Bob Newhart Show Star Suzanne Pleshette Dies at 70

Bob Newhart Show Star Suzanne Pleshette Dies at 70
Suzanne Pleshette
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

updated 01/20/2008 at 11:00 AM EST

originally published 01/20/2008 11:15AM

Suzanne Pleshette, best-known for her role as Bob Newhart’s wisecracking wife on the 1970s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show, died at her home in Los Angeles Saturday. She was 70.

The throaty-voiced actress, who also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and on Broadway in The Miracle Worker, passed away from respiratory failure, said her lawyer and family friend Robert Finkelstein, the Associated Press reports. She had been treated for lung cancer in 2006.

Born in 1937 in New York City, Pleshette began her acting career on the stage in the 1950s after attending New York's High School for the Performing Arts. She then moved into film and TV roles, often getting parts because of her husky voice. "When I was 4," she said in a 1994 interview, "I was answering the phone, and [the callers]] thought I was my father."

Most recently, Pleshette starred in TV movies such as 1990's Leona Helmsley, the Queen of Mean for which she received an Emmy nomination. She also appeared on the sitcoms Will & Grace and 8 Simple Rules.

Pleshette became a widow last year when her husband, comic actor Tom Poston, died after a brief illness. The pair married in 2001, more than 40 years after they had first met on Broadway in 1959.

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