Selma Diamond, a chain-smoking actress who played a court matron in NBC’s “Night Court” and was one of the few women comedy writers during television’s “Golden Age,” died today of lung cancer. She was 64.
Miss Diamond was pronounced dead at 3:24 a.m., said Ron Wise, a spokesman for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was admitted May 1.
She played the raspy-voiced, what’s-it-to-you character Selma Hacker on “Night Court,” scheduled to enter its third season this fall.
The role was tailored for Miss Diamond, a heavy smoker who always had a cigarette dangling from her mouth in the show, said Bill Kiley, director of publicity for NBC.
Before taking the role of Selma Hacker, Miss Diamond appeared numerous times as a guest on the “Tonight” show and in a variety of TV game shows. She acted in several comedy movies, including “All of Me” starring Steve Martin, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “My Favorite Year” and “Lovesick.”