ron was there for 25 years so he deserves respect or more pay if needed. I understand he was in a bad car accident in July, I hope he is better now. I am Ron Moss’ biggest fan and he is my favorite of B&B and miss him terribly, everyday on B&B so please get him back. The party wont be the same without Ron Moss as Ridge.

    Reply

  23. vfocused says:

    Just saw sneek peak of the party, did not see Ridge, crying already but will feel worse if Ron is not there. Please Mr. Bell make it happen for my sake. There will always be a void in my heart and an emptiness that Susans going away was not right. Ron Moss and no other Ridge should play that part. Please surprise us or the cast if you want just get him there. I know Im already gonna be crying but if I saw Ron I think I would feel alot better about both leaving if they left together. JUST BRING RON BACK PLEASE! I CANNOT TAKE THE SUSPENSE–but will be very DISAPPOINTED IF RON DOES NOT COME BACK– I also do understand bad feelings may have occurred but MR. BELL YOU AND RON SHOULD BE BIGGER PEOPLE THAN TO RUIN THIS FOR TRUE FANS! JUST GET HIM BACK! PLEASE!!!!!

    Reply

  24. Patricia Barrett says:

    I am saddened to hear that Susan/Stephanie is leaving the show, but what better way to send her off. Please let me know the exact date, I don’t want to miss it and I’ll be sure to record it so I can watch it over and over. I wish Susan a great retirement and hope that she fulfils her bucket list!! Thanks

    Reply

  25. Mary says:

    All good things come to an end. Sadly, I hate this expression when it comes to Susan Flannery. She is and always will be the glue that bound all the plots on ”The Bold and the Beautiful.” She said it like it was. She gave me hope that no matter how relationships might start,(ie. Stephanie and Brooke) love and respect can conquer.

    I admire you Susanne Flannery. Above all, I appreciate all the days that I had the privilege to watch your superior acting.

    Reply

  26. Bobbi Walker says:

    I love B&B and have watched it since day 1. I ‘ve always liked Susan’s role as Stephanie Forrester. She will be terrtibly missed. It just won’t be the same. So many of my soaps are losing key characters or being dropped completely. I even remember her in Towering Inferno. I know she is having health problems in real and wish her the best. God be with you Susan.

    Reply

  27. Mary Jamison says:

    I admire you for giving Susan the opportunity to say what she will be comfortable with and honoring her wishes as close as you can. She has been great and you have done a great job with. I admire you both.

    Reply

  28. Jose says:

    What happened to the days when soaps were frivolous enjoyment, an escape from reality? Susan is an outstanding actress, and the glue of that show, but why they elected to write her off in such an extraordinarily sad way is beyond me and, yes, right before the holidays when many people are already saddened by their own personal losses. It has been great watching the old clips, but that make it even worse. In spite of it, I will watch it like a train wreck, can’t look away, but I don’t think the show will ever be the same again. If Ron Moss does not show up, I think many of us diehards will feel betrayed as well.

    Reply

  29. Barbara says:

    Since the day Stephanie found out the cancer had returned, I’ve been crying. The most hilarious moments have been the ones of her and Sally – especially the one where Sally cut Stephanie’s hair. Stephane has been my favorite character since day one, and the show won’t be the same without her. I was also glad to see that they broughtt Tony back (and with the original actor – how rare). What about Nick, Jackie and Bridget? Also when will they write Sally out? Susan Flannery has given us some wonderful years, and I wish her well in her retirement,,,God Speed

    Reply

  30. Angela says:

    I hav bin watchin the CBS soaps with my mammaw since b4 I started school and when I got home I ran in and got to c the biggest part of Guiding Light and THEN along came the VCR.I rarely ever missed an episode of B&B but now I am afraid that w/o Susan&Ronn the soap won’t make it.I am in my forties & soaps(esp.B&B)are as racey as most people my age & older want to watch on tv…so please try take some of your notes from the past and let us continue to be swept away with great storylines and let our”secret sin” continue! oh,and enuff of th Liam,Hope & Stephie snoozefest.

    Reply

  31. Angela says:

    and Susan,you are one of the classiest women EVER!(on and off camera) I will miss you so very much.May God bless you during this next step in your life;-)

    Reply

  32. Annette says:

    Is she really ill or is she tired and want to retire from the show? I am really confused right now. There will be no Bold & Beautiful without her. The story will not be the same. How is Brooke going to pull off keeping the family together like Stephanie asked of her? It will be a long time for someone to get over not seeing Stephanie on the show. I watched it on Tuesday and I really cried as though she was a member of my family. I’ve been watching The Bold & The Beautiful since I was a little girl. I will truly miss Susan (Stephanie) a lot. She was very firey and keep things and the family going. What’s next for B&B? Will Katie reciver and come to her senses about her baby and make sure Bill pay for what he did? Will the truth about Hope’s wedding come out and Steffie lose again? Are will Brooke and Bill ge together like Katie wanted ? And will Stephanie’s sister make a play for her sister’s husband? All of things will not take the place of Stephanie being gone but it’s a distraction. FAREWELL STEPHANIE WITH MUCH LOVE!

    Reply

  33. roberta says:

    I love you Stephanie , I will miss you in the bold and beautiful your the best, have a good life and enjoy It.

    Reply

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