Pleshette paved the way for future generations of actresses while charming millions with her wit and beauty over five incredible decades. Read on for a nostalgic journey through the best moments of Suzanne Pleshette’s life and work.
The Rise of an Entertainer
From parents with showbiz in their DNA, Suzanne Pleshette came into the world on January 31, 1937. Her father Eugene's career as a stage manager at Paramount Theater catapulted him to become a respected TV network executive, and her mother Geraldine kept up the entertainment legacy by dazzling audiences around New York as a dancer and artist under the name 'Geraldine Rivers.'
Little Suzanne had the world at her fingertips when she stepped into Hollywood in 1937 - and she changed the industry forever. A true star was born that day, with an astonishing debut that nobody could have ever anticipated.
A Student of Excellence
Suzanne Pleshette's parents were determined to make sure their daughter had every opportunity for success in the world of show business. To do so, they sent her off to Manhattan's famous High School of Performing Arts, which was a star-studded campus that launched the careers of icons like Al Pacino and Jessica Walter.
Pleshette first spent a semester at Syracuse University before transferring to Finch College and finally moving to study under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. And all the hard work finally paid off for her – she stepped into the entertainment world with unparalleled ambition.
An Incredible First Impression on Broadway
Before skyrocketing to stardom, Suzanne Pleshette made a memorable Broadway debut at the young age of 20. The actress gave an astonishing delivery in Meyer Levin's production of “Compulsion” - loosely based on the notorious Leopold and Loeb crime case.
Not only did the crowds love her, but her performance was celebrated by critics who praised her performance even after being unexpectedly promoted to a more prominent role later in its run. Her talent did not go unnoticed as it earned her TV recognition that same year when she appeared alongside Martin Landau in an episode of the TV show “Harbormaster.”
She Started to Make a Real Splash
1958 was an exciting year for Suzanne Pleshette since it was then that she made her big screen debut working alongside the one and only Jerry Lewis in “The Geisha Boy.” Her role as Sergeant Pearson was a major turning point that launched her career, enabling folks to watch this gem on Paramount Pictures.
After an amazing comedic performance in 1959's “Golden Fleecing,” Suzanne Pleshette was summoned back to Broadway for another showstopping role as Annie Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker.” Teaming up with the award-winning Anne Bancroft and 14-year-old Patty Duke, who played author and disability rights activist Helen Keller, the women left the audience speechless.
From Indecision to Determination
When offered the chance to take over the role of Annie Sullivan from Anne Bancroft, Suzanne Pleshette was doubtful. Bancroft's performance had been so powerful that Pleshette felt she couldn't possibly live up to it. She was afraid of failing and thought she was too fragile for the challenge. But then Pleshette had a realization.
"This is what the journey is all about. If you're not willing to fail, you'll never be great." With that, she took a chance and accepted the role, and it couldn’t have turned out better. Critics and audiences alike praised her performance, and rightfully so.
The Replacement Dilemma
Anne Bancroft took a break from her role as Annie Sullivan to gear up for the Hollywood version of “The Miracle Worker.” She knew that she would have to be replaced on Broadway, but she hoped that the producers would at least have a hard time finding someone to fill her shoes.
However, as soon as Bancroft asked for time off, the producers wasted no time in replacing her with Suzanne Pleshette. It was almost as if they had been waiting for Bancroft to leave. To make matters even worse, Pleshette's glowing reviews only added insult to injury for Bancroft.
The Downside of a Promotion
When Suzanne Pleshette arrived on the set of “The Miracle Worker” to take over Bancroft’s role, young Patty Duke was not at all pleased. After all, she had assumed that with Bancroft gone, she would be promoted to a bigger role and given a luxurious dressing room to fit.
But instead, these perks were given to Pleshette. During their first encounter, Pleshette had to deal with Duke's out-of-control behavior. Sparing no words, Pleshette immediately warned her: "Don't provoke me… I have a terrible temper.” Talk about starting things off on the wrong foot! But that was only the beginning.
Regrets and Missed Chances
After an exhausting period of preparation, Suzanne Pleshette almost donned the role of a lifetime as Laura in Arthur Laurents' 1959 hit musical “Gypsy.” The actress worked tirelessly, taking striptease lessons to prepare for her audition, only to narrowly miss out on playing the part.
She was upset to know that she was ultimately being trumped by Sandra Church's superior singing voice. Back in 1961, Suzanne Pleshette was offered a great TV opportunity for a role as Dick Van Dyke's wife on his iconic show, but she had already signed for a “Norman Lear” pilot. Unfortunately, the show never got made.
She Chose Wisely
Suzanne Pleshette was determined to blaze her own path in Hollywood. When she got the chance back in the late 50s, the savvy star refused a contract from Warner Bros., preferring to have autonomy over the projects she chose.
Pleshette had the foresight to land a deal that was truly a golden opportunity. With two movies secure per year and her own creative freedom to work on any project she wanted between them, she possessed an independence unheard of for someone entering Hollywood's ruthless game. An incredibly smart move on her part, and it wouldn't be the last in her career.
She Had It Her Way
When it came to her career, Suzanne Pleshette refused to back down. Despite agreements with Warner Bros., she dedicatedly said "no" when a script didn't make the cut - even if that meant clashing with studio execs. In 1963 they offered her a part in “Palm Springs Weekend,” but she rejected it. Refusing bad roles was something this powerful actress was always very clear about.
The studio bigwigs weren't thrilled, but Pleshette stood her ground. Instead, she was offered a spot in “Wall of Noise,” leaving the “Palm Springs Weekend” role to a young up-and-comer named Stefanie Powers. Apparently, Powers wasn't too happy and gave Pleshette the cold shoulder for many years.
Her First Emmy Nomination
Suzanne Pleshette was no stranger to the awards circuit during her illustrious career, and it all started over 60 years ago. The native New Yorker got her very first Primetime Emmy nomination in 1962 for a guest role! Pleshette played the role of Julie Lawler in the hit 1961 NBC medical drama, “Dr. Kildare.”
Although she only appeared in one episode of the show’s first season, she made enough of an impact to get nominated for a coveted Emmy. Other guest stars in the show included A-list actors like Robert Redford, James Earl Jones, Gena Rowlands, Angie Dickinson, and many others.
“The Birds” Was a Hit
This is one actress who showed just how versatile she was over the course of her career. The indelible performance of Suzanne Pleshette as the spurned schoolteacher Annie Heyworth in Alfred Hitchcock's timeless thriller, “The Birds,” continues to be talked about until this very day. Pleshette truly displayed her talent in this classic horror flick.
Pleshette's career skyrocketed after her captivating performance in the suspenseful 1963 horror-thriller, earning her a Laurel award for Top New Female Personality and a Golden Globe nomination. Her character may have met an untimely end, but for her real-life acting career, it was only the beginning.
Her Rise to Award Nominations
Suzanne Pleshette was a Hollywood star on the rise from a very early age. Even as a young 26-year-old, she had already earned an Emmy nomination and even more prestigious awards like a Laurel Award and a Golden Globe, seemingly setting her up for plenty of accolades ahead.
Despite never claiming another major award, Pleshette enjoyed a string of potential successes - having been nominated for three more Emmys, one Laurel Award, and even a Golden Globe. But Pleshette never seemed too bothered about it, always saying that she was thrilled just to be nominated. And let's face it, that's a huge achievement in and of itself.
Her First Marriage
In 1964, the on-screen romance between Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue transitioned off of the silver screen when they tied the knot. The duo had delighted moviegoers in both 1962's sweeping love story “Rome Adventure” as well as their American western, “A Distant Trumpet,” in 1964.
After an all-too-brief marriage that didn’t last more than eight months, beloved stars Pleshette and Donahue found that, much to their dismay, they weren't quite a match and decided to part ways. As fate would have it, hopeful fans had no need to worry; the two captivating celebs were soon back on the market!
One of Her Great Loves
Shortly after her divorce from the silver screen star Troy Donahue, Suzanne Pleshette fell unexpectedly head over heels for handsome actor David Janssen, who she met while guest-starring on the drama series “The Fugitive.” And it seems that Janssen was crazy about her too.
At the time, they were both involved in other relationships – Janssen was married to his wife, Ellie Graham, and Pleshette was getting over her divorce from Troy Donahue. But the attraction was too much, and they began having an affair. It was a match made in heaven as far as Hollywood gossip was concerned.
She Called It Off
They say that all good things come to an end, and sometimes, very bad things do as well. This is a perfect example. After what Pleshette called “three magical months,” she decided to call things off with Janssen, as she saw that he kept delaying his divorce from Ellie.
Pleshette had made it clear that she wanted to be with him, but it had to be right, and they couldn’t go on hiding from everybody. It seems Janssen took too long to act, and Pleshette moved on. However, she still referred to him as one of the greatest loves of her life.
Her Shot at Being ‘Catwoman’
Many people don't realize that actors have been playing superheroes for more than half a century already. William Dozier was adamant when casting his “Batman” TV show in the '60s - he knew that Suzanne Pleshette was the perfect woman to bring Catwoman's mischievousness to life.
Unfortunately, the series producers and Pleshette could not reach a consensus, leaving Julie Newmar to purr as Catwoman for Seasons 1 and 2. Although it seemed like just another missed opportunity at the time, it was a highly coveted role by many actresses in the industry. Eartha Kitt subsequently took over in Season 3 – tough shoes to fill indeed.
She Turned Down Big Roles
As you probably know by now, Suzanne Pleshette wasn’t afraid to say “no” when something didn’t suit her. Hence, she turned down many coveted film and TV roles that came her way, and although her agents were probably less than pleased by this, this attitude allowed her the freedom to do what she wanted.
In 1964 she was asked to play Lil Mainwaring in Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Marnie,” a role that ultimately went to Diane Baker after Pleshette turned it down. She also said “no” to roles in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The New Dick Van Dyke Show.”
The Roles That Got Away
Every actor ends up getting turned down for roles that they really wanted. Sometimes, it doesn't work out how they planned. Although she turned down several roles throughout her career, there were also roles Pleshette really wanted that she didn’t get.
For example, she auditioned for the role of Vicki Anderson in 1968’s “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which eventually went to actress Faye Dunaway. In the same year, Pleshette auditioned for a role in the famous film “The Detective,” but the part ultimately went to French actress Jacqueline Bisset. At least she lost the parts to two award-winning actresses – that’s some tough competition.
Her Magical Adventure at Disneyland
As the 60s kicked into full swing, Suzanne Pleshette's star began to rise. Her silver screen standouts included “Nevada Smith” alongside Steve McQueen and a Laurel Award-nominated performance for “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” alongside Ian McShane. But the most important partnership she made was with Walt Disney Studios.
In 1962, Suzanne Pleshette made her mark on the Disney scene when she starred in “40 Pounds of Trouble.” It served as a stepping stone for what would become an illustrious career with The Walt Disney Company. By 1968, Ms. Pleshette added three more titles to her repertoire: “The Ugly Dachshund,” “The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin,” and “Blackbeard's Ghost.”
Comedy Came Naturally to Her
In the 1960s, Suzanne Pleshette proved her acting prowess had no limits. From Alfred Hitchcock's “The Birds” to saccharine Disney family fare - this actress was truly versatile. She showed her skills in “Fate Is The Hunter,” where she played a courageous survivor of an aircraft disaster, and then in “A Rage to Live,” where she portrayed a socialite with an attitude.
Many know her for comedic roles, but Suzanne Pleshette's unique satirical style and sharp wit in films like “If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” and “Nobody Came” catapulted the star to Hollywood fame. With an ever-ready quip at hand, she was undoubtedly destined for comedy films.
