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The Bold And The Beautiful Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

CBS' "The Bold and the Beautiful" is the youngest soap opera currently running. It made its splashy debut in 1987, which means it isn't even 40 years old yet. Perhaps due to its Los Angeles locale — it's centered around Forrester Creations, a high-end fashion design house and the people who work and play there — "Bold" tends to think youthfully. It has a nubile and often semi-naked cast of characters who romp at beaches and catfight during runway shows in tangles of sequins and silk. Its glitz has made it incredibly popular among Italian fans, and there it has become a cultural landmark.

In the time since the show's debut, we've lost several major cast members to death. Due to the cyclical nature of soap operas, you might not be aware of the fact that some of these actors have departed from the mortal plane. But their performances will live on forever in the hearts of the show's fans.

Darlene Conley shone as brightly as Sally Spectra

Dishy diva Sally Spectra was created as a rival for the classy matriarch, Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery). Played by Darlene Conley, Sally slept with young hunks and fought tooth and nail to make the more down-market Spectra Fashions (eventually renamed Spectra Coutre) a viable competitor to Forrester Creations.

Before becoming La Spectra, Darlene appeared on Broadway, with theatrical credits stemming back to the age of 15 when she was discovered by Broadway producer Jed Harris. She went on to appear uncredited in a number of big screen flicks, including Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and two John Cassavetes films, "Minnie and Moskowitz" and "Faces."

Conley popped up in a bunch of TV shows, including "Gunsmoke," before entering the soap world. After stints on "Days of Our Lives" and "General Hospital," she memorably portrayed baby broker Rose DeVille on "The Young and the Restless." Her performance as Rose caught the eye of William J. Bell, co-creator of "Y&R." He and his wife Lee had been tasked with creating a new CBS soap, and they dreamed up Sally for Darlene. It was a part she went on to play for 18 years.

According to a post on the website for The Television Academy, Darlene Conley died on January 14, 2007 at 72. Cancer was the cause of death.

Interestingly enough, when Conley passed, the show chose not to kill off Sally. Instead, she is happily globetrotting at the side of romance novel cover hunk Fabio (who portrayed himself onscreen during the show's tribute to Conley). She also lives on in the form of her namesake niece, portrayed by Courtney Hope. A redheaded fashion designer like her aunt, this younger Sally Spectra is currently a character on the sister soap "The Young and the Restless."

Michael Fox acted for everyone from Mel Brooks to Rod Serling

Saul Feinberg was Sally's right-hand man. A tailor with the technical knowhow to make his employer's dreams of sartorial glory come true, he carried a quiet torch for the outré diva. How good of a pal was Saul to Sally? He offered to marry her when she was pregnant with her son, CJ, after the child's biological father (Clarke, a designer) told Sally to get an abortion. She turned Saul down and ended up going it alone as a single mother, but the loyalty was appreciated.

Feinberg's portrayer, Michael Fox, has such a long resume that if you were a television or movie fan in the '40s, up through the '90s, you've probably seen his work. He started as a theatrical actor in the 1940s after dabbling in other professions. From there he caught the notice of producer Harry Sauber, and worked in a number of b-movies before graduating to bit parts in bigger films – he appears as an announcer in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", as Helga's father in "Young Frankenstein" and Jim Olson in Sylvester Stallone's arm wrestling epic "Over the Top."

On television, Fox was similarly prolific, appearing in everything from "Columbo" to "The Twilight Zone." Before Saul, his best-known TV role was as the coroner in "Perry Mason."

According to The New York Times and The Tampa Bay Times (citing the Los Angeles Times), Michael Fox died on June 1,1996 of pneumonia at the age of 75. 

Saul's death was written into the show, with Sally mourning the loss of her wonderful friend onscreen. Saul, too, lived on posthumously in the form of a namesake relative — his grandson, Saul Feinberg Jr. (Alex Wyse), was briefly a character on "Bold."

Massimo Marone wasn't Joseph Mascolo's only soap role

Shipping magnate Massimo Marone entered the "Bold" scene in 2001 with just one dream in mind: to get back in touch with his old college confidante, Stephanie Forrester. He was eventually revealed to be the biological father of one of the show's central characters, Ridge Forrester (then Ronn Moss, now Thorsten Kaye), a shocking narrative move which shook up the show's canvas. Marone later learned that he had another biological son, Dominick "Nick" Payne (Jack Wagner), via a past relationship with Jackie Payne (Lesley-Anne Down), whom he later married. Jackie and Massimo's relationship ended up on the rocks when her affair with Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) caused him to have a stroke. Massimo eventually faded off the soap's canvas quietly in comparison to the stormy way he entered it after divorcing Jackie in 2006.

Joseph Mascolo was a familiar face to soap fans, and this was his second most prominent daytime role. He is perhaps best known to genre watchers as opera-loving, chess-playing, undeniably wicked supervillain Stefano DiMera, a central figure on "Days of Our Lives" for decades. The actor eventually raked in 1,600 plus appearances on "Days" during his numerous stays on the soap. He also appeared on ABC's "General Hospital" as Nicholas Van Buren for six episodes in 1989 and as Carlo Alvarez on NBC's "Santa Barbara" for 12 episodes. 

