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Mystery Surrounds Last Days of ‘General Hospital’ Actress Robyn Bernard's Life

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

Actress Robyn Bernard was found dead in an “open field” this week in San Jacinto, California, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. But before her death, she’d fallen on hard times and may have been homeless, according to a small news outlet in the area.

At the height of her career in the 1980s—when she appeared in 145 episodes of the soap opera General Hospital as singer Terry Brock—Bernard lived in Malibu and was the subject of glowing newspaper profiles.

But after her run in show business sputtered to an end, she was living in a mobile home almost two hours from Los Angeles and had stopped connecting with fans, according to Eric Ackerman, a member of the General Hospital Fan Club who helps find past talent to reunite at its annual fan event each year.

“I didn’t know Robyn well,” he told The Daily Beast. “We worked together on an event just one time, and she was hard to keep tabs on after that.” Ackerman last saw Bernard in 2014. “As far as I know, it was her last public appearance,” he said.

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He also said that the last time he tried to track Bernard down for the event, she wasn’t in the best position to attend. “When we attempted to invite her to an event in 2018, we learned she had been involved in a fire at a trailer park,” he said.

Ackerman adds that he remembers hearing that Bernard reunited with her father Jerry Wayne Bernard and her Wings actress sister Crystal Bernard after the fire.

“I believe at one point, Robyn and Crystal were living with their dad in Glendale, but this is going back to 2014,” he said. “After that,” he adds, “she was presumably missing, with no one knowing where exactly she was.”

‘General Hospital’ Actress Robyn Bernard Found Dead in Open Field

Local San Jacinto news site Action EYE may have filled in the blank of those mystery years, as the outlet reported that Bernard was known locally to be homeless.

Commenters on the site’s Facebook post about Bernard remember her as a “sweet” woman they saw around the area and offered food and water to.

“‘I’ll never forget, when Robyn left the event that day, she said, ‘This was the happiest day of my life,’” Ackerman adds. “She loved her co-stars and the fanfare.”

The coroner has not certified a cause of death for Bernard, who was 64. Her family did not respond to requests for comment.

Bernard grew up in Texas, where her father was a traveling preacher. She and her sister formed a gospel-singing duo who would perform for congregations.

She planned on a music career and spent three years living in Nashville before she decided to seek a different path to stardom after watching General Hospital at home one day.

She drove to Los Angeles and within a year had landed a juicy role on the soap.

“I learned to survive and be humble but I love my house in Malibu,” she told the Boca Raton News in 1985. “And I love being on a show with all those stars.

“In the beginning, I’d have to stay to myself—‘Stay cool, Robyn. Yes, that’s Bobbi Spencer over there but stay cool.’ Nowadays, Bobbi (actress Jackie Zeman) is one of my closest friends. We’re spiritual partners. Isn’t that something?”

In addition to General Hospital, Bernard also appeared in shows like Simon & Simon, Whiz Kids, and The Facts of Life before her last known role in the 2002 video Voice From the High School.

One of her General Hospital castmates, Kin Shriner, who plays Scott Baldwin and is still on the show, retweeted a photo of Bernard, Zeman and another late star, David Groh.

“I had so much fun with these 3 people it’s sad but I got some great memories with all 3 RIP Robin, David and Jackie .@GeneralHospital heyday!” he wrote.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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