Katherine Helmond

Katherine Helmond

Birth name: Katherine Marie Helmond
Born: July 5, 1929
Age: 95
Birthplace: Galveston, Texas, U.S.
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Katherine Marie Helmond (born July 5, 1929) is an American film, theater and television actress, voice artist and director. In her four decades of television, she is known for playing Emily Dickinson on Meeting of Minds, but is best known for her starring role as the matriarch Jessica Tate on the ABC prime time soap opera sitcom, Soap (1977-1981), her co-starring role as feisty mother, Mona Robinson on Who's the Boss? (1984-1992), opposite Tony Danza. She also played more mothers, Doris Sherman on Coach, and Lois Whelan on Everybody Loves Raymond. She has also appeared as a guest on several talk and variety shows.



After her stage debut in As You Like It, she began working in New York in 1955. She later ran a summer theatre in the Catskills for three seasons and taught acting in university theatre programs. She made her television debut in 1962, but would not achieve fame until the 1970s. She also acted on stage, earning a Tony nomination for her performance on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown (1973). Other Broadway productions include Private Lives, Don Juan and Mixed Emotions.

Helmond appeared in such feature films as Family Plot (1976) and Brazil (1985), playing the mother of Jonathan Pryce's character. In 1983, she studied at the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop, and went on to direct four episodes of the television series Benson, as well as one episode of Who's the Boss? (1984). She picked up Emmy nominations for her role as Mona Robinson in Who's the Boss, and as Lois Whelan in Everybody Loves Raymond. She has continued working, receiving acclaim for her stage performance in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. (2001)

Helmond appeared in The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975), as Emma Borden, the title character's sister. She appeared in an episode of the short-lived 1976 CBS adventure series, Spencer's Pilots, starring Gene Evans. Helmond gained prominence as Jessica Tate, the ditzy matriarch of the Tate family in Soap (1977-1981) on ABC. From 1984 to 1992 she played the role of Mona Robinson on the ABC sitcom Who's the Boss?. The show was a ratings success, running for eight seasons and finishing in the Nielsen 'Top 10' four straight years. In 1993, she appeared in one episode of the British version of Who's the Boss?, The Upper Hand. From 1995 to 1997, she starred in the ABC sitcom Coach as Doris Sherman, eccentric owner of the fictional Orlando Breakers professional football team. From 1996 to 2004, she had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Lois Whelan (Ray Barone's mother-in-law). On July 25, 2010, she guest-starred on A&E's The Glades. She also guest starred as Caroline Bellefleur on "HBO"'s "True Blood".

Personal life

Helmond was born on July 5, 1929, the day after Independence Day, in Galveston, Texas, the only child of Joseph P. (March 11, 1904 - January 31, 1983) and Thelma (née Malone) Helmond (May 13, 1910 - October 10, 1981). She was raised by her mother and grandmother, both devout Roman Catholics. She attended a Catholic primary school and appeared in numerous school plays.

In 1957, Helmond married George N. Martin. After their divorce she married her second husband, David Christian and the couple have been together since 1962. She has no children. They have owned homes in Los Angeles, New York City, Long Island and London. She and her husband have a history as students of Zen.


