Sunday, January 20, 2008

Suzanne Pleshette

Her wry smile and throaty voice remain. As Emily Hartley on the 1970s "Bob Newhart Show," she was the quintessential loving but skeptical wife in the kind of gentle comedy that is long gone from network TV.

A perfect partner for Newhart's stammering psychologist, Suzanne Pleshette complemented his confusion with a sardonic sense of reality in a quirky series that evoked more smiles than belly laughs.

Newhart went to another series with another actress playing his wife, but Pleshette was there for the finale in 1990, waking up in bed next to him as Emily listening to Newhart describe his life in the second sitcom as a dream resulting from eating too much Japanese food the night before.

She died yesterday at 70 from respiratory failure after years of struggling against lung cancer, a beautiful woman and accomplished actress leaving behind sweet moments in our collective memory.

1 comment:

GiromiDe said...

Rest in peace. Though I was slightly too young to appreciate the first Newhart series as it was aired, I watched a bit of it in reruns and found both he and Pleshette to be very talented performers. In fact, that series might not have been "ahead of its time," but it in some ways reminds me of the documentary style series of today -- not necessarily full of belly laughs, but not boring.