Georgia Engel got off to an inauspicious career as an actor. Her first job was in an off-Broadway show called The House of Blue Leaves, for which she was paid one dollar a performance. The theatre then burned down.
That fire was a blessing in disguise, though. The House of Blue Leaves moved to Los Angeles, where one of the opening nights’ audiences included Mary Tyler Moore. The capri-panted-wonder was taken by Engel’s performance and got her cast in The Mary Tyler Moore show as the ditzy blonde klutz Georgette Franklin, who replaced the spin-off-bound Valerie Harper.
Engel was a long-time supporting star for sitcoms thereafter, notching up five Emmy nominations for roles in shows like Coach, Everybody Loves Raymond and Hot In Cleveland. She wasn’t really on any deadpool radars, but her passing brings in a new truism: ignore Christian Scientists at your own peril. In the same way they ignore “it has been five years since your last smear test” letters.