Georgia Engel, whose distinctive voice and pinpoint comic timing made her a memorable part of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” on which she played Georgette Franklin, girlfriend and eventually wife of the buffoonish TV newsman Ted Baxter, died on Friday in Princeton, N.J. She was 70.
John Quilty, her friend and executor, said the cause was undetermined because Ms. Engel, who was a Christian Scientist, did not consult doctors.
Ms. Engel was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on “Mary Tyler Moore,” which she joined in 1972, during the show’s third season.
“It was only going to be one episode,” she told The Toronto Star in 2007, “and I was just supposed to have a few lines in a party scene, but they kept giving me more and more to do.”
She had a high-pitched, innocent voice that, as one writer put it, “sounds like an angel has just sniffed some helium,” and she used it expertly to contrast with the blustery Baxter (played by Ted Knight) and the usually levelheaded Mary Richards, Ms. Moore’s character.
She brought the voice — her real voice — and the comedic skills to other sitcoms after “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ended in 1977, most notably “Everybody Loves Raymond,” where she had a recurring role from 2003 to 2005. She was nominated for an Emmy for each season.
“She could get a laugh on literally every line you gave her,” Philip Rosenthal, the creator of “Raymond,” said in a telephone interview. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Ms. Engel’s castmates on “Mary Tyler Moore” included Betty White, with whom she would go on to work on “The Betty White Show” in the 1970s, and “Hot in Cleveland” this decade.
“Georgia was one of a kind and the absolute best,” Ms. White said on Monday through a spokeswoman.
- July, 28, 1948
- Washington, D.C.
- April, 12, 2019
- Princeton, New Jersey,
Cause of Death
- cause was unknown, as Engel did not consult doctors due to her religious beliefs.
- Cape Charles Cemetery