Katherine Helmond

Katherine Helmond

Highest Rated: 98% Brazil (1985)

Lowest Rated: 36% The Hindenburg (1975)

Birthday: Jul 05, 1929

Birthplace: Galveston, Texas, USA

A spry and quick-witted comic presence on television for more than four decades, actress Katherine Helmond won critical praise and numerous Emmy nominations for playing society women whose well-bred veneer often obscured a wicked tongue or earthy interests on such series as "Soap" (ABC, 1977-1981) and "Who's the Boss" (ABC, 1984-1992). Born Katherine Marie Helmond on July 5, 1929 in Galveston, Texas, she was the eldest of three daughters by firefighter Patrick Helmond and his wife, Thelma. After her parents' divorce, Helmond was raised primarily by her mother and grandmother, and attended Catholic school; there, she gained her first acting experience in a school play when the teaching sisters assigned her a role to help wear down her shyness. Theater soon became her abiding interest, and Helmond performed in local theater productions and pageants while also learning the ins and outs of backstage work, which she credited as helping to ground her when she made acting her profession. After a semester at Bob Jones University - where she made her screen debut in a school-funded feature, "Wine of Morning" (1955) - Helmond performed with theater companies in Texas and New York; when work dried up in the latter location, she and a few friends opened their own theater upstate. By the mid-1960s, Helmond was drawing praise for roles for theater companies across the United States, most notably the Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut, where she spent seven years, and at the Trinity Square Repertory Theater in Providence, Rhode Island, where her turn as Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire" earned glowing praise from Boston Globe critic Kevin Kelly. Her performance in the New York premiere of John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves" in 1971 earned her a Drama Critics Award, which was followed by her first Tony nomination for the Broadway run of "The Great God Brown." When Helmond followed "Blue Leaves" to Los Angeles, California, she tried her hand at film and television, and soon became an in-demand character actor in both mediums. A supporting turn in the Paddy Chayefsky-scripted black comedy "The Hospital" (1971) led to a handful of additional film roles, including "The Hindenburg" (1975) and Alfred Hitchcock's "Family Plot" (1976), but television would prove to be a more consistent and rewarding showcase. Guest roles on "Gunsmoke" (CBS, 1955-1975) were quickly eclipsed by supporting turns in Emmy-winning TV-movies like "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (CBS, 1974) and "The Legend of Lizzie Borden" (ABC, 1976) and her first work as a series regular on "Soap" (ABC, 1977-1981). The comedy, a spoof of daytime soap opera excesses, cast her as wealthy Jessica Tate, who remained blithely unaware of the chaos that ensued around her; so convincing was her performance, which earned her a Golden Globe and four Emmy nominations, that Helmond told an interviewer that people were disappointed to find that she was not as flighty in real life as her screen character. When "Soap" ran its course in 1981, Helmond stepped in to replace an injured Ruth Gordon as the wife of grumpy ogre Peter Vaughn in Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits" (1981); she would later appear in two other films for the "Monty Python" alum, most notably in "Brazil" (1985), as the plastic surgery-addicted mother of hero Jonathan Pryce. But Helmond remained a staple of television, and after numerous guest appearances - and several turns behind the camera as director on episodes of the "Soap" spinoff "Benson" (ABC, 1979-1986), she returned to series regular work on "Who's the Boss?" The comedy, with Tony Danza as housekeeper for divorced working mom Judith Light, cast Helmond as Light's amorous mother. It too proved remarkably successful for Helmond, earning her a second Golden Globe and two more Emmy nominations in 1988 and 1989. When "Boss" closed shop in 1992, Helmond moved into a recurring role on "Coach" (ABC, 1989-1997) as the owner of a fictional football team, and on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS, 1995-2005), where she and Robert Culp played the well-heeled parents of Patricia Heaton's Debra Barone. Helmond earned her seventh and final Emmy nomination for "Raymond," and remained active on television and stage and in the occasional feature for the next decade. She provided the voice of a weathered automobile in "Cars" (2006) and its two sequels (2011 and 2017), and enjoyed guest turns on "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2004) and "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-2014), among numerous other projects. Helmond logged her final screen appearance in the 2018 feature "Frank and Ava" (2018) before succumbing to complications from Alzheimer's disease at her home in Los Angeles on February 23, 2019 at the age of 89.

