‘Here Come the Brides’ actress was 79 – The Hollywood Reporter

Susan Tolsky, the comic actress who shone as the seductive Biddie Cloom on Here come the brides and like the shy secretary Bernadette Van Gilder on At Miss’s, is dead. She was 79 years old.

Tolsky died Oct. 9 of natural causes at her Toluca Lake home in Los Angeles, her sister, Noel Foreman, said. The Hollywood Reporter.

Tolsky also portrayed a high school football coach’s secretary (Rock Hudson) having sex with students in Roger Vadim. Pretty maids right away (1971) and was a regular performer on Bill Cosby’s New Showa 1972-1973 CBS variety show produced by laugh legend George Schlatter.

On screen, she often wore big round glasses and used a voice she described in a 1969 tv guide interview as “a chicken with a hernia”.

“I realized a long time ago that men don’t stare at me and gasp and go crazy,” the Texas native said. “But at least I’m not worried about turning 40.”

Tolsky got a lot of laughs as the goofy Biddie on ABC Here come the brideswhich ran for two seasons (1968-70) and was loosely based on the Mercer Girls, who were brought to the boomtown of Seattle in the 1860s to work as teachers.

She also stood out as Van Gilder in the 1982-83 first-run syndicated sitcom. At Miss’swhich revolved around a ribald puppet (voiced and controlled by Wayland Flowers) who chats with celebrities on the late-night talk show she hosts from her Hollywood mansion.

Since the late ’80s, Tolsky has primarily worked as a voice actor on shows such as Foofur, Bobby’s world, dark duck, Pepper Ann and The buzz about Maggie.

Susan Tolsky and Roddy McDowall in “Pretty Maids All in a Row” in 1971

Courtesy of Everett Collection

The youngest of two daughters, Tolsky was born in Houston on April 6, 1943. Her parents, Abe and Sarah, ran a clothing store.

She attended Bellaire High School and then the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a career in nursing – she had worked in hospitals since she was 15 – but later opted to major in theater and English, graduating in 1967.

She auditioned for Screen Gems casting director Eddie Foy III, then came to Hollywood and landed on the 1968 episodes of ABC. The second hundred years and Delighted before being hired for Here come the brides.

After starting the series, which featured more established actors Robert Brown, Bobby Sherman, David Soul and Joan Blondell, Tolsky held a contract with Screen Gems and eventually received one, much to the delight of fans of the Seven wives for seven brothers-inspired show.

In 1972, Tolsky portrayed Kim Carter’s wacky neighbor Lucy Arnaz in an episode of CBS. Meet Lucy. She was set to star as Sue Ann Ditbenner in a spin-off starring Arnaz, but the series was not picked up.

His CV also included the films Charley and the Angel (1973), Love at first bite (1979), How to beat the high cost of living (1980) and The Devil and Max Devlin (1981) and guest spots on love, american style, Quincy, me, fantasy island, Alice, Barney Miller and Webster.

Tolsky loved to knit and was a voracious reader, her sister said. She never married.

A funeral service was held Oct. 31 at Angeleno Valley Mortuary in North Hollywood.

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