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Susan Flannery (born July 31, 1939) is an American actress and director known for her roles in the daytime dramas The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of Our Lives.
Flannery was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on July 31, 1939, and attended school in Manhattan. She received her BA degree from Stephens College, a women's college in Columbia, Missouri, in 1962.
Flannery is known for playing Dr. Laura Spencer Horton from 1966 until 1975 on Days of Our Lives, where she met writer William J. Bell (who later cast her in The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987). She acted in feature films, including The Towering Inferno (1974) and The Gumball Rally (1976). She also acted in the primetime television series Dallas, playing Leslie Stewart during season four (1980–1981), and appeared in an ensemble cast with Kirk Douglas, Joan Collins and Christopher Plummer in the 1976 NBC miniseries The Moneychangers.
Flannery became best known worldwide for portraying Stephanie Douglas Forrester on the American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful (1987–2012). She was one of the original cast members of the series, only two of whom still appear (Katherine Kelly Lang and John McCook). Flannery was also a regular director on the show, and was twice nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for her work. After 25 years, she decided to leave the show in 2012. In her final storyline, Stephanie Forrester died from lung cancer.
Flannery appeared in two episodes of ABC's situation comedy Hope & Faith in 2004 with other well-known actors from rival soaps.
Flannery also appeared as a special guest on Good News Week. She appeared in a special episode of Wheel of Fortune with Deidre Hall (Marlena, Days of Our Lives) and Peter Bergman (Jack, The Young and the Restless) in 2006. Flannery also directed the October 13, 2008, episode of Guiding Light.
Flannery came in at #1 in the Top 50 Soap Actresses of All Time poll on the internet blog We Love Soaps in 2010.
Flannery took an active role in the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and advocated for securing cable rights and foreign residuals for actors when their work appears in other media. Her efforts have had a positive impact on how The Bold and the Beautiful actors (and other soap actors) are paid when the show is televised in countries outside the United States.
Flannery has an adopted daughter, Blaise.
Gay rights activist Rita Mae Brown socialized with Flannery in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. They met through their mutual friend writer and performer Fannie Flagg, with whom Flannery had a multi-year relationship. Brown wrote the following about Flannery in her 1997 memoir Rita Will: