What is “The Bold and the Beautiful”?
Created by Lee Phillip Bell and William J. Bell for CBS, “The Bold and the Beautiful” (B&B) is a long-running American soap opera that premiered in 1987, and boasts around 10,000 episodes. As a sister show to “The Young and the Restless” (“Y&R”), the series have overlapped and crossed over many times since the 1990s.
B&B shows the lives of the Los Angeles-based Forrester family, who run an haute couture business. The soap opera, with an audience of over 26 million viewers, relies on an ensemble cast that includes the stars Brooke Logan and John McCook. B&B has won over 75 Daytime Emmy Awards, and from 2009 to 2011 took home the prestigious Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series not one but three times.
The series was the last American soap opera to switch to high-definition television in September 2011. It’s also the youngest daytime soap opera in the US, but still celebrated its 35th anniversary in March 2022.
Premise & Backstory
B&B is similar to many soap operas in that it shows viewers a glimpse of the torrid lifestyles of wealthy families. Betrayals, clandestine affairs and scandals are order of the day for the Forrests, who echo the Brooks family of “Y&R”.
The Logan family, who are middle-class and far less affluent, are a bone of contention to the Forresters, much like the Fosters are to the Brooks. Similar to the Katherine Chancellor-Jill Abbott feud in “Y&R”, Stephanie Forrester, the family matriarch, has a long-running rivalry with Brooke Logan, the Logan’s eldest daughter. Star-crossed lovers are also a common theme in both shows.
Those who are well-versed in the Forrester family history know that Stephanie Douglas, a wealthy businessman’s daughter, met her aspiring fashion designer future husband Eric Forrester in 1959. Both were studying at Northwestern University, and married when Stephanie became pregnant, so Eric was forced to break up from Elizabeth Henderson, his college sweetheart.
Eric and Stephanie relocated to Los Angeles, and founded Forrester Creations, an upscale clothing brand for men and women. This was possible thanks to a generous loan from Stephanie’s father, along with her connections and business acumen and Eric’s sheer talent. Miraculously, the couple earned international recognition and raised four children at the same time: Ridge, the firstborn and golden child, Thorne, Kristen, and Felicia Forrester.
Heartbroken after being dumped by Eric, Elizabeth married their classmate Stephen Logan and had her own family in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley. There are also four children in the Logan clan: Stephen “Storm” Jr., Brooke, Donna, and Katie. Stephen and Elizabeth’s marriage was far from idyllic; frustrated at not being able to achieve Eric’s success, Stephen walked out on his family and Elizabeth was left to fend for herself and her children, sinking into the working class as a result.
As is the standard with soap operas, B&B’s pilot episode was chock-full of action, with Ridge Forrester and Caroline Spencer’s imminent wedding. Ridge was by now the vice president of Forrester Creations, and an internationally respected fashion designer in his own right, whereas Carolina came from a media mogul family. Understandably, the wedding was hugely publicized by countless gossip newspapers, media outlets, and TV networks, due to the prestige of the future husband and bride and their respective families. Ridge’s playboy reputation makes things even more interesting.
In the end, Ridge and Caroline’s wedding is called off, after he’s caught cheating with an old flame. Meanwhile, Brooke Logan embarks on an ill-fated love affair with the eldest Forrester son; they reunite sporadically, but are always separated by circumstances out of their control. Every time they break up, Ridge finds comfort in Taylor Hayes, one of the many loves of his life.
Shockingly, Brooke takes things one step further by marrying Ridge’s father Eric. To do this, he divorces Stephanie; Brooke then births two of Eric’s children and is now not only her ex-lover’s stepmother, but the mother of his half-siblings. However, the couple eventually divorce, and Eric and Stephanie reconcile: Brooke and Ridge also resume their turbulent relationship, although Brooke is involved with other men, and Ridge never leaves Taylor.
Happy Birthday to Jennifer Gareis #theboldandthebeautiful Donna Logan 🥂🎁🎂🎉🥳🎊🍾🍸❤️#theboldandthebeautiful #modanasukces #amourgloireetbeauté #topmodels #bellazaypoder #reichundschön #glamour #beautiful pic.twitter.com/lIY6LPq95r
— Arista ♥️ Taylor Hayes ♥️ (@Taylor_AgnesPL) August 1, 2022
As if things weren’t bad enough, Eric would go on to marry Donna Logan, Brooke’s sister, and legally adopt her son Marcus. The bitter and almost incestuous history between the two warring families means that Eric and Donna’s marriage is doomed to fail; their divorce was considered inevitable.
Stephanie and Brooke’s rivalry is another of the show’s main storylines. Originally, Stephanie and the Logans were on cordial terms as she had hired their catering company in the past. That all changes when Brooke enters the Forresters’ lives; Stephanie considers her a scheming opportunist, who made the most of Eric and Caroline’s wedding being cancelled.
Shockingly, Stephanie at first fails to recognize that Brooke’s mother is Eric’s former college girlfriend, Elizabeth. Due to his marital problems, Eric soon turns to Elizabeth for comfort. Stephanie hires a private investigator when she discovers this, and tracks down Stephen Logan before sending the Logan household an anonymous letter containing his whereabouts. When Donna convinces Stephen to return home, Stephanie arranges a job in Paris for him, and Brooke eventually realizes that Stephanie was the one behind everything.
A cold and calculating woman, Stephanie threatens Brooke that she’ll ruin her relationship with Ridge if she tells anyone, or thwarts her plans. Brooke swears revenge, but must let her parents reunite and relocate to Paris, as she’s powerless to act against Stephanie. As for Felicia and Kristen Forrester, they leave the family company, and follow their own paths in life.
B&B would get old quickly if only two families were featured; this is where the Spencers, Spectras, and more step in, with each clan bringing its own flavor of drama. Bill Spencer, founder of the media conglomerate Spencer Publications, and his family were introduced in the pilot episode; as we mentioned, his daughter Caroline, believed at first to be his only child, was to marry Ridge.
As the messy love triangle between Caroline, Ridge, and Thorne descends into sheer chaos, Thorne drunkenly shoots his older brother in the back. Stephanie steps in and lies to protect her sons – and the family’s reputation – by claiming she shot the gun, thinking she was being burgled. This takes place in 1988; two years later, Caroline dies of leukemia, and her twin sister Karen Spencer – kidnapped as a baby – makes her grand debut.
Bill dies in 2009 of a terminal illness, but his death opens-up another Pandora’s box when it’s revealed that he left Spencer Publications to Karen and his secret illegitimate son, Bill Spencer Jr. As of 2022, the Spencer clan includes Karen’s daughter Caroline, and Bill Jr.’s sons Wyatt, Liam, and Will.
Sally Spectra is the flame-haired matriarch and founder of Spectra Fashions, Forrester Creations’ biggest rival. Showing her range as a character, Sally veers from dramatic to comedic and is a key player in many storylines. Her associates include Saul Feinberg, her receptionist Darla Forrester, and her fashion designer Clarke Garrison, with whom Sally had a son named C. Garrison Fathman in 1991.
Stephanie and Sally started off as bitter rivals, with the former hiring Clarke to work for Forrester Creations in 1987; this was the first time Sally was referred to in the show. She and her company made their on-screen debut two years later after Clarke returned to his former boss and the future mother of his son. With time, Sally and Stephanie would develop a close friendship; Sally eventually shut down Spectra Fashions, and was hired by Forrester Creations in 2006.
Sally’s daughter, Macy Alexander, is a singer with a turbulent personal life, who struggles with alcoholism. Her marriage with Thorne Forrester is dysfunctional in the extreme, and she eventually loses him to Brooke. In 2000, Macy goes abroad and lives with her father Adam, but is discovered two years later, and reunites with Thorne in Los Angeles before meeting Deacon Sharpe, a fellow recovering alcoholic. In 2003, she and Deacon marry, but their story doesn’t have a happy ending: Macy enters a coma after being injured while performing, and it’s implied that she was taken off life support by family members.
