The Untold Truth Of The Bold And Beautiful Star John McCook

The immensely talented John McCook has played the role of Eric Forrester on "The Bold and the Beautiful" for 35 years. In fact, he is one of the longest-running actors on the show, along with his co-star, Katherine Kelly Lang. After spending so much of his life on the same set, McCook is grateful for the community and comfortability the role provides. "I like the consistency. I like that I'm getting to go to the same dressing room for the last 35 years," he told popculture. "I don't feel like I'm going to work, I feel like I'm going from this home to that one . . . that's what I love about it."

Throughout his career, McCook has been nominated for several awards for his work as Eric; he finally took home his first Daytime Emmy win for outstanding lead actor in a drama series in 2022. Though McCook is most well-known for his role on "B&B," he actually got his start on another daytime soap. He played the role of Lance Prentiss on "The Young and the Restless" from 1975 to 1980. His character was such a fan-favorite that show creator Bill Bell quickly snatched McCook up when creating "Y&R's" sister soap in 1987 (via Soaps).

McCook's character Eric Forrester has been making headlines recently as he's reconnected with his ex-wife Donna Logan — much to the delight of long-time viewers who fondly remember their "Honey Bear" storyline. As the longtime actor jumps into an exciting new story arc, here are some things you might not have known about John McCook.

John McCook was drafted into the military

In a video John McCook recorded in honor of the American holiday Veteran's Day in 2021, posted by the American Forces Network, the actor revealed that he had just become a contract actor for Universal Studios when he was drafted into the Army in the 1960s.

While admitting that he was "alarmed" at the time, McCook completed basic training and then went to radio school. From there he approached the Army Band and offered his services as a piano player. He became a member of the Soldier's Chorus, according to Soap Opera Digest. "I served from 1966 to 1968. I served in the 28th Army Band at Fort Ord, California," he said. "The US Army required a lot more of a lot of the people they drafted in those years. And I'm very grateful to them."

McCook also recalled that while he had leave from the Army he would drive to Los Angeles to visit with his friends at Universal Studios. While there one day, he revealed that having a short Army haircut, unlike those around him, is what first garnered him attention from producer Jack Webb and ultimately landed him a role on the police procedural "Dragnet."

John McCook has a long history in musical theater

Prior to being signed with Universal Studios, John McCook was discovered by Jack Warner of Warner Brothers fame while he was starring in a run of "West Side Story" (via Soap Opera Digest). Following his two years in the military, McCook continued to work in theater and landed roles in the likes of "Oklahoma!," "The Pirates of Penzance," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Peter Pan," and "Man of La Mancha." 

McCook starred alongside many beloved musical theater stars, including Virgina Mayo in "Barefoot in the Park" and Ann Miller in "Mame" (via SoapHub). He also appeared with Carol Burnett in productions of "From the Top" and the musical created by legendary composer Stephen Soundheim called "Putting It Together."

In a conversation with The Sydney Morning Herald, McCook reminisced about first arriving at CBS Television City when he was cast on "The Young and the Restless" in 1976. "Sonny and Cher were shooting in the studio, there were dancers, piano players, and drummers in every rehearsal hall," he said. "It was like going into a rehearsal building in New York City. There was a cacophony of music. There was Tony Orlando and Dawn, Carol Burnett. There was music everywhere." Since "The Bold and the Beautiful" has been filmed at CBS Television City since 1987, McCook has had the great pleasure of going to work everyday for 35 years in the very same place his musical idols once roamed the halls.

There are several actors in John McCook's family

Before meeting his current wife, John McCook was previously married to actress and dancer Juliet Prowse in the 1970s, and the two share a son named Seth (via Express). Prowse was successful in Hollywood; she starred alongside notable names like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, both of whom she had relationships with. Prowse continued working until 1996 when she died of pancreatic cancer.

McCook married his current wife Laurette Spang in 1980 and they have three children together: Jake, Rebecca, and Molly. Spang is also an actress who began her career in entertainment in 1972. She is most well-known for a role on "Battlestar Galactica" (via Soap Opera Digest). According to Daytime Confidential, Sprang occasionally runs lines with her husband, and the couple was shocked when Eric Forrester's "Honey Bear" storyline popped up in a "The Bold and the Beautiful" script. She said, "I called him 'honey bear' years ago. So when that appeared on the show, it was a little like, 'Are you kidding me? You're my honey bear!'"

McCook and Spang's daughter Molly McCook is also an actress. The 31-year-old has appeared on several notable shows over the past decade, including "Glee," "10 Things I hate About You," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and "Modern Family," and has held recurring roles on the sitcoms "The Ranch" and "Last Man Standing." Molly is also married to Broadway actor John Krause (via People).

John McCook starred alongside his daughter Molly McCook

John McCook first had the opportunity to share a set with his daughter Molly McCook in 2010 when she was cast in a 5-episode arc on "The Bold and the Beautiful." Molly appeared as Hope Logan's friend Margot and was seen in the infamous episode where a masked Brooke Logan and Oliver Jones accidentally slept together (via SoapHub).

The father-daughter duo were able to officially act opposite each other in 2020 when they were cast in the 2021 Discovery+ holiday movie "Candy Coated Christmas." Molly stars in the romantic comedy — which also features Food Network star Ree Drummond — as an executive who must travel to The Peppermint Capital of the World for business and, of course, finds love.

Molly encouraged the film's producers to bring in her real-life father to play her dad in the movie, according to Soap Central. She said the experience was "really incredible, because I got to support him and have his back, and he got to see me do my thing, and now we have footage of playing father and daughter. Who could ask for anything more?" John was equally thrilled about the project. "We were giddy about it, and it was so much fun and so easy and relaxed, so I'm very glad and grateful that we got to do this," he gushed.

The McCooks have a sweet spot for the music in The Bold and the Beautiful

In 1993, John McCook released an album of music called "John McCook Sings Bold and Beautiful Love Songs" (via CBS). The 12-song album includes covers of popular love songs that have been featured in prominent moments on the soap. It includes hits such as "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton, "Have I Told You Lately" by Van Morrison, and "Stand Up for Love" by Michael Bolton. The album was released by Arcade Records and even charted in several markets. Now fans of "The Bold and the Beautiful" can hear Eric Forrester's voice anywhere they listen to music.

In 2015, McCook's daughter Molly was featured on a song written specifically for "B&B" (via Soap Opera Spy). The song — called "Think About You" — was written by the show's supervising producer Casey Kazprzyk and the senior vice-president of operations Anthony "Tony" Ferrari. The two men have written songs for the show previously and have been nominated and won Daytime Emmys for their original music several times. "Tony and I are always looking for new voices to represent certain storylines and Molly McCook just seemed like a logical choice. She has an amazing voice and she's really a part of the "B&B" family," Kazprzyk said of inviting Molly McCook to sing.