Katherine Helmond, 'Who's the Boss?' Actress and Voice of Lizzie in 'Cars' Dead at 89

Katherine Helmond Dead 89 Obituary

Katherine Helmond, star of iconic TV series like Soap and Who's the Boss? has died at the age of 89. She passed away in her Los Angeles due to complications from Alzheimer's, Deadline reports (via APA).

In addition to playing Mona Robinson on Who's the Boss?, Helmond was a famous face that popped up in other big, beloved TV sitcoms like playing Doris Sherman on ABC's Coach; and mother-in-law Lois Whelan in Everybody Loves Raymond; and Andy Bellefleur's mother Caroline in HBO's True Blood. The younger generations also got to know Helmond a different way: as the voice of Lizzie, in Disney/Pixar's Cars Trilogy.

Katherine Marie Helmond was born in 1929 and got her start as an actress on the New York stage in the 1950s, where she ran a summer theatre in the Catskills and taught acting. She would make her first TV appearance in the early 1960s, but head to wait and work and grind into the 1970s before finding breakout stardom.

The 1970s were much kinder to Helmond, as she scored a Tony Award nomination for Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown, and broke into feature films including Terry Gilliam's Brazil. By the mid-70s, she had also broken into the realm of television, with features like the Legend of Lizzie Borden TV movie, and CBS' Spencer's Pilots. Her big break came playing ditzy matriarch Jessica Tate in Soap, which carried her form the mid-70s into the '80s. By that time Helmond hit her biggest stride in the industry, starring as Mona Robinson in Who's the Boss?, and its eventual British adaptation, The Upper Hand.

From the end of Who's the Boss' run in 1992, Helmond continued to be a big TV star, thanks to Coach, where she played eccentric football team owner Doris Sherman ('95 to '97), and Lois Whelan in Everybody Loves Raymond ('96 to '04). The Cars franchise buoyed her through the 2000s, and Helmond finished off her esteemed career appearing on A&E's The Glades and HBO's True Blood in the 2010s.


Helmond married twice, first to George N. Martin, and then to David Christian, who she was with since 1962. Clearly, the last years of Helmond's life was spent trying to manage her Alzheimer's diagnosis - a struggle that has now come to its end.

R.I.P. Katherine Marie Helmond: July 5, 1929 - March 1, 2019. We offer our condolences to her friends and family in their time of grief.