Sunday, January 20, 2008

Suzanne Pleshette, 1937-2008

She was responsible for IMHO one of television's most classic moments:

Although Newhart got a new TV wife, played by Mary Frann, for his 1982-90 Newhart, Pleshette had the last laugh -- making a memorable surprise guest appearance as Newhart's previous TV wife at the end of the series' final episode.

Dick Loudon, the Vermont innkeeper Newhart played on Newhart, is knocked out by a stray golf ball. Then the show cuts to a darkened bedroom as he wakes up and turns on the light to reveal Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley's bedroom from The Bob Newhart Show.

The Vermont-set Newhart and its colorful characters, it turns out, had only been a dream, and Pleshette's Emily tells Bob he should watch what he eats before going to bed.

In a 1990 interview with CBS This Morning, Pleshette recalled that when the Newhart studio audience saw the familiar bedroom set from the old series, she heard a shocked intake of breath.

"And then they heard this mumble under the covers, and nobody does my octave, you know," she recalled. "And I think they suspected it might be me, but when that dark hair came up from under the covers, they stood and screamed."

One of my favorite bass-tenor women.

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