Bobbi Jordan, who starred on General Hospital, in several primetime series and in the Lucille Ball film musical Mame, died Nov. 9 of a heart attack at her home in Encinitas, Calif. She was 75.
In the mid-1970s, Jordan had a three-year stint as former nightclub owner and singer Terri Webber Arnett on General Hospital. In one memorable story arc on the ABC daytime soap, she crashed her car after the wife of the man she was dating -- just released from a sanitarium -- tampered with her brakes. (Of course, he would operate on her to save her life.)
Later in the decade, Jordan had regular roles on the primetime comedies Turnabout, written by Steven Bochco and starring John Schuck and Sharon Gless, and Joe and Sons, with Richard S. Castellano and Jerry Stiller.
She also guest-starred on such series as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, Love, American Style, Ironside, Barbary Coast, The Odd Couple, Charlie’s Angels, Diff’rent Strokes, One Day at a Time, Quincy M.E., Nero Wolfe and Highway to Heaven.
In Mame, the 1974 musical directed by Gene Saks that was based on the Broadway hit, Jordan played Pegeen, a maid at the home of Mame Dennis (Ball) who winds up marrying Mame's nephew Patrick (Bruce Davison).
She also had a small role as a waitress in the Walter Matthau-starring A Guide for the Married Man (1967).
Jordan, born Roberta Carol Bartlett, moved from her hometown of Hardinsburg, Ky., to Chicago, then settled in Los Angeles to study opera. While working as a cocktail waitress, her manager at the club heard her singing in the kitchen and offered her a chance to audition for a musical the place was producing.
Jordan was cast as the lead in a modern-day telling of the Cinderella story and signed by William Morris. She then landed a role on The Rounders, an ABC Western that debuted in 1966.
Throughout her career, Jordan continued to sing and perform on stages around the country, with a lead role in the first national tour of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company and regional productions of Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, South Pacific and others.
Jordan’s husband, Bill Jacobson, head writer for The Kate Smith Hour, died last year.
She is survived by her son, writer-director Jordan Roberts (March of the Penguins); her grandchildren, Brandon Roberts, a rock musician and songwriter; Cameron Roberts, a high school sophomore and aspiring actor; her sister, Reba Sue Waters; and her stepdaughter, Jessie Jacobson.
A memorial service is set for 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, 939 Second St., Encinitas, CA 92024.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Jordan Roberts
- Lucille Ball