Actress Conchata Ferrell passed away on October 12 at 12:30 PM PST, at the age of 77 as a result of complications following a cardiac arrest. She died peacefully surrounded by family at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Sherman Oaks, California.
Ferrell is probably best known for her role as no-nonsense housekeeper Berta on the hit CBS comedy Two and a Half Men. This role earned her two Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy nominations in 2005 and 2007. The veteran actress also landed an Emmy nomination in 1992 for her role as Susan Bloom on L.A. Law. Her other notable TV series include Good Times, E/R, Grace and Frankie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and BJ and The Bear.
Ferrell was an accomplished stage actress. She gained success off-Broadway as an original member of the Circle Repertory Theatre. For her appearance as Gertrude Blum in Edward J. Moore’s “The Sea Horse,” she received a Drama Desk Award, a Theatre World Award, and an Obie Award for Best Actress in 1974. Her role as April Green in Lanford Wilson’s “Hot L Baltimore” led her to Los Angeles and a starring role in the Norman Lear series of the same name. Other notable productions include “Battle of Angels” in 1974 by Tennessee Williams (later known as “Orpheus Descending”), and “Picnic” by William Inge at the Ahmanson Theater.
Here is more of Mason’s memories of Ferrell, whom he directed in her most significant plays:
After graduating from Marshall University, Conchata Ferrell came from West Virginia to the Circle Repertory Company, an off-off-Broadway company in its first year, where she made her debut as the Maid who lighted a chandelier and then raised it to illuminate Chekhov’s Three Sisters.
Lanford Wilson saw Chatty (as we all knew her) as Agnes in his one-act Ludlow Fair opposite Trish Hawkins, and he was so delighted that he wrote The Hot L Baltimore for them. Chatty anchored the long-running hit as April, the world-weary wise-cracker who had done everything and enjoyed most of it. Her star turn attracted the attention of Norman Lear, who created a television series of Hot L around her.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline