Advertisement
Television

‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ star Marcia Strassman dies at 66

Marcia Strassman, the actress best known for her roles on the much-loved sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” and the movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” has died. She was 66.

According to the Associated Press, Strassman died at her home in Sherman Oaks on Friday after a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

Strassman’s sister, Julie, told the AP, “They gave her 2-1/2 years to live but she lasted much longer. She was very courageous.”

Her role as the mother in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and “Honey I Blew Up the Kid” aside, Strassman’s most notable work came on television. 

Advertisement

She was born in New York in 1948 and got her start replacing Liza Minnelli in the off-Broadway production of “Best Foot Forward.”

She had a brief singing career in the late 1960s, releasing three singles that failed to turn into hits.

Her earliest TV roles were in “The Patty Duke Show” and “MASH,” where she had a recurring role as a nurse in the first season.

She went on to have a series of guest appearances in “Love Story,” “Police Story” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” before she landed her first major role as Julie Kotter, the long-suffering wife of high school teacher Gabe Kotter in the 1975 sitcom, “Welcome Back, Kotter.”

Advertisement

The series lasted four seasons on ABC, and though the real breakout star was a young John Travolta, Strassman’s fame grew as well. 

After “Kotter” ended in 1979, she went on to starring roles in several short-lived sitcoms, including “Good Time Harry,” “E/R” and the “21 Jump Street” spinoff, “Booker.”

After the “Honey” movies, she continued to work steadily in TV, including roles in the series “Providence,” “Tremors” and “Noah Knows Best.”

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and stopping working regularly after that, but did have a role in the 2014 TV movie, “Looking for Mr. Right.”

She was also a Screen Actors Guild board member and continued to raise money for breast cancer research.

Strassman is survived by her brother and daughter.

Follow me on Twitter: @patrickkevinday


Advertisement