Her Second Marriage
After her first failed marriage, Suzanne Pleshette's luck changed in 1968 when she married Tom Gallagher. Together for over 30 years, the couple had intended to start a family but were sadly unable to after a miscarriage. Unfortunately, Gallagher passed away from cancer in 2000.
After Tommy’s passing, she reflected fondly on their life together, stating that although they were not able to have kids, fate had provided another way for her nurturing side to blossom. Pleshette felt like a mother figure on every set and was so close with her work colleagues that she felt they were like family.
From Hollywood to Homemaker
After the 1968 marriage to Tom Gallagher, Suzanne Pleshette thought being a housewife was her happily ever after. Little did she know that six short months later, domestic life became too much for the ambitious actress. Bored with staying at home all day, Tom Gallagher encouraged her to return to the career she loved so dearly.
But Pleshette was ready for a change of pace. So instead of hopping straight back into long days and nights on set, she decided to keep her career alive by taking up residence in the talk show circuit – a way to still be seen without all those early mornings.
She Was a Perfect Fit for the Talk Show Format
The following fact should not be a surprise for anyone who really knows Suzanne Pleshette. Basically, she was an unstoppable force of chatty charm. Her quick wit made her one of the talk show's top stars and wowed Johnny Carson so much that she booked her first gig on “The Tonight Show” in no time.
Pleshette was no stranger to “The Tonight Show,” having been invited back several times over a ten-year period. However, it was her August '71 visit that changed everything - she had a knack for holding her own in any conversation, even with fellow guests and show hosts.
Colombo: The Day Peter Falk Didn't Show Up
The reality was that this was one actress who simply couldn't stay away from the limelight for too long. After Suzanne Pleshette returned to work, she made a guest appearance on the long-running detective show “Colombo.” It was a pivotal moment in her TV career.
The show's star, Peter Faulk, played the iconic detective. Despite having a long-standing relationship with Peter Faulk since her teenage years, Suzanne Pleshette faced a significant setback when Faulk failed to show up on the day of filming the "Dead Weight" episode. This unexpected turn of events caused a great deal of inconvenience for Pleshette.
Pleshette's Uncomfortable Experience
Suzanne’s co-star, Peter Faulk, had a bone to pick with the producers over his contract clause to direct, causing him to boycott the show. As Pleshette put it, "Peter was a bad boy on that show." Well, we hope he at least got a timeout for his behavior.
As if that weren't enough, the producers decided to play a game of accusation roulette with Pleshette, suggesting that she knew of Faulk's plans to stay home due to their close relationship. But Pleshette wasn't having any of it - she had no idea. In the end, the show went on with a stand-in.
The Rise of Her TV Career
Some actors have really long filmographies but don't have much quality in there. Others are very selective with their jobs. But Suzanne Pleshette was high on quantity and quality. Before 1971, the talented actress had amassed an impressive list of film and TV credits.
But it wasn't until August 5th, when she was invited to “The Tonight Show,” that people really began to take notice. Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette had magical chemistry right away, so it was only natural that she would be cast as his beloved wife, Emily, in “The Bob Newhart Show.” That role sent her budding career soaring to new heights.
Redefining the Role of Sitcom Wives
The 50s and 60s may have been the era of the docile housewife, but Suzanne Pleshette was not having any of it. In her role as Emily Hartley on “The Bob Newhart Show,” Pleshette brought a refreshing change to the traditional sitcom wife.
Unlike her predecessors, Emily was the complete package - confident, intelligent, and very attractive. In one memorable episode, Emily was revealed to have a higher IQ than her husband Bob. Pleshette's portrayal of Emily redefined what it meant to be a sitcom wife and set the stage for the strong female characters we see on TV today.
The Iconic Look of Emily Hartley
Emily Hartley on “The Bob Newhart Show” was more than just a witty and independent woman - she was also a style icon. Emily's short bob haircut with bangs and bold eyelashes became an instant hit and inspired countless teenage girls to hit the salon for a fresh look.
