She also starred in "Soap" and played a mother addicted to cosmetic surgery in "Brazil," one of three films she's made for Terry Gilliam.
Katherine Helmond, the Texan actress named seven times at the Emmy, has played mad and crazy mother of men, Mona Robinson, in the long series of ABC television series Who is the boss?, is dead. She was 89 years old.
Helmond, who previously played the role of wide-eyed sister, Jessica Tate, in another popular comedy about ABC, the series parody of Susan Harris Soap, died Feb. 23 from Alzheimer's disease at home in Los Angeles, said her artistic agency, APA ,.
Blue-eyed Helmond also described Doris Sherman, the widow owner of the NFL's fictional Orlando Breakers, on ABC Coachand she was Lois Whelan, the upper-class mother of Patricia Heaton's character, on CBS ' Everyone loves Raymond.
On the big screen, Helmond appeared in three films of Terry Gilliam – as a naval cannibal, Ms. Ogre in Bandits of time (1981), as a rich and dependent mother of Jonathan Pryce's cosmetic surgery Brazil (1985) and hotel employee in Fear and hatred in Las Vegas (1998). And she provided the voice of Lizzie, a 1923 Ford Model T, in all three Cars movies.
More recently she appeared on True blood.
Helmond received Emmy names for the lead actress in a comedy for Jessica in all seasons of Soapbroadcast from 1977 to 1981. She was again nominated for Who is the boss? in 1988 and 1989 and for Everyone loves Raymond in 2002.
Helmond's 5-foot-2 also showed her glorious cheekbones when she won a Tony name in 1973 for best actress in a play for her work in Eugene O'Neill's The big brown god. She often said that theater was her first love.
After working for years in small dramatic scenes on television, her agent thought that it was time for the actress to comedy.
"I was married to drunkards, I was beaten, beaten, beaten and put to profit," she told about her leading roles on television in an interview with the US. Archive of American Television in 2008. My agent said, "I can not bear to see you hit the TV any longer … We will try to do a sitcom."
When she auditioned for SoapHelmond said that Harris was sitting very seriously, without laughing, but by the time the actress had arrived home after their first meeting, she had learned that she had got the role.
Soap, as described in the opening, was "the story of two sisters – Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell". The rich Jessica had a philander husband (Robert Mandan) and a sarcastic servant named Benson (Robert Guillaume); Mary's family (Cathryn Damon), meanwhile, was blue-collar workers.
Helmond said that Jessica "floated in life; it was like the music was playing all the time. [Harris] said that I had captured that, that I was very affectionate and that my eyes were wide-eyed, more childlike than stupid. "
Sure Who is the boss?, which aired for eight seasons from 1984 to 1992, Mona, a sexually active woman, was of all kinds of men. She played the role of the mother of Angela (Judith Light), director of divorced advertising, who employs a second retired Cardinals base player (Tony Danza) as a governess in Fairfield, Connecticut. His daughter (Alyssa Milano) and Angela's son (Danny Pintauro) also live there.
Mona was a widow who left her husband's death by "throwing caution into the wind, doing everything that's going on, thinking about my own thoughts, being a little more daring," Helmond said. She heard viewers who benefited from this characterization, she noted.
"If life brought you an unhappy blow, you can still go out into the world, find new friends, find new jobs, find a new way of life if you knew who you are," she said. "I had the impression of giving a free lesson to many people who hold this position … I have received wonderful letters from people."
Helmond noted that ABC had filmed a pilot for a Mona spinoff company, but this one had not been captured.
Milano pays tribute to Helmond on Friday, subtitling a series of pictures of his co-star with the words: "My beautiful, kind, funny, graceful, compassionate, rocky.You have been an essential part of my life.You have learned to keep my head over the swamp, you taught me to do something to laugh, what an example you were, rest in peace, Katherine. "
Unique daughter, Katherine Marie Helmond was born on July 5, 1929 in Galveston Island, Texas. His father was a firefighter and his mother a housewife. She was the eldest of three girls.
After attending Ball High School, she continued her acting career in Houston and Dallas, then moved to New York with a handful of friends. When they had a hard time finding work, they bought a theater in upstate New York State and played plays there. She said that she made 10 years of summer stock.
She spent seven years with the Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut and the Trinity Repertory Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. After winning the Drama Critics Award for off-Broadway performance in John Guare's Pulitzer Prize The house of blue leaves, Helmond watched the production in Los Angeles and quickly landed a guest spot Gunsmoke in 1972.
Helmond played a role in Arthur Hiller's L & # 39; s Hospital (1971), and in Alfred Hitchcock Family ground (1976), his character smashes a tombstone in a cemetery.
Gilliam threw Ruth Gordon to Bandits of timebut she broke her leg in a Clint Eastwood movie, so Helmond took the role. For Brazil, the filmmaker phoned her and told her, "I have a role to play for you, but you will not be able to do that very well," she recalls.
Helmond stated that she wore a rubber mask stuck on her face every day during production at 5 am and was wearing it for 10 hours at a time. She developed blisters that required medical attention. Yet even during this time, she found "a great joy to act".
"I felt fulfilled as a person when I had the opportunity to act," she said. "For all these years, I've never lost love, it's like an incredible marriage that really worked, I enjoyed every minute."
The survivors include her husband, David Christian, for 57 years. She met him at the Hampton Playhouse Summer Stock Theater, where he was the decorator and she the main woman.
"She was the love of my life," Christian said. "We have spent 57 beautiful and wonderful years of love together, which I will cherish forever.I'm with Katherine since the age of 19. On the night of her death, I saw that the moon was exactly half full, am now … half of what I've been all my adult life. "
A memorial for family and friends is in preparation.