Shirley Mitchell, 'I Love Lucy' actress, dead at 94
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Actress Shirley Mitchell, believed to be the last adult recurring guest-player on "I Love Lucy," has died at age 94.
Mitchell, a prolific television performer since the 1950s, died Monday of heart failure at her condominium in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, her sister-in-law, Oscar-nominated actress Nancy Olson, told The Hollywood Reporter.
In three season-three episodes of "I Love Lucy," the classic 1951-57 CBS sitcom starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Mitchell played Lucy's friend Marion Strong, known for her cackling laugh. "Marion, stop cackling," Lucy said in one episode. "I've been waiting 10 years for you to lay that egg!" The character was first played by Margie Liszt in season two.
Mitchell's dozens of TV credits include recurring roles on "Bachelor Father," "Petticoat Junction" and the variety show "The Red Skelton Hour," in which she was nagging wife Clara Appleby to Skelton's George Appleby in comedy sketches. Well into the 1980s, she appeared in guest roles on such series as "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Green Acres," "The Odd Couple," "Three's Company," "CHiPs" and "Dallas."
She voiced the mother of the titular comic-strip character in three animated "Cathy" specials, and as late as 2012 did a voice-over, portraying an animated Betty White, on Cartoon Network's "Mad."
Born Nov. 4, 1919, in Toledo, Ohio, according to Variety, Mitchell began in radio. From 1992 until his death in 2001, she was married to famed composer Jay Livingston. She was previously married to Dr. Julien Frieden.