That's when you know you've made an impact on the culture. Pleshette herself was the epitome of confidence and style, and it showed in every aspect of Emily's appearance. From her hair to her outfits, Emily Hartley was a trailblazer for women on TV, and Pleshette was the perfect actress to bring her to life.
Breaking the Boundaries of TV Marriage
Relationship dynamics on TV have certainly evolved over the years, and Suzanne Pleshette was at the forefront of this back in the day. “The Bob Newhart Show” revolutionized marriage on television, showing an unabashedly passionate relationship between husband and wife.
Emily Hartley's boldness exemplified this - not only by openly expressing her sexuality but also by actively pursuing it with her devoted hubby. Bob and Emily showed us something revolutionary: an active love life that didn't need kids to come along with it. While being childless was pretty unheard of in sitcoms, audiences couldn’t get enough of this couple's ongoing romance - a milestone for TV couples.
Pleshette's Contribution to Sitcoms
Suzanne Pleshette wasn't afraid to shake things up when it came to her character, Emily Hartley. Initially, Pleshette toned down Emily's personality to fit the show's comedic tone, but soon she couldn't resist bringing some of her own wit and charm into the role.
It wasn't just the audience that loved the new and improved Emily; the cast and writers were also smitten with the character. Pleshette's portrayal of a funny, confident, and lovable woman made Emily Hartley a trailblazer for women in sitcoms. And let's face it; she made us all wish we could rock a shag mullet with bangs as she did.
Adored by All
There are some actors that you just associate with specific characters. Let's face it, when you think of Suzanne Pleshette, you think of Emily Hartley. She truly shone in this role. It was this performance that launched the actress’ career to new heights and earned her an abundance of praise - with viewers everywhere falling in love.
With her captivating looks, Pleshette was hailed as a classic beauty fit for TV's perfect wife--and no wonder! She earned comparisons to none other than the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor. Everyone fell head over heels in love with Pleshette when "The Bob Newhart Show" graced our screens.
Suzanne Pleshette's Return to Newhart
Suzanne Pleshette's time on "The Bob Newhart Show" had to come to an end when the show had its finale in 1978. However, four years later, Bob Newhart started a new series, “Newhart,” where he played another sitcom husband. Only this time, he cast Mary Frann as his wife.
“Newhart” was an instant hit and ran for a staggering eight seasons. Its grand finale is still remembered as one of the greatest moments in TV history. In this finale, Newhart wakes up in bed next to Pleshette, only to find out that the entire series was just a dream. The finale episode aired in 1990.
A Woman of Many Talents
Suzanne Pleshette was a very smart woman - not only did she enjoy a successful acting career, but she also had a backup plan to make sure she never got left in the lurch. In the 70s, the queen of versatility even took on the design world, believe it or not, creating some seriously stylish bed sheets for JP Stevens & Co.
Whispers in the grapevine suggest that she was also a secret screenwriting wizard, writing several scripts in a single year. She kept her alter ego very private, though, hiding behind a mysterious pen name that remains unknown until this very day.
She Developed Her Own Show
There are just some facts about celebrities that not many people know about, and this is certainly one of them. Few people know that Suzanne Pleshette even developed her own sitcom. She wrote the show “Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs” in 1984, and it aired on the CBS network on March 4th of that same year.
The sitcom followed the story of "The New York Examiner" reporter Maggie Briggs, who is struggling after getting a job demotion. This meant that Pleshette was headlining her own series, but unfortunately, it only lasted one season. The six half-hour long episode sitcom didn’t amass enough ratings.
The Queen of Mean
Suzanne Pleshette hit the big stage in 1990 as Leona Helmsley, “The Queen of Mean.” Her riveting portrayal earned her critic-acclaim and two notable award nominations - Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe - for a film that showcased the tumultuous businesswoman's true story with her husband.
She had plans to meet with Helmsley just as she was awaiting sentencing for tax evasion. But she didn't want to risk any interference with the proceedings or put Helmsley in a tight spot with questions about the movie's content. So, she decided to play it safe and skip the meeting. Very smart move.
