Katherine Helmond, Star of ‘Who’s the Boss?’ & ‘Soap,’ Dead At 89
“She was the love of my life,” her husband, David Christian, said in a statement. “We spent 57 beautiful, wonderful, loving years together, which I will treasure forever. I’ve been with Katherine since I was 19 years old. The night she died, I saw that the moon was exactly half-full, just as I am now… half of what I’ve been my entire adult life.”
Helmond died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in her Los Angeles residence on Feb. 23, according to Manfred Westphal, chief marketing and communications officer for APA.
During her five-decade career, the actress was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards and won two Golden Globes for the two roles for which she was best known.
On the soap-opera spoof series Soap, which ran for four seasons from 1977 to 1981, the Galveston, Texas, native played the socialite sister Jessica Tate, a role that earned her a Golden Globe in 1981.
On the ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss?, she played the free-spirited, constantly dating mother, Mona Robinson. Helmond won a Golden Globe in 1989 for the role and the show drew solid ratings for years, running for eight seasons and almost 200 episodes.
Helmond’s Who’s the Boss? co-star Tony Danza called her “a national treasure,” on Twitter following the news of her death. “No words can measure my love.”
We all lost a national treasure today. No words can measure my love. pic.twitter.com/eGTf6Ovt3f
— Tony Danza (@TonyDanza) March 1, 2019
Alyssa Milano also paid tribute to the longtime actress on Friday, captioning a series of photos of her co-star with the words, “My beautiful, kind, funny, gracious, compassionate, rock. You were an instrumental part of my life. You taught me to hold my head above the marsh! You taught me to do anything for a laugh! What an example you were! Rest In Peace, Katherine.”
Katherine Helmond has passed away.
My beautiful, kind, funny, gracious, compassionate, rock. You were an instrumental part of my life. You taught me to hold my head above the marsh! You taught me to do anything for a laugh! What an example you were!
Rest In Peace, Katherine. pic.twitter.com/HNIH0Ty6MN
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 1, 2019
Though most of her work was on television, Helmond turned up occasionally on the big screen, including a voice role in the Cars movies and credits in three Terry Gilliam films. She played the cannibal Mrs. Ogre in Time Bandits, Jonathan Pryce’s rich, cosmetic surgery-addicted mother in Brazil and a hotel clerk in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
A memorial for family and friends is currently being planned for the near future, her agency said.