Georgia Engel, who shot to stardom in the 1970s playing Georgette Franklin on the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on Friday in Princeton, NJ. She was 70.
Her executor John Quilty told the New York Times that the cause of her death was “undetermined” because she was a Christian Scientist and did not see a doctor.
Georgia debuted on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1972, which was a sitcom created by James L. Brook and Allen Burns, and starred Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards, a single and independent woman dedicated to her career as an associate producer on a news show in Minneapolis.
Engel’s character on the show Georgette, the young, seemingly naive, easy-going girlfriend, and later wife of Ted Knight’s character, the blustery TV news anchor Ted Baxter. However, Georgette’s outward comportment belied a tough and resilient personality within.
She co-starred on The Mary Tyler Moore Show with others, such as Edward Asner as Mary’s boss Lou Grant, Valerie Harper as Mary’s friend Rhoda and Coris Leachman as Mary’s landlady Phyllis Lindstrom. Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Betty White and John Amos also co-starred on the show alongside Georgia.
Georgia later worked in the late 1970s with Betty White and John Hillermann on The Betty White Show and more recently on the sitcom Hot in Cleveland, alongside Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick.
She also guest starred as Pat MacDougall in Everybody Loves Raymond, appearing in 13 episodes of the show. She later appeared in Goodtime Girls and Jennifer Slept Here.
Georgia went on to receive two Emmy Award nominations for best supporting actress in a comedy for her role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also received three Emmy nominations for her role in Everybody Loves Raymond.
Although she is best known for her work on TV, she started her acting career when she appeared in 1969 in the original Broadway production of Hello Dolly! as a replacement player.
She also appeared in John Guare’s The House of Blues before debuting on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
She returned to theater later in life, playing a leading role last year at the age of 69 in the musical Half Time staged at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse.
Georgia was born in July 28, 1948 in Washington. Her father Benjamin Engle was a Coast Guard officer while her her mother was Ruth Engel.