Lucille Ball Protégé, ‘Sixteen Candles’ Actress Was 98

Carole Cook dinner, who used a profession enhance from Lucille Ball to construct a profession that included three activates Broadway and roles in Sixteen Candles and The Unimaginable Mr. Limpet, has died. She was 98.

Cook dinner died of coronary heart failure on Wednesday, three days shy of her birthday, in Beverly Hills, her husband, actor Tom Troupe, introduced.

On tv, Cook dinner confirmed up because the ex-wife of Walter Findlay (Invoice Macy) on Maude, because the bar proprietor of the cop hangout Stella’s on Kojak, as madam Cora Van Husen on Dynasty and as Donna La Mar, the girlfriend of Charlie Cagney (Dick O’Neill), on Cagney & Lacey.

The fun-loving Texan got here to Hollywood at Ball’s behest and appeared on a 1959 episode of the comedienne’s Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. Ball satisfied her to vary her first title from Mildred to Carole in honor of the actress she most admired, Carole Lombard.

Cook dinner then labored alongside Ball on 18 episodes of The Lucy Present from 1963-68 — typically taking part in Lucy Carmichael’s pal Thelma Inexperienced — and 5 installments of CBS’ Right here’s Lucy from 1969-74. They even performed a sport of Password collectively in 1965. She wore her hair crimson, as did her mentor.

Cook dinner additionally portrayed the spouse of Don Knotts’ character and watched him swim out of her life in The Unimaginable Mr. Limpet (1964) and was Molly Ringwald’s touchy-feely Grandma Helen in John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles (1984).

In 1965, she adopted the legendary Carol Channing because the second actress to painting Dolly Levi in Hey, Dolly! — this was for a prolonged gig in Australia — after which appeared within the authentic Broadway productions of Romantic Comedy and forty second Avenue, which bowed in 1979 and ’80, respectively.

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In September 2018, Cook dinner and her husband have been interviewed by TMZ exterior Craig’s in West Hollywood, and she or he bought right into a spot of bother when she steered that President Trump must be assassinated. “The place is John Wilkes Sales space whenever you want him, proper?” she requested.

The Secret Service paid her a go to, and she or he identified “they couldn’t have been nicer. I mentioned, ‘I can’t go to jail, the stripes are horizontal, they don’t look good on me.’”

One in all 4 kids, Mildred Frances Cook dinner was born in Abilene, Texas, on Jan. 14, 1924.

“Abilene isn’t precisely the hub of Broadway — you’re as much as your ass in mesquite bushes — however I noticed my first present once I was 4, knew I wished to do this, and I by no means deviated,” she mentioned in a July interview. “I began out within the basement of the First Baptist Church and labored my method as much as Broadway, to films.”

After graduating in 1945 from Baylor College, the place she studied Greek drama, the green-eyed Cook dinner labored in regional theater and made it to Broadway in 1954 in a revival of Threepenny Opera, changing Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Peachum within the forged.

She was showing in Kismet in Warren, Ohio, when she acquired a name from Ball, who had learn a assessment of her efficiency in Annie Get Your Gun and requested her to come back to California to audition for her Desilu Workshop firm of younger actors. (Future Untouchables actor Nicholas Georgiade additionally bought his begin there.)

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She signed with Desilu and even lived in Ball’s residence after her divorce from Desi Arnaz.

On Christmas night time in 1959, Cook dinner appeared on CBS’ Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse as one of many younger performers getting coached by Desilu co-founder Ball for a musical revue. Three weeks later, she made her onscreen debut on a Robert Altman-directed episode of the Desilu collection U.S. Marshal.

In her first movie, she flirted with a basketball coach (Jack Weston) in Palm Springs Weekend (1963), starring Connie Stevens and Troy Donahue.

Cook dinner’s résumé additionally included episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, That Woman, McMillan & Spouse, Chico and the Man, Magnum, P.I., Dynasty, Hart to Hart and Gray’s Anatomy — the place she sang “Stormy Climate” — and such movies as The Gauntlet (1977), American Gigolo (1980), Summer season Lovers (1982) and House on the Vary (2004).

She and Troupe married in March 1964, when Ball was their matron of honor and future THR columnist and TCM host Robert Osborne (one other Desilu participant) their finest man. They acted collectively in such performs as The Lion in Winter and Father’s Day and raised cash for these residing with HIV/AIDS.

Along with her husband, survivors embrace her stepson, Christopher, and his spouse, Becky; sister Regina; and nieces and nephews.

Donations in her reminiscence will be made to the Leisure Group Fund (previously The Actors Fund).

In 2018, Cook dinner sang and shared recollections in a one-woman present on the intimate Feinstein’s/54 Under membership in New York. “At my age, taking part in [here] is just not a profession transfer,” she mentioned. “I’ve jewellery greater than this room.”

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