Year Film Role Notes
1971 Believe in Me Saleslady
The Hospital Mrs. Marilyn Mead
1975 The Hindenburg Mrs. Mildred Breslau
1976 Family Plot Mrs. Maloney
Baby Blue Marine Mrs. Hudkins
1981 Time Bandits Mrs. Ogre
1985 Brazil Mrs. Ida Lowry
Shadey Lady Constance Landau British film
1987 Overboard Edith Mintz
1988 Lady in White Amanda Harper Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress (1990)
1992 Inside Monkey Zetterland Honor Zetterland
1993 Amore! Mildred Schwartz
1994 The Flight of the Dove Dr. Pamela Schilling a.k.a. The Spy Within
1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Desk Clerk at Mint Hotel
2000 The Perfect Nanny Mrs. McBride
2001 Living in Fear Mrs. Ford
2002 Black Hole Martha Truesdale
2003 Beethoven's 5th Crazy Cora Wilkens Direct-to-video film
2006 Cars Lizzie Voice role
2007 The Strand Isabelle Direct-to-video film
2011 Cars 2 Lizzie Voice role
Collaborator Irene Longfellow
Year Title Role Notes
1962 Car 54, Where Are You? Betty Lou Creco (uncredited) 1 episode
1972 Gunsmoke Ena Spratt 1 episode
1973 Adam's Rib Martha Layne 1 episode
The Bob Newhart Show Dr. Webster 1 episode
The ABC Afternoon Playbreak Liz Cunningham 1 episode
1974 The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Lady at House TV film
The Snoop Sisters Cissy Prine 1 episode
Dr. Max Libby Oppel TV film
Hec Ramsey Emily 1 episode
Larry Maureen Whitten TV film
Mannix Martha Cole 1 episode
Locusts Claire Fletcher TV film
Medical Center Rachel 1 episode
1974-75 The Rookies Joyce Lanson / Molly Phillips 2 episodes
1975 The Legend of Lizzie Borden Emma Borden TV film
The Family Nobody Wanted Mrs. Bittner TV film
Cage Without a Key Mrs. Little TV film
The First 36 Hours of Dr. Durant Nurse Katherine Gunther TV pilot
Barnaby Jones Edna Morrison 1 episode
Harry O Anne Kershaw 1 episode
The Six Million Dollar Man Middy 1 episode
1976 The Blue Knight 1 episode
James Dean Claire Folger TV film
Petrocelli Nancy Berwick 1 episode
Joe Forrester 1 episode
Wanted: The Sundance Woman Mattie Riley TV film
a.k.a. Mrs. Sundance Rides Again
Visions Aunt Sara 1 episode
Spencer's Pilots Elly 1 episode
1977 Little Ladies of the Night Miss Colby TV film
a.k.a. Diamond Alley
The Bionic Woman Dr. Harkens 2 episodes
Meeting of Minds Emily Dickinson 2 episodes
1978 Getting Married Vera Lesser TV film
Pearl Mrs. Sally Colton, Madam TV miniseries
1979 $weepstake$ Lynn 1 episode
Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker Elaine Thurston TV film
1980 Scout's Honor Pearl Bartlett TV film
1977-81 Soap Jessica Tate 85 episodes
Won — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy (1980)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1978)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1979)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1980)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1981)
1982 World War III Dorothy Longworth TV miniseries
For Lovers Only Bea Winchell TV film
Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story Frances Clooney TV film
1979-83 Benson Jessica Tate 2 episodes
also as director
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre Jack's mother 1 episode
Fantasy Island Laura Walters / George Walters 1 episode
1984 Not in Front of the Kids Millie Rosen TV film
1985 Comedy Factory Mildred Deegan 1 episode
1981-86 The Love Boat Vivian / Harriet Darnell Stevens 3 episodes
1986 Charmed Lives Mona Robinson 1 episode
Girls on Top Goldie DuPont 1 episode
Christmas Snow Widow Mutterance TV film
1988 Save the Dog! TV film
a.k.a. Go for Broke
1990 When Will I Be Loved? Barbara Patterson TV film
1991 The Perfect Tribute Farm Woman TV film
Deception: A Mother's Secret Geena Milner TV film
a.k.a. Tell Me No Lies
1984-92 Who's the Boss? Mona Robinson 196 episodes
Won — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1989)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1986)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1988)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1989)
Nominated — TV Land Award for Favorite Mother-in-Law (2005)
1992 Grass Roots Emma Carr TV film
Batman: The Animated Series Connie Stromwell 1 episode
Voice role
1993 The Elvira Show Aunt Minerva Unknown episodes
The Upper Hand Madame Alexandra 1 episode
1995 Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story Hedda Hopper TV film
1995-97 Coach Doris Sherman 11 episodes
1997 Ms. Scrooge Maude Marley TV film
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Dugong 1 episode
Voice role
Providence Rose Bidwell 2 episodes
2000 Strong Medicine Cicely Nordeco 1 episode
How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale Shatzie TV film
2002 Mr. St. Nick Queen Carlotta TV film
1996-2004 Everybody Loves Raymond Lois Whelan 14 episodes
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2002)
2007 A Grandpa for Christmas Roxie Famosa TV film
2010 The Glades Evelyn 1 episode
Melissa & Joey Mrs. Geller 1 episode
2011 True Blood Caroline Bellefleur 1 episode
2011 Harry's Law Mrs. Gold 1 episode
2012 Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales Lizzie 1 episode ("Time Travel Mater")

Award nominations

She was nominated for Broadway's 1973 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role on Soap four times in a row (1978-1981) as Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In 1988 and 1989, she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Who's the Boss?. In 2002, she was nominated as Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Everybody Loves Raymond.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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