Photos

Highest rated movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
73% 60% Collaborator Irene Longfellow (Character) - 2011
No Score Yet 76% A Grandpa for Christmas Roxie (Character) - 2007
74% 79% Cars Lizzie (Voice) - 2006
No Score Yet 31% Beethoven's 5th Cora Wilkens (Character) - 2003
No Score Yet 34% Mr. St. Nick Carlotta (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet 14% Living in Fear Mrs. Ford (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale Shatzie (Character) - 2000
No Score Yet 24% The Perfect Nanny Mrs. McBride (Character) - 2000
49% 89% Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Desk Clerk at Mint Hotel (Character) $10.6M 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet Ms. Scrooge Maude Marley (Character) - 1997
No Score Yet 20% The Spy Within Dr. Pamela Schilling (Character) - 1995
71% 58% Inside Monkey Zetterland Honor Zetterland (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet Deception: A Mother's Secret Geena Milner (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet When Will I Be Loved? Barbara Patterson (Character) - 1990
69% 69% Lady in White Amanda (Character) $282.7K 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Save the Dog! Unknown (Character) - 1988
45% 74% Overboard Edith Mintz (Character) $23.9M 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Shadey Lady Constance Landau (Character) $1.9K 1986
98% 90% Brazil Mrs. Ida Lowry (Character) $3.7M 1985
No Score Yet 77% World War III Dorothy Longworth (Character) - 1982
90% 77% Time Bandits Mrs. Ogre (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Scout's Honor Pearl Bartlett (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker Elaine Thurston (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Getting Married Vera Lesser (Character) - 1978
92% 62% Family Plot Mrs. Maloney (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet 30% James Dean Claire Folger (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Baby Blue Marine Mrs. Hudkins (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Wanted: The Sundance Woman Mattie Riley (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cage Without a Key Mrs. Little (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet 83% The Legend of Lizzie Borden Emma Borden (Character) - 1975
36% 38% The Hindenburg Mrs. Mildred Breslau (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet The First 36 Hours of Dr. Durant Nurse Katherine Gunther (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Family Nobody Wanted Mrs. Bittner (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Locusts Claire Fletcher (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Other Woman Liz Cunningham (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dr. Max Libby Oppel (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Larry Maureen Whitten (Character) - 1974

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cars Toons Lizzie (Character) 2014 2010 2008
No Score Yet 77% Everybody Loves Raymond Lois Whelan (Guest Star) 1998-2004 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Providence Unknown (Guest Star) 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wild Thornberrys Unknown (Guest Voice) 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Coach Doris Sherman (Character),
Unknown (Guest Star)
1995-1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story Hedda Hopper (Character) 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Who's the Boss? Mona Robinson (Character) 1984-1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet Girls on Top Unknown (Guest Star) 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Benson Unknown (Guest Star),
Director
1983-1984
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fantasy Island Unknown (Guest Star) 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Soap Unknown (Character) 1977-1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bionic Woman Unknown (Guest Star) 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Joe Forrester Unknown (Guest Star) 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Blue Knight Unknown (Guest Star) 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Six Million Dollar Man Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Harry O Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Rookies Unknown (Guest Star) 1974-1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Barnaby Jones Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mannix Martha Cole (Guest Star) 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Snoop Sisters Unknown (Guest Star) 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bob Newhart Show Dr. Webster (Guest Star) 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Adam's Rib Unknown (Guest Star) 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Gunsmoke Ena Spratt (Guest Star) 1972

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