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Suzanne Pleshette Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jan 31, 1937
  • Died: Jan 19, 2008

Glamorous, down-to-earth leading lady Suzanne Pleshette was the daughter of the managing director of Brooklyn's Paramount Theater. She attended Performing Arts High School, Finch College, and Syracuse University. After some TV experience, she made her film debut in Jerry Lewis' [[Feature~V19323~The Geisha Boy~thegeishaboy]] (1958), then went on to replace [[Performer~P80576~Anne Bancroft~annebancroft]] as star of Broadway's The Miracle Worker. During her years at Warner Bros., Pleshette successfully avoided simpering ingénue roles, holding out for parts requiring beyond-her-years emotional depth. Her flair for comedy was delightfully tapped during her subsequent tenure with Disney in such films as [[Feature~V158740~The Ugly Dachsund~theugly]] (1967) and [[Feature~V60090~The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin~theadventuresofbullwhipgriffin]] (1968). Pleshette's film work, however, has never struck so responsive a chord with the fans as her television work, notably her portrayal of Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978) -- a role that she briefly and hilariously reprised on the very last episode of Newhart's subsequent series, Newhart. She then starred in several short-lived TV series, including Maggie Briggs (1984), [[Feature~V11602~Bridges to Cross~crosscreek]] (1986), and The Boys Are Back (1994), and was also a ubiquitous presence in such made-for-TV movies as [[Feature~V75076~Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean~leonahelmsleythequeenofmean]]. And yes: Incredible as it may seem, Suzanne Pleshette was once married to [[Performer~P19596~Troy Donahue~troydonahue]]. Pleshette died of respiratory failure in January 2008. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi