Suzanne Pleshette

It's a sign of getting old when the women you found sexy while growing up are dying of age related health problems.

Late yesterday evening Suzanne Pleshette succumbed to respiratory failure, perhaps related to her bout with lung cancer in 2006 for which she'd received chemotherapy. She'd recently been treated for pulmonary infection and had developed pneumonia as well. She was 70.

My youth was spent admiring her as the wife on The Bob Newhart show where Pleshette portrayed Newhart's practical and sardonic wife--a sharp counterpoint to all the odd characters that played off of Newhart's dry wit.

Pleshette's beauty and husky voice certainly kept me riveted to the show and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. There's no denying that Newhart was an exceptional comic, but it was due to Pleshette that I watched the show every week.

The photo on the left is Pleshette and her last husband (they were both married 3 times) Tom Poston, who also acted in both Bob Newhart shows. They were married for 6 years until Poston's death in 2007 at 85.

While Pleshette wasn't a cast member on the later Newhart Show, she did appear on the last episode in a very memorable scene. Innkeeper Newhart, hit on the noggin by a golf ball, went into an apparent coma and then woke up next to Pleshette in what appeared to be the bedroom set from the earlier Bob Newhart Show, and started to tell his wife about his very strange dream in which he was an innkeeper in Vermont and was constantly coping with all these strange people. It was a great way to end the series and so nice to see Pleshette there at the end.

The last place I saw Pleshette was on Good Morning, Miami a 2002-2004 sitcom in which she played the fun loving mother of station manager Jake Silver (Mark Feuerstein). I thought she was still sexy as hell on the show despite being in her mid-60s. It was probably that husky voice though her devil may care attitude certainly helped. And now she's gone.


Teresa said…
This is quite sad. Checking your blog this morning wasn't the best way to perk up my day, Dave, but I'm glad to have heard the news from you rather than someone else. I believe she was actually the grandmother on Good Morning, Miami, but I forgive you that error. She will be missed, at least by me.
GA Girl said…
She was beautiful and funny, I'm sad at her passing.
carli said…
She WAS the grandmother on Good Morning Miami (a horrible, horrible show, and it didn't make any sense that S. Pleschette would be Mark Feuerstein's grandmother). I'm also sad she's gone.

When I saw that last episode of Newhart, I felt like a sitcom savant. I was 11 years old, had never seen The Bob Newhart Show in my life, and yet was still able to explain to my sister what was going on. :) Definitely one of the best endings in TV history--and did you see the SNL that Bob Newhart hosted that ended the same way? Classic.

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