Her Third Marriage
Now, this is a love story for the books! Many actors fall in love on set, but this one really does take the cake. On the set of 1959's “Golden Fleecing,” Suzanne Pleshette and Tom Poston had a brief but memorable connection. Despite its brevity, they managed to remain good friends - often seeing one another in various productions over their storied careers.
After the devastating loss of their spouses, Suzanne Pleshette and Tom Poston commiserated with each other in solidarity. But out of sorrow came joy – a year later, they were married! In her own words, Pleshette said, "I'm as happy as I've ever been."
A True Friend to John Ritter
John Ritter was undoubtedly one of the most beloved figures in television, so it wasn't altogether surprising that his untimely passing in 2003 stirred up an outpouring of sorrow from fans and colleagues alike. Suzanne Pleshette first crossed paths with him when he guest-starred on “The Bob Newhart Show,” and this became the start of a long-lasting friendship.
When John Ritter passed away so suddenly, producers of “8 Simple Rules” faced a challenge to keep the show running. Fortunately, Suzanne Pleshette stepped in and appeared in three episodes as Paul Hennessy's mother-in-law, offering her talent and support to the cast and crew.
Pleshette’s Final Appearance
Many actors fluctuate back and forth between TV and film, and even Suzanne Pleshette would do this from time to time. The actress returned to the small screen in 2002 when she guest starred as Karen Walker's (Megan Mullally) long-lost mom, Lois Whitley, on “Will & Grace.” She briefly returned two years later for a double episode that delighted viewers everywhere.
Mullally's distinctively high-pitched voice provided a striking contrast to Pleshette's deep rasp, resulting in a perfect on-screen chemistry between the two actresses. Pleshette, who was 67 years old during her last appearance, had been anticipating a lengthy and relaxed retirement. But something else came up.
One Last Laugh
Unfortunately, the actress suffered another heartbreak over a decade ago. Suzanne Pleshette and Tom Poston had a great marriage, with both claiming they were as happy as ever for those six years. The devoted couple was inseparable until the end, when sadly, in 2007, Poston passed away from respiratory failure, leaving Pleshette heartbroken.
Despite having ample wealth during his lifetime, Poston was notorious for being a bad tipper – something Pleshette joked about even as she went through the hardest of times. She played one last joke on her beloved by leaving $20 in his casket to “tip the man at Heaven's pearly gates.”
The Audience Loved Her Raspy Voice
With her distinctive voice, Suzanne Pleshette could have easily been mistaken for a grown man in her younger days. But it was more than her particular voice that made the striking actress stand out from the crowd - she had a natural confidence that few had seen in the entertainment industry during that time.
Audiences found her deep, raspy voice - crafted over decades through smoking two packs of cigarettes a day - undeniably attractive. But in 1997, she finally put out the smokes for good, though the damage had already been done after 40 years of indulging in the habit.
Her Sense of Humor Stayed Intact Until the End
Although her life was already an emotional rollercoaster in 2006, Suzanne Pleshette proved she wasn't one to be defeated by challenges. After receiving a lung cancer diagnosis while caring for her husband during his final months, the indefatigable star displayed typical resilience and humor – starting treatment without missing a beat.
In a letter she wrote to famous Hollywood reporter Army Archerd, Pleshette wanted to tell the world what she was going through: “Bad news; I lost all my hair. I look like [trash]; Tom has a catheter, and we have round-the-clock nurses. The good news is I’m saving a fortune on bikini waxes. Tom has lost his peripheral vision, so he doesn’t know.”
She Attended the “Bob Newhart Show” Reunion
Suzanne Pleshette didn’t let her illness stop her from attending a “Bob Newhart Show” cast reunion in 2007. After receiving chemotherapy and having to remove one lung, she still remained determined - so much so that hospital staff released her four days early.
