Joanna Johnson was just 25 when she first appeared on the CBS soap, The Bold and The Beautiful, first playing heroine Caroline Spencer, then her identical twin Karen. And, upon leaving the show, she began working behind the scenes, first in creating the Kelly Ripa-Faith Ford sitcom Hope & Faith and writing and producing ABC Family's Make It or Break It and USA Network's Fairly Legal. But now, at age 50, she's coming out, and coming back to B&B in a new story about Karen living as secret life as a lesbian.
It's art imitating life.
Joanna Johnson: "After I started playing Karen, I remember doing a fantasy scene that showed what life would have been like if Caroline had not died of cancer. She was married to Ridge and had two kids and a wonderful life. When we finished shooting, I ran to my dressing room and just cried and cried because I knew I was never going to have that kind of life."
Except she did. Johnson is now married to L.A. club promoter, Michelle Agnew, and they have two children, Julian and Harlow.
Joanna Johnson: "[The] times have certainly changed. I guess that's why I'm ready to open up. It feels weird and wrong to play this revelation about Karen's life and not talk about my own. I used to hang out with Ellen Degeneres, k.d. lang and Melissa Etheridge back in the day and thought it was so beautiful they were out, even though I didn't have the nerve. When I realized I was gay in my early twenties we didn't have role models like Ellen. I'm not anywhere near as famous as those ladies, but I guess it's my turn to do my little part. It's time to live a fully authentic life."
And you shall.
Welcome out, Joanna, and please accept, as our Welcome Out gift, a copy of the Gay Agenda, and the obligatory Coming Out Toaster Oven.