Television | Celebrity | Retro

'Who's The Boss' Star Katherine Helmond Dies At 89

Alan Light - Wikimedia / ABC

A veteran actress with roles on several popular sitcoms has passed away.

Katherine Helmond, who was nominated for seven Emmy awards and won a Golden Globe, has died at age 89 according to her talent agency APA.

Helmond, who had her first film role in 1962 and her last in 2014, is best known for playing the man-crazy mother Mona Robinson on Who’s the Boss? and Jessica Tate on Soap.

Younger audiences will also recognize her as the voice of Lizzie, the Model T from the Cars films and TV shows.

Who's the Boss
Helmond's death was caused by complications of Alzheimer's disease.ABC

Along the way, Helmond had memorable parts on a huge variety of series ranging from Everybody Loves Raymond to True Blood.

She also appeared in three of director Terry Gilliam’s films, Brazil, Time Bandits, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

APA announced that Helmond died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at her home in Los Angeles.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Helmond’s carefree portrayal of the widower Mona Robinson was a hit with fans, especially older women.

Katherine Helmond
Helmond in 1989.Alan Light - Wikimedia

"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," Helmond said.

"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."

Her co-star, Alyssa Milano, shared photos of Helmond in a heartfelt social media tribute.

"My beautiful, kind, funny, gracious, compassionate, rock," she wrote.

"You were an instrumental part of my life. You taught me to hold my head above the marsh! You taught me to do anything for a laugh! What an example you were! Rest In Peace, Katherine."

Tony Danza said he was "in love" with Helmond in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

"She was such an influence on me. From being a single guy with a hit show in Hollywood, though my marriage and having kids — she was with me. No matter what problem I had, I could go to her. Very few people could match her."

Helmond is survived by her husband of 57 years, set designer David Christian.

[H/T: The Hollywood Reporter]

She was the boss! Do you have a favorite memory from Helmond's TV career?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com