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RIP Katherine  Helmond

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Katherine  Helmond (July 5, 1929 – February 23, 2019) was an American film, theater, and television actress and director. ... Helmond died February 23, 2019, from complications of Alzheimer's disease at her home in Los Angeles.

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I'm glad she is free from her suffering but I'm heartbroken to hear she's gone. Jessica Tate meant a great deal to me as a character. She made Soap what it was - she fully committed to the role and played the serious and emotional moments just as well as the daffy comic ones. Katherine was one of the people who helped make Soap feel like an actual soap. In another life, she could have easily been a classic soap heroine. In my mind Jessica always was.

 

She was at her best with Robert Guilliame and Cathryn Damon. 

 

 

 

My other memory of Soap is the story where Corinne's child was possessed by the devil, and Jessica saved him. The moment where she was holding the baby in her arms, weeping - just tremendous. 

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May she rest in peace. She was a talented lady, who often had such a familiar, comforting presence in the roles that she played. There are certain actors that make people feel good whenever they appear in a role and she was one of them. 

Edited by xtr

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As a child of the 80s, WTB was one of the shows I watched regularly and I loved her as Mona. Soap was a bit before my time, but I caught it later on reruns and DVD and appreciated everything she brought to the nutty Jessica Tate (and her crossover on the first season of Benson was nothing short of hilarious). She was great as Debra's mom on ELR, and even though I didn't like when Coach moved to Orlando, her presence on the show was one of that show's few bright points of that period. May God rest her.

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40 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

Jessica Tate meant a great deal to me as a character. She made Soap what it was - she fully committed to the role and played the serious and emotional moments just as well as the daffy comic ones. Katherine was one of the people who helped make Soap feel like an actual soap. In another life, she could have easily been a classic soap heroine. In my mind Jessica always was.

 

Beautiful, Carl.  I don't think I could've said it any better.  In fact, I know I couldn't have.

 

Believe it or not, Katherine Helmond popped into my mind yesterday (while watching a "Law & Order" rerun, of all things).  That happens to me quite a lot: I'll think of an actor whom I haven't seen for awhile; then, I find out they've passed.  It's more than a little creepy when you think about it, lol.

 

I don't cry much when I watch TV (including soaps) or movies, but I tell you, the first time I watched Benson and Jessica's last scene, I damn near drowned in my own tears.  That's because Jessica (and Helmond) touched my heart in so many different, special ways.  Such a tremendous actress and character.  Thank God we have the reruns and DVD's to remember them both by.

 

By the way, here's a favorite scene of mine from "Soap."  To me, Jessica was at her best when it came to her children.  You could do whatever you want to her, but don't you DARE come near her children.

 

 

Edited by Khan

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Thanks for sharing that scene. That whole story is one of those I forgot about (I mostly remember Ingrid causing hell for Bert) but Katherine always did well with the kids. Her relationship with Corinne was my favorite of those with her children. 

 

I also remember that story where she and Mary became estranged, I think after finding out they weren't biological sisters. 

 

Here's Katherine talking about her inspiration for Jessica.

 

 

Edited by DRW50

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5 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

I also remember that story where she and Mary became estranged, I think after finding out they weren't biological sisters. 

 

I don't remember that storyline.  I do remember, though, Jessica and Mary falling out over the revelation that Chester was Danny's biological father.

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1 minute ago, Khan said:

 

I don't remember that storyline.  I do remember, though, Jessica and Mary falling out over the revelation that Chester was Danny's biological father.

 

Yeah I think that's it. That time period blurs for me as most of the stories were crap. It did lead (I think) to Mary's alcoholism story, which I loved.

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Flove her. I have the DVDs of Soap and the one season of Who's The Boss. Loved both shows when I watched as a youngster. 

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6 hours ago, xtr said:

There are certain actors that make people feel good whenever they appear in a role and she was one of them. 

 

Beautifully put. I loved her as Mona on Who's The Boss. Her characterization of Mona was one that was proof positive that age didn't mean the end of life. Quite the contrary - Mona was dynamic and fun and enjoyed herself. That was down to how Katherine Helmond played her. A wonderful, sparkling talent.

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I'd forgotten she was in the Lizzie Borden movie. I haven't seen that in years - not since it was repeated on Lifetime. Riveting. 

 

Such distinctive women, Katherine and Elizabeth Montgomery, who could play anything and had such drive. We rarely see their like again.

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RIP to a marvelous actress. It's rare that someone has that ability to switch so seamlessly from hilarious comedy to heartbreaking drama, but Katherine managed it, sometimes even within the same scene.

 

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