The dazzlingly talented, seven-time Emmy-nominated actress Katherine Helmond – star of Soap, Who’s the Boss?, and World of Wonder’s 1996 BBC2 series Wrinkly Vision – has died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at her home in Los Angeles, her talent agency, APA, announced. She was 89.
You might also recall, Helmond famously starred as the plastic surgery-obsessed mother in Brazil (see below), the over-the-top socialite mother in Overboard (remember THIS?), as well as the seafaring cannibal Mrs. Ogre in Time Bandits… oh, oh, and Alfred Hitchcock’s last movie Family Plot. My god she was fabulous.
More recently, she appeared on True Blood.
She was also, as I mentioned, a beloved member of the WOW family, having hosted one of our first series Wrinkly Vision, a celebration of lovable and wacky senior citizens.
Check out a quick clip from Wrinkly Vision below, featuring Helmond, a pair of too-cute octogenarian ballet dancers, and an elderly woman named Happy Lucky Fawn who does a (super-bendy) interpretive dance…
And go to WOW Presents Plus HERE to watch the whole episode for FREE.
Quickly, back to Helmond: She got into acting after the death of her first husband, “throwing caution to the wind, doing whatever comes up, thinking my own thoughts, being a little more risque,” she once said.
Katherine added: “If life dealt you some unfortunate blow, you would still be able to go out into the world, find new friends, find new jobs, find a new way of living if you knew who you were.
“I felt like I was giving a free lesson to a lot of people who are in that position … I got wonderful letters from people.”
She is survived by her second husband of 57 years, David Christian, whom she met at The Hampton Playhouse Summer Stock Theater, where he was the set designer and she the leading lady. A memorial for family and friends is being planned.