Well, there goes a little piece of little gay me who’d watch Who’s The Boss? while lying on the living room carpet and praying that I’d be like Mona Robinson when I got to be her age, which back then, I thought was probably 35, because 35 is ancient to kids. 2019 is the year when the world is becoming a less glamorous place. We’ve lost Carol Channing, Kunty Karl, and now we’ve lost glamour icon Katherine Helmond. Katherine was 89.
Katherine’s agency, APA, said that she died on February 23 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at her home in Los Angeles. I can’t believe we’re just finding this out now. TMZ will tell us when a Vanderpump Rules extra gets treated for crotch warts six seconds after they checked into the free clinic, but didn’t tell us the day thee legendary Katherine Helmond died. For shame.
Katherine started her acting career where most acting legends start: the theater. She graced the stage with her presence through the 50s and 60s, and got a Tony nomination in 1973 for Eugene O’Neill’s The Great God Brown. She starred in several other Broadway shows before landing the role that made her a star. Katherine played MENSA member Jessica Tate on Soap for all 4 seasons from 1977 to 1981. Playing Jessica Tate got her 4 Emmy nominations.
Katherine brought her brilliance to movie screens by stealing the show as Ida Lowry, Jonathan Pryce’s mom in 1985’s Brazil. Ida Lowry was a Real Housewife long before those messes were terrorizing us all:
I can’t bring up Katherine Helmond’s movie career without bringing up her role as Goldie Hawn’s snobby rich mother in the only Overboard movie I acknowledge.
And, of course, us 80s children know Katherine Helmond as the man-hungry vixen of glamour that was Mona Robinson from Who’s the Boss?. Judith Light was supposedly the boss of Who’s The Boss?, but us fans of that show knew who the real boss was. Because many of us watched to solely take in the iconic perfection of proud slut icon Mona Robinson!
Katherine got 2 Emmy nominations for playing Mona. And what’s really a sin is that she never won an Emmy.
Katherine was on Who’s The Boss? for all 8 seasons from 1984 to 1992. There were plans to give Mona her own spin-off show in 1987, but after creators realized that Who’s The Boss? was nothing without Mona, they changed their minds. She directed an episode of Who’s The Boss? and 4 episodes of Benson.
Katherine Helmond was also on Coach, Everybody Loves Raymond, True Blood, and the Cars movies.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years David Christian.
Rest in peace, Katherine. Thank you for bringing a whole lot of talent and glamour to my childhood.