Georgia Engel, who played the soft-spoken and innocent Georgette Franklin on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died. She was 70.
John Quilty, her friend and executor told The New York Times that Engel died Friday in Princeton, New Jersey. The cause was undetermined, Quilty told the Times, because Engel, a Christian Scientist, did not consult doctors.
Engel had a decades-long career as a television and stage actress. She was best known for her role on the 1970s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” for which she was nominated for two Emmy awards. She also received three Emmy nominations for her guest role as Pat McDougall on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Engel was the daughter of a US Coast Guard admiral, and growing up she moved many times across the US. After graduating college, she packed her bags for New York, where she landed her first role on stage in an Off-Broadway musical, and later on as Minnie Fay in the Broadway production of “Hello, Dolly!” according to Turner Classic Movies.
She landed a guest role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” but soon captured the hearts of both the audience and her fellow cast members and continued to appear on the show as the girlfriend — and later wife — of TV newsman Ted Baxter, played by Ted Knight.
When that show ended in 1977, she appeared in a few more short-lived sitcoms and made appearances in movies like “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “The Sweetest Thing” before landing the role in “Everybody Loves Raymond.”