Friday, September 24, 2010

Remembering... Audra Lindley

She was, of course, unforgettable as Helen Roper, the over-sexed middle-aged landlady on Three's Company, which was itself a remake of the UK sitcom Man About The House. So memorable was Audra Lindley's chemistry with Norman Fell, in fact, that their characters were spun-off into another show The Ropers - which was itself a remake of UK sitcom George and Mildred, and which had itself been spun-off from Man About The House. Got all that?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe Ropers was also notable for costarring Jeffrey Tambor; despite the abundance of comedic talent, the show lasted just 28 episodes. Following the cancellation of The Ropers in 1979 Lindley had a memorable turn in the 1985 film Desert Hearts, and finally played Phoebe's grandmother on Friends.

What I didn't know was that she was also in Bridget Loves Bernie, an obscure bit of TV from the 1972-3 season that gave Meredith Baxter Birney her first break, or that she'd appeared on Another World, playing Liz Matthews for six years from early on (1964-69).

To me, though, she'll always be Mrs. Roper. Though she was clearly in the show initially for comic relief, she rapidly became its heart and soul, exuding warmth and humour as she connived with Jack, Janet, and Chrissy, to put one over on Mr. Roper in episode after episode.

Born on this day in 1913, when Audra Lindley died of leukemia in October 1997 she was still working, appearing on Cybill. She was survived by her husband, actor James Whitmore, and five children by her first marriage to Dr. Hardy Ulm, to whom she was married from 1943-60.
share on: facebook

No comments: