Sunday, January 20, 2008

Suzanne Pleshette Has Died

Sad news. Suzanne Pleshette, who played Bob Newhart's wife Emily on the "The Bob Newhart Show," has died, reports CNN:
Suzanne Pleshette, the husky-voiced star best known for her role as Bob Newhart's sardonic wife on television's long-running "The Bob Newhart Show," has died at age 70.

Pleshette, whose career included roles in such films as Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and in Broadway plays including "The Miracle Worker," died of respiratory failure Saturday evening at her Los Angeles home, said her attorney Robert Finkelstein, also a family friend.

Pleshette underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer in 2006.

"The Bob Newhart Show," a hit throughout its six-year run, starred comedian Newhart as a Chicago psychiatrist surrounded by eccentric patients and neighbors. Pleshette provided the voice of reason.

Four years after the show ended in 1978, Newhart went on to the equally successful "Newhart" series, in which he was the proprietor of a New England inn populated by more eccentrics. When that show ended in 1990, Pleshette reprised her role -- from the first show -- in one of the most clever final episodes in TV history.

It had Newhart waking up in the bedroom of his "The Bob Newhart Show" home with Pleshette at his side. He went on to tell her of the crazy dream he'd just had of running an inn filled with eccentrics.

I have always loooooved "The Bob Newhart Show." It is one of my top five tv shows of all time. The humor was more grown-up and sophisticated than all the crap that's shoved down our throats like so much pablum these days, and Suzanne Pleshette was such a big part of that. There was no talk of her and Bob having or wanting kids; they lived in their big Chicago apartment and drank cocktails and threw verbal zingers back and forth and Emily Hartley--ballsy, fun, well-coifed, smoky-voiced, career-oriented, in love with her husband but not remotely in awe of him--was everything I though adulthood would be.

Oh, and she played Leona Helmsley in the made-for-tv movie! How awesome is that?

I had no idea that she married Tom Poston, the bumbling friend on the second "Newhart," in 2001.

There is a nice appreciation of Miss Pleshette in Time magazine, here.

You, lady, shall be missed.


Anonymous said...

Very sad indeed.

Boo says that Sam The Butcher also died. :o(

~ Spare E

impychimp said...

You didn't know that she married Tom Poston? You, my dear lady, must not be reading The Enquirer!