Nothing was stopping Pleshette from joining the reunion with a big smile and her signature witty charm. The amazing actress strolled into the reunion in her wheelchair and, as always, lifted everybody’s spirits. She was happy to catch up on old times and be surrounded by close friends. That is just the kind of lady she was.
Her Legacy Will Never Be Forgotten
After a long and illustrious career filled with accomplishments and memorable roles that left an indelible mark in show business, Suzanne Pleshette passed away on January 19th, 2008 - just 12 days shy of her 71st birthday. Despite having beat cancer, she suffered from respiratory failure that ultimately caught up with her.
All who knew and loved Pleshette said goodbye to an amazing woman, icon, and friend. Her performances forever transformed the way we perceive women in sitcoms - she was smart, strong-willed, charmingly funny, and truly beautiful inside out. A model of confidence whose legacy will never be forgotten.
She Appeared in Over 30 TV Series
Apart from her star role in “The Bob Newhart Show,” Pleshette’s legacy extended far beyond the famous sitcom. She appeared in over 30 TV shows throughout her career, some of which were regarded as the most famous shows of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Pleshette was a guest star in “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” “Kojak,” “Ironside,” and many more. Now those are some truly iconic titles in the world of TV. Every single co-star she ever worked with talked about her strong attitude and immense talent. They also said it was an absolute joy to have her on set, and it's not hard to see why.
Pleshette Was Also a Voice Actress
It wasn't just her performances on TV or in live-action movies that people will remember Suzanne Plesehtte for. She also dipped her toes in animation at times. Among her many incredible talents, Pleshette was also a voice-over artist.
Few people know that she was the voice behind the characters of Yubaba and Zeniba in the English version of the anime masterpiece “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. She was also the voice of Zira, Uncle Scar’s most loyal follower, in the 1998 Disney TV movie “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.” And it was also her voice when the character sang “Lullaby.”
Her Parents Weren’t Her Only Famous Family
Some fans are not actually aware that Suzanne Pleshette was part of a really talented family. It wasn't just her representing the Pleshette family name in the world of fame! Apart from being raised by two veterans in the entertainment industry – her mother an artist and dancer and her father a top TV executive – Suzanne had another family member that was a prominent Hollywood actor.
Her cousin, John Pleshette, appeared in several iconic movies in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. John Pleshette, who also wrote screenplays, acted in “Knots Landing,” “The Truman Show,” “Rocky II,” and several other high-profile films.
She Was Honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
If you take a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you will see Suzanne Pleshette's name in one of its many stars. Regrettably, Pleshette didn’t get to see her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Friends had hoped she would be healthy enough to attend the dedication ceremony scheduled for her 71st birthday in 2008; however, it wasn't meant to be.
While Bob Newhart, Arte Johnson, and Marcia Wallace fondly remembered their late colleague at her star ceremony outside the iconic Frederick's of Hollywood store, it was Tina Sinatra who accepted the honor on behalf of a beloved entertainer gone too soon.
A Career of Timeless Talent
When the sparkle of classic Hollywood had faded, Suzanne Pleshette's star shone as bright as ever. From Richard Corliss' acclaimed viewpoint, her dazzling career was inextricably linked to “The Bob Newhart Show” - lighting up TV screens with her timeless charm and inspiring nostalgia for a simpler era of glamour that will never fade.
Contemporaries of Suzanne Pleshette were convinced she would have been among the biggest stars in Hollywood if born a few years earlier. She wasn't bitter, though; instead, viewing it as a blessing that her career spanned so many decades without ever quite reaching its peak intensity.
More Than a Hollywood Star
You know, it wasn't just her credentials on the acting scene that made Suzanne Pleshette such an incredible individual. She also affected those closest to her in a profound way. Suzanne Pleshette was an amazing example of a loyal daughter, devoted wife, and true friend. It's no surprise that she is held in such high regard both within Hollywood circles and the global TV industry.
With iconic roles in “The Birds” and countless TV appearances, Pleshette truly captivated the hearts of her fans for over two decades. Her personality was infectious - effortlessly bringing light-hearted joy wherever she went in the world.