Monday, January 21, 2008

RIP Suzanne Pleshette

It was a voice by turns husky, smoky, and sultry; now it's owner, comedienne Suzanne Pleshette, is gone. Pleshette died Saturday of respiratory failure at the age of 70.

PhotobucketBorn in January 1937, Pleshette attended Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts before going on to Syracuse University in upstate New York. The raven-haired beauty appeared in numerous movies in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, including Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic The Birds.

Pleshette's longtime marriage to Tommy Gallagher (1968-2000) was bookended by two shorter ones: her first - to fellow actor Troy Donahue - ended badly in 1964 after just eight months, and her third (to former costar Tom Poston) was a happy one cut short after six years by his death in April 2007.

Among her noted roles on television were six seasons (1972-8) on The Bob Newhart Show (for which she reprised her role in the famous final episode of his other sitcom, Newhart, in May 1990), and a TV movie based on the life of Leona Helmsley entitled The Queen of Mean (1990), which must have been a great training ground for her final role as Karen Walker's mother on Will & Grace.

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