In 2001, the billionaire shipping magnate Massimo Marone is introduced to B&B, with the Spectra bunch slowly taking second stage. Marone is Stephanie’s childhood friend and former college flame; they slept together before she began dating Eric. Shockingly, Massimo is also revealed to be Ridge’s biological father. Two years later, the magnate’s former lover Jackie Payne reveals that her son, Dominic, is also Massimo’s child. Dominic, who was working at Marone Industries, takes on his father’s surname.
Steffy Forrester’s character was introduced to B&B in 1999 and played by child actors until her departure in 2006. She returned two years later, before leaving again in 2013; her third stint on the show has so far lasted since 2015. Currently played by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Steffy and Phoebe, her twin sister, are Ridge Forrester and Taylor Hayes’s daughters.
Purple 🦋 pic.twitter.com/MoUuRhFHrf
— Tara (@stilettosass) March 26, 2021
With a life characterized by loss, Steffy is known for her deep-seated issues, and sometimes nonsensical storylines. Despite being provocative and strong-willed, her father’s neglect leads to some serious daddy issues for Steffy, as she craves emotional closeness.
Steffy is closely linked to the Spencer men: Liam, Wyatt and Bill Spencer, Jr. She is also on bad terms with the Logan family, especially Brooke Logan, who is her mother’s rival. The years-long love triangle between Liam, Steffy, and Hope Logan didn’t help ease the decades-long animosity between the Forresters and the Logans, with the feuds being passed down to second and third generations.
After leaving Liam for good, Steffy fell in love with her doctor, John Finnegan, and they embarked on a long-term relationship. Jacqueline’s portrayal of the troubled diva has earned her three Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Dreama Series between 2012 and 2018. In 2019 and 2021, she won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, after bringing Steffy to life for over a decade.
Fans were confused to see Kayla Ewell on the show in 2020 and 2021. The wife of Tanner Novlan – who plays Steffy’s significant other, John – was an intimacy double for Stephanie due to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols in the US. From September 2020 to March 2021, Kayla was Steffy’s stand-in during steamy scenes, but stepped back in May 2021 when social distancing protocols became more relaxed.
Steffy is as enigmatic as she is beautiful; in 2011, Stephanie described her character as a “rich bitch”, stating: “She is so different from me. It’s rather cathartic, and it allows my alter ego to come out on set five days a week.” Named after her paternal grandmother, Steffy and the Forrester matriarch share more than a few traits, as both are conniving and always plotting something.
In 2015, Steffy took on a darker turn when she killed her cousin Alexandria Forrester in self-defense. It was a shock for everyone involved, especially for Stephanie when she read the script, but also shows the disturbing effects of childhood emotional neglect. Indeed, the first seeds of Steffy’s malfunction were sowed in 2008, when her twin sister was killed in a car crash while her boyfriend, Rick Forrester, drove.
After months of feeling despondent and near-suicidal, Steffy herself began dating Rick – who also previously dated her mother, Taylor. The idea of Steffy being intimate with a man who had previously slept with two of her closest family members was rather unappealing, and led viewers to question her motives.
Thankfully, Finn and Steffy’s relationship seems much more stable and realistic. Finn first met Steffy as the emergency physician who treated the injuries that she’d sustained in a motorcycle accident; it was love at first sight for the pair, but the handsome doctor would unwittingly get her hooked on prescription meds. After providing weeks of psychological support and friendship, Finn recognized that he was attracted to Steffy, and decided to step away from the situation.
When Steffy’s opioids addiction worsened and got out of control, Finn was present in her intervention, and it was with his help that she was placed in a rehabilitation facility. The pair’s intimate relationship begins when the brunette checks out of the facility and seems to be going well, but it remains to be seen whether Steffy and Finn will have a rare happy ending, for which soapies are not renowned!.