Sunday, July 5, 2009
Happy 81st, Katherine Helmond
Happy birthday to Katherine Helmond. She’s 81 today.
Helmond was born in Texas in 1928 and raised Irish Catholic, and then, strike three, she attended Bob Jones University—the same ultra-conservative fundamentalist Christian university in South Carolina I attended for three semesters before a nervous collapse triggered (my theory) by the conflict between my incipient, closeted homosexuality and my strict religious beliefs (e.g., at BJU I once got 75 demerits just for owning a Simon and Garfunkel tape).
Happily Helmond and I both shook free of the school’s malign influences … well, for the most part in my case. She went on to work on Broadway, then television and movies—most notably on the risqué serial sitcom Soap (1977-81).
She also played Judith Light’s quasi-nympho mother on Who’s the Boss? (1984-92). In film, she has worked with some great directors: Robert Wise (The Hindenburg), Alfred Hitchcock (Family Plot), and Terry Gilliam (Time Bandits, Brazil, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).
Posted by Joe at 11:52 AM