Katherine Helmond, the actress who starred in multiple ABC sitcoms and voiced Lizzie in the popular Disney-Pixar franchise Cars, has passed away at the age of 89, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Helmond’s talent agency announced today that the actress has passed away due to complications Alzheimer’s disease at her home in Los Angeles.
Helmond starred as Jessica Tate in ABC’s sitcom Soap and later as Mona Robinson on the long-running ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss?, in addition to several other television roles that earned her seven emmy nominations. She later won two Golden Globe awards for he work on Who’s the Boss? And Soap.
Helmond was multi-talented, having earned a nomination for a Tony award as well for her work in Eugene O’Neill’s The Great God Brown.
This of course all came before she lent her voice to Disney-Pixar to voice Lizzie, the 1923 Ford Model T, in all three Cars movies. In fact, Cars 3 was one of Helmond’s last credits.
Helmond’s work as Mona on Who’s the Boss? inspired fans of the series live a bit more freely, “throwing caution to the wind.” She recalled hearing from viewers who benefitted from watching the character.
"If life dealt you some unfortunate blow, you would still be able to go out into the world, find new friends, find new jobs, find a new way of living if you knew who you were," she said. "I felt like I was giving a free lesson to a lot of people who are in that position … I got wonderful letters from people."
Helmond is survived by her husband of 57 years, David Christian. The couple met at The Hampton Playhouse Summer Stock Theater, where he was the set designer and she the leading lady.
"She was the love of my life," Christian said. "We spent 57 beautiful, wonderful, loving years together, which I will treasure forever. I've been with Katherine since I was 19 years old. The night she died, I saw that the moon was exactly half-full, just as I am now… half of what I’ve been my entire adult life."