Lu Leonard, 77; Character Actress in Films, on Broadway

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Lu Leonard, 77, the stage and screen character actress and singer who played William Conrad’s secretary in “Jake and the Fat Man,” died of heart failure May 14 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills.

In addition to her many television credits as a guest star, Leonard appeared in films such as “Micki + Maude,” “Annie” and “Starman,” as well as playing Larry Fine’s wife in “Husbands Beware,” a shorts starring the Three Stooges.

On Broadway, Leonard appeared in the musicals “Happiest Girl in the World,” “The Gay Life,” “Bravo Giovanni” and “Drat! The Cat!” On stage in Los Angeles, she was best known for playing the leering and bullying matron in Tom Eyen’s “Women Behind Bars.”

Born in Long Beach, N.Y., Leonard traveled on the road as a young child with her parents, who had a vaudeville act. Decades later, she wrote and performed a one-woman show about her memories of those days, “Goodrich & Price and the Child.”