At only twenty-five years old, Bessie Potter was raising her younger sister Joey and pregnant with her own first child. The father of her child was Bodie, who was constantly traveling to make enough money for all of them.
Bess and Joey butted heads often, with Bess’s pregnancy making it harder and harder for her to stomach Joey’s antics. Having to raise both her sister and her own child forged Bess into a strong, independent woman that is able to create a somewhat stable, if odd, life with her entire family, allowing her younger sister to grow up a little more carefree than others could.
Evelyn “Grams” Ryan
Nobody could deny Grams's coolness. Even Jen, a character that many saw as her polar opposite, ends up respecting her. Though strictly religious, it turns out she's very tolerant of others, and her stern demeanor is just an old-fashioned attitude.
She acts as a parental substitute to Jen and eventually Jack, keeping them on the straight and narrow despite their best efforts. Besides the four main kids, Grams was the only person who had a leading role in all six seasons since Bess and Gail were demoted to “recurring” in the final two seasons. She continually softens as the seasons roll on, becoming less strict.
Mary Beth Peil Playing Grams
If you're an old fan of “Dawson's Creek” and want a taste of that classic Grams charm, head to New York City and stop in at the Broadway production of “Anastasia.” Mary Beth Peil played the Dowager Empress and was so good in the role that she earned a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress.
Peil has been in plenty more. You can find on the screen, including “Mirrors” in 2008, “The Stepford Wives” in 2004, and “Flags of Our Fathers” in 2006. She was also in almost fifty episodes of “The Good Wife” as Jackie Florrick.
Nina Repeta Playing Bessie
Nina's connection to the show began with creator Kevin Williamson. The two were in college together —East Carolina University. After acting on the show, Nina now describes herself as a “Bohemian art mom.” She's married to Mike Repeta, whom she refers to as Aquaman, and has been since 1990.
Nina also appeared in “Bloodmoon” in 1997, “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” in 2002, and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” in 2015. She hasn't had many roles since “Dawson's Creek,” but still appears from time to time. Her husband has worked as a camera and electrical operator since 1990.
A smart, quick-witted, and talented man, Bodie Wells is Bess's boyfriend. The character only appears in eleven total episodes of the show, which many fans consider a shame. He heavily feels the effects of living in a small town and dating (and having a child with) a woman from a different ethnic background.
He works hard to provide for his family — including Joey, whom he treats like a daughter — and often has to travel to provide for them. Eventually, he partnered with Gail Leery to become a chef at Leery's Fresh Fish, finally settling down for good.