Interview: Sister Act

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Joanna Johnson reprises her role of THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Karen Spencer beginning Friday, July 22, when the beautiful blonde comes to town to for her brother and sister-in-law's vow-renewal ceremony. While you could hardly consider Karen and Bill to be the tightest of siblings, Johnson says her alter ego, as part-owner of Spencer Publications, has an interest in seeing her brother domesticated, so to speak. "Spencer stockholders are happier with a married, settled Bill than they were with 'Bachelor Bill,'" she explains. "So Karen is invested in this marriage working, because it's good for business!"

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Although Johnson missed having scenes with pals like Ronn Moss (Ridge) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) -- with whom she worked when she was portraying Karen's now-deceased twin, Caroline -- she was excited to work with some new screen partners. "Heather Tom (Katie) and Scott Clifton (Liam) both blew me away, so when I saw that they both won Emmys [after I taped the scenes], I thought, 'Well, there's a reason I was so impressed!'"

Since leaving B&B in 1994, Johnson's career has been predominantly behind the camera as a writer and producer. In addition to creating the sitcom HOPE & FAITH (based on her life after leaving the soap), she most recently served as co-executive producer the ABC Family series MAKE IT OR BREAK IT and now does the same on the USA Network series FAIRLY LEGAL. "It's about a lawyer who actually sort of hates the law," she explains.

Just because acting is no longer her focus in life doesn't mean Johnson would rule out signing a new contract with B&B some day. "Oh, I'd love to do a longer story arc on the show, but it's just never quite worked out, timing-wise," she confesses. "I've been fortunate to do a lot of different things, but sometimes I think I was crazy to have ever the left the soap. I always joke that I left acting because I wanted a more stable career, but I became a writer, and it's no different!"

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