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Katherine Helmond Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jul 5, 1934
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

American actress Katherine Helmond spent nearly thirty years becoming an overnight success. Working fitfully in New York and regional theatre throughout the '50s and '60s, Helmond made ends meet by working as a drama teacher. Her first fleeting film appearances were in the Manhattan-based [[Feature~V84735~Believe in Me~believeinme]] and [[Feature~V23200~The Hospital~thehospital]], both shot in 1971. She received a sizeable role in 1975's [[Feature~V22480~The Hindenburg~thehindenburg]], which utilized local repertory actors from throughout the midwest; she also worked with Hitchcock in 1976's [[Feature~V16713~Family Plot~familyplot]]. In 1977, Katherine was cast as Jessica Tate, the scatterbrained, hedonistic matriarch on the TV sitcom [[Feature~V45426~Soap~soapers]]. She remained with the series until its cancellation in 1981; [[Feature~V45426~Soap~soapers]] left poor Jessica Tate facing a firing squad, and didn't reveal her fate until Helmond's guest appearance on the [[Feature~V45426~Soap~soapers]] spinoff [[Feature~V84807~Benson~thebensonmurdercase]], wherein she played Jessica's ghost. In 1983, Katherine enrolled in the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop; she helmed the short subject Bankrupt and also several episodes of TV's [[Feature~V54421~Who's the Boss~whoswho]], in which she played Mona Robinson from 1984 through 1990. Keeping her hand in films, Katherine Helmond became a favorite of ex-Monty Python director [[Performer~P91577~Terry Gilliam~terrygilliam]], who cast the actress as a vain matron undergoing a really radical facelift in 1984's [[Feature~V6977~Brazil~brazil]]. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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