NBC News reported yesterday, 4/15/2019, that Georgia Engel, who played the soft-spoken Georgette Baxter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” died Friday in Princeton, N.J. She was 70.
Engel was Emmy nominated twice for outstanding continuing performance by a supporting actress in a comedy series for her role as Georgette, girlfriend and later wife to Ted Baxter. She joined “Mary Tyler Moore” in 1972, during its third season.
“Georgia was one of a kind – the absolute best,” said Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Betty White in a statement to NBC News.
She was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Ruth Caroline and Benjamin Franklin Engel, who was a Coast Guard admiral. She graduated from the Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, and earned her degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Engel had recurring roles as Pat MacDougall, the mother-in-law of Brad Garret’s character, on three seasons of “Everybody Loves Raymond” from 2003-2005, as well as on “Hot in Cleveland” from 2012-2015.
“I am in shock,” tweeted Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton. “Georgia was an absolute angel – so dear, so sweet, so talented. God bless you Georgia!” Heaton also recalled one of her favorite Raymond episodes featuring Engel.
Her work on “Everybody Loves Raymond” earned her three Emmy nominations for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series. Her most recent appearance was on Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” as Sister Barbara.
Phil Rosenthal, Raymond‘s creator, writer and exec producer, tweeted a simple, “To our dear sweet friend, we’ll love and miss you and your brilliant talent always.”
“She could get a laugh on literally every line you gave her,” Everybody Loves Raymond creator Philip Rosenthal told The New York Times. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Her performance in 2015’s off-Broadway production of Annie Baker play “John” earned her an Obie Award for distinguished performance by an actress.
John Quilty, Engel’s friend, and executor, told The New York Times that the cause of death is unknown, as Engel was a Christian Scientist who did not consult doctors. Engel is survived by two sisters, Robin Engel, and Penny Lusk.
Ref. NBC News, nytimes.com, deadline.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via nl.wikipedia.org