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How Did Georgia Engel Die? New Details On Death Of 'Mary Tyler Moore' Actress

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How Did Georgia Engel Die? New Details On Death Of 'Mary Tyler Moore' Actress

In 1970, The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered on CBS, which became another program that changed the way women were portrayed on television. The series starred Mary Tyler Moore as the title character, an independent and career-focused woman who didn’t have a man as the sole focus of her life. Some refer to the television show as “groundbreaking in the era of second-wave feminism.”

The show featured other talented actors like Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, and also had other co-stars, including Ted Knight, Betty White, and Georgia Engel. Engel, in particular, filled the role of best friend to Moore’s on-screen character.

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From seasons 3-7, Engel played Georgette, the girlfriend and eventual wife of Ted Baxter, Moore’s co-worker. She was mostly known for her airy voice, a “cross between Stan Laurel and Marilyn Monroe.”

But on April 12th, Engel passed away at the age of 70. Just how did Georgia Engel die?


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Though the cause of death is unknown at the moment, Engel was a Christian Scientist, meaning she didn’t consult doctors. In this religion, it's believed that sickness is merely an “illusion” and can be healed by prayer. Teachings also say that disease is “mental, a mortal fear, a mistaken belief or conviction of the necessity and power of ill-health — an ignorance of God’s power and goodness.”

According to her agent, Jacqueline Stander, Engel passed away in Princeton, New Jersey. “She was a young 70. She was just a wonderful being...I will miss her and I know the world will miss her,” she said.

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Her appearance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show helped her shape her career, and gave her the start she needed. In a 2007 interview with the Toronto Star, Engel recalled, “It was only going to be one episode 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 said the following Monday, there was a potted plant with a note on her doorstep, welcoming her to the television family. The role was written just for her.

In addition to her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she also appeared on The Love Boat, Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Office, and Hot In Cleveland.


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Philip Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, told the New York Times that Engel “could get a laugh on literally every line you gave her. I’ve never seen anything like it... It’s not everybody who can get up there and get a laugh. You pray for someone like her to come along.”

And before she appeared on television, she made her start on Broadway. She appeared in the original cast for Hello, Dolly! in 1964 and later was in The Drowsy Chaperone. Engel also starred in Half Time, a musical where her role was “a kindergarten teacher with a gangsta rap alter ego.”

Engel will certainly be missed, and many of her former co-stars have reached out to share their condolences.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.