Comedic actor Katherine Helmond died February 23 in her Los Angeles home at the age of 89 as a result of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Best known for her role as Jessica Tate in “Soap” and Mona Robinson on “Who’s the Boss”, Helmond appeared in over 100 film and television productions.

She made her screen debut in 1955 in “Wine in the Morning” and went on to appear in over 100 roles including “Gunsmoke”, “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Mannix”, “Medical Center”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “The Bionic Woman”, all 88 episodes of “Soap”, “Benson”, “Fantasy Island”, “The Love Boat”, 196 episodes of “Who’s the Boss?”, 19 episodes of “Coach”, 14 episodes of “Everybody Lives Raymond”, and the voice of Lizzie in the “Cars” franchise.

She made her Broadway debut in 1969 in the revival of the romantic comedy “Private Lives”. She also appeared in “The Great God Brown”, “Don Juan”, and “Mixed Emotions”.

Along with her performances on Broadway, Helmond also appeared in “Sarah in America”, “Quartermaine’s Terms”, “The Madwoman of Chaillot”, “Night Mother”, “Steel Magnolias”, and “The Oldest Profession”.

A Golden Globe winner, she also earned numerous Primetime Emmy Award nominations but was never chosen as the winner. Helmond is also a Drama Critics Award winner.

She was born Katherine Marie Helmond on July 5, 1929 on Galveston Island in Texas. An only child, she was raised by her mother and grandmother. A young Katherine caught the “acting bug” while in school.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years David Christian, half sister Alice, and many nieces and nephews.


feature photo credit: By photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0,