'Three's Company' Actress Ann Wedgeworth Passes Away At The Age Of 83

Actress Ann Wedgeworth, who had a memorable supporting role on the classic sitcom ‘Three’s Company,’ has passed away at the age of 83. Wedgeworth’s daughter, Dianna Martin, has confirmed that her mother died on Thursday at a nursing home near her home in New York after a lengthy battle with an undisclosed illness. As USA Today shares, she was surrounded by her family at the time of her passing.

Among the highlights from her time in the spotlight was a memorable supporting role in Three’s Company, which ran on ABC from 1977 through 1984. The show launched the career of John Ritter, who played the role of Jack Tripper, and revolved around the various hijinks of three roommates - one single male and two single women. During her stint on the show, Wedgeworth played the role of neighbor Lana Shields, an older divorcee that had eyes for Tripper. Her character was only featured in nine episodes, but Wedgeworth and Ritter had outstanding comedic chemistry. Little explanation was given for her exit after she left the show.

Wedgeworth would land another memorable supporting role later in her career, but this one would see her appear in nearly 100 episodes. She would join the cast of CBS’s “Evening Shade” in 1989 and assume the role of Merleen Eldridge, the wife of local physician Harlan Eldridge. On the show, the couple was friends with main characters Burt Reynold's and Marilu Henner’s Wood and Ava Newton, who had moved back to a small town in Arkansas after Wood was forced to retire from professional football after suffering an injury.

The actress would begin her career on Broadway in 1958 when she debuted in the play “Make a Million.” Wedgeworth would focus on the theater for the next two decades, as she appeared in various off-Broadway and Broadway productions. Her crowning achievement was a 1978 Tony award for best performance by a featured actress in a play for her work in the hit Neil Simon production “Chapter Two.”

Wedgeworth would find success on the big screen as well. She would take on the role of leading lady opposite Gene Hackman in the film ‘Scarecrow,’ as well as in 'Bang the Drum Slowly' opposite Robert De Niro. Wedgeworth also had a number of supporting roles in films during the 1980s, including her role as Patsy Cline’s mother in 'Sweet Dreams,' with Jessica Lange and Ed Harris, a turn for which she received a nod from the National Society of Film Critics Award.

On the personal front, Wedgeworth was married to actor Rip Torn from 1955 to 1961, and the couple would have one daughter together. In 1970, she would marry acting coach Ernest Martin, with whom she had another daughter. There is no word on funeral arrangements or memorial services at this time. Wedgeworth is survived by Martin, her two daughters, and her stepson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends, and loved ones for their loss.

Source: Yahoo
Photo: YouTube

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