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Katherine Helmond, ‘Who’s the Boss?’ and ‘Soap’ Star, Dies at 89

Discussion in 'Celebrity Scuttlebutt' started by Barbara Fan, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Emmy-nominated actress Katherine Helmond, best known for her role on “Who’s the Boss?,” died on Feb. 23 at her Los Angeles home due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 89.

    The star, whose career spanned more than five decades, played matriarch Jessica Tate on Billy Crystal’s primetime soap sitcom, aptly titled “Soap,” which ran from 1977 to 1981. She nabbed four actress Emmy nominations for the role. Helmond played another famous mom, Mona Robinson, in another ABC hit series, “Who’s the Boss?” (1984–1992). The role landed her two supporting actress Emmy noms.

    I loved soap in the early 80s.
     
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  2. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Fan

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    I loved her in "Soap" and "Brazil". I've seen several interviews where she's very gracious. She was game for just about anything Terry Gilliam wanted to do which is why he cast her in three of his films.
     
  3. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Star

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    Love Soap!
    RIP, Katherine!
     
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  4. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Just too funny in Who's The Boss and Everybody Loves Raymond. Watching Katherine and the late Doris Roberts bounce off each other in the aforementioned series was/is brilliant. Condolences to her family and friends.
     
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  5. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, this is terrible. She was one of my favorites. I had assumed her disappearance from the public eye had been due to something like dementia or Alzheimer's but had not read anything definitive. She was always so upbeat and positive.

    Jessica Tate is one of the best TV characters ever. I guess Jessica and Mary (and Burt) are all up in heaven, while Benson's over in the corner rolling his eyes at them.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Loved her in Soap and will forever associate her with those scarily tight tops in Who's The Boss?

    I also fondly remember her somewhat bizarre venture into alternative British comedy, playing Ruby Wax's domineering mother and bonding with Joan Greenwood in an episode of Girls On Top.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    If I had to name my favorite TV comedy actress, I´d name her. She was fabulous on "Soap" from beginning to end, despite the decline of the writing in the last season. She also was outstanding in the Terry Gilliam movies she did, but I haven´t seen her in anything else, aside from her weird role in Hitchcock´s "Family Plot". I watched the EmmyLegends interview recently and she was candid, humble and lovable all the way. You can watch it here:

    https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/katherine-helmond#interview-clips

    Enjoy it! I hope she didn´t suffer too much in the end...We´ll always have her great work!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Here is the last appearance of Katherine as Jessica Tate on TV, not for the end of "Soap" but for a crossover she did into its spin-off "Benson"...years later!! It´s a sort of "spiritual" return of Jessica, who had been apparently shot by a Mexican guerilla squad (off-screen). Now it has a new meaning with the passing of the actress, and it closes her career very sweetly...and with heart and a big smile, as usual for such a dear artist.

     
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  9. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Jessica also visited Benson in an earlier episode when she was still alive, so to speak. Later, after Soap had been cancelled so unceremoniously, the producers figured this sort of closure for Jessica's Soap plot (on the spin-off, Benson) was the best they could do. They actually had written a lot more exposition, but someone (I'm guessing the network) made them pare it down to what you see in this clip.

    I have to believe that part of why they hired her for Soap was how she could make you cry, then immediately shift to making you laugh in the span of one scene.

     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
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  10. superman fan

    superman fan Soap Chat Fan

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    On no I loved her in every body loves Raymond as Debra 's mom lois:rip:
     

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