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‘General Hospital’ star checking into ‘Bold’

Sarah Brown is leaving one daytime drama on Nov. 5 and starting the next on Nov. 6.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Sarah Brown will be checking out of ABC’s “General Hospital” and into CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and she won’t get a moment’s rest in between.

The actress’s last appearance on the ABC daytime soap as Claudia Zacchara, the sexy daughter of a mobster, is set for Nov. 5. The next day, she’s to be introduced as goodhearted newcomer Sandy Sommers on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Brown, a triple Daytime Emmy winner when she played a previous character on “General Hospital,” said her contract with the serial ran through Jan. 14 and could have barred her from joining the CBS show, even though her ABC role was set to conclude.

But in a rare goodwill gesture involving a competitor, ABC agreed to release her early, said “Bold and the Beautiful” executive producer Bradley P. Bell. The show was named best drama series at this year’s Daytime Emmys.

“I was stunned. It was something really very human and very big of them,” Bell said. “They were putting the needs of the actress, who is a mother, ahead of the network’s.”

He called Brown, single mom of 11-year-old Jordan, a “powerhouse actress.”

With diminishing viewership and the loss of series including the recently ended “Guiding Light,” daytime soaps overall are beneficiaries of ABC’s largesse, Bell said.

“As we see the mighty fall, like ‘Guiding Light,’ the shows that remain are communicating more and we really are in it together,” he said. “Soap operas are an American invention and an American pastime, and we don’t want them to disappear.”

Brown said she has the deepest regard for ABC and its generosity. Her exit from “General Hospital” will make a splash, she promised.

“I’m thrilled with the way they’re doing it. ... It pays off for the audience and in a good way for all of us,” Brown said.

She’s not privy to some details, or willing to share the ones she knows, but “I do believe there’s rain involved,” she said — noting that storms in fictional Port Charles, N.Y., often play a part in big doings on “General Hospital.”

As for her new character, Brown describes Sandy as likable but destined “to stir things up” on “Bold and Beautiful” for Nick (played by Jack Wagner), Bridget (Ashley Jones) and Whip (Rick Hearst).

Brown signed a two-year deal with the show and said she’s looking forward to sinking her teeth into Sandy’s unfolding story.

For about a week, a production overlap means she’ll be juggling her roles for the ABC and CBS soaps.

That’s OK, said Brown, because the characters are so different.

Besides, “I do my best when things are constantly changing,” she said.