Mascolo's resume also includes appearances in the films "Shaft's Big Score!," "Jaws II," and a supporting role in the 1982 Luciano Pavarotti vehicle "Yes, Giorgio!" His TV guest appearances included stints on "The Incredible Hulk," "Kojak" and "All in the Family."

The actor died on December 8, 2016 at the age of 87, according to People Magazine. The named cause was Alzheimer's Disease.

Anthony Addabbo Added spice to Bold.

Anthony Addabbo had planned to become a tree surgeon, but instead he ended up in Hollywood as a working actor.

He got his start as a model in New York City in 1987, according to a soaps.com obituary of the actor. He dipped his toes into the world of acting and soon became a soap staple. On "Bold," he was Anthony "Rush" Carrera and his twin brother, Johnny. Both brothers were attracted to the fetching department store owner Lauren Fenmore (Tracey E. Bregman) in 1998, but Rush impersonated the shier Johnny in an attempt at getting closer to the object of their mutual affection. Eventually, Rush's deception spun out of control, and he wound up snapping and holding hostage his once-upon-a-time-beloved and his own twin. Eric Forrester (John McCook), Lauren's one-time paramour, rode to Lauren and Johnny's rescue, and in the ensuing struggle, one of the twins tumbled to his death off of Lauren's balcony. The dead twin was revealed to be Rush, and Johnny left town soon after.

Addabbo also recurred on "Guiding Light" as Jim LeMay from 1999-2000, and briefly replaced Michael Nader as Dimitri Merrick on "All My Children" in 2001. His first soap role was on the short-lived NBC sudser "Generations" in 1989, and he also appeared on the prime time soap "Dallas." He racked up guest starring appearances on such shows as "The Nanny," "Wings" and "Diagnosis: Murder."

The actor died on October 18, 2016 at the age of 56, according to an obituary posted on The Wrap. No cause of death was released to the public.

Lee Phillip Bell helped start it all

Lee Phillip Bell played Mrs. Bell, a character seen on the show for an episode in 2013. Aside from an appearance on "Gunsmoke" as a character also named "Mrs. Bell," this is the actress' only credited acting role. This brief part was actually a lovely tribute to the woman who helped start it all.

Phillip Bell got her start as a television host with a local station in Chicago in the early 1950s. Initially tasked with reading commercials, she soon found herself delivering segments on "homemaker news" during the 12:00 p.m. news telecast. Becoming a popular local personality, she was entrusted with her own show and for 30 years hosted "The Lee Phillips Show." 

Her husband, William J. Bell, left advertising to begin writing for soap operas in the early 1960s and Lee often inspired his storylines. They joined together to create the soap opera "The Young and the Restless." It was such a big hit that when CBS cancelled the soap "Capitol," they turned to the Bells for a replacement. They created a sister soap opera for "Y&R," "The Bold and the Beautiful."

 Lee Phillip Bell died on February 25, 2020 at the age of 91, according to People Magazine. Natural causes were listed as the cause of death, according to the Associated Press. Lee survived her husband by 15 years — William J. Bell died on April 29, 2005 of complications related to Alzheimer's Disease, according to Soap Opera Digest.

She and William J. Bell had three children, including Bill Bell, who runs Bell Dramatic Serial Company and Bell-Phillip Television Productions, Inc.; Lauralee Bell, who portrays Christine "Cricket" Blair on "Y&R"; and Bradley Bell, who currently head writes and executive produces "Bold and the Beautiful."

Phyllis Diller made magic on Bold but was not Susan Lucci's mom

Many now-deceased actors who had some past TV fame – from James Doohan to Jeff Conaway to Erin Moran to Zsa Zsa Gabor – have appeared on "Bold" during its long run, but none of these actors identified as closely with the world of soap operas as Phyllis Diller, and for quite the unique reason.

Diller appeared occasionally on "Bold" as Gladys Pope, a beautician and cosmetician with some serious makeup skills. The character popped up infrequently from 1996 to 2012. Writers often teamed Gladys with Sally Spectra, and Gladys' miraculous make-over skills were often employed whenever the show needed someone to sneak about in a disguise. She was last seen on the show's 25th anniversary episode, which was taped just a few months before her death, in which Gladys ended up officiating an impromptu remarriage ceremony for Stephanie and Eric Forrester.

This isn't Diller's only connection to the soap world — a rumor that she was Susan Lucci (who portrayed the famous diva Erica Kane on ABC's "All My Children")'s biological mother was so well-disseminated that it warranted an article on Snopes explaining that the two were not relatives. 

The zany actress started out as a stand-up comic and was a frequent talk show guest, often occupying a cubical on "The Hollywood Squares" and occasionally popping up on prime time and on the big screen. She passed away on August 20, 2012 in her sleep at the age of 95, according to CNN.