Who's The Boss Actress Katherine Helmond Is Dead At 89

katherine helmond who's the boss

Katherine Helmond made a name for herself as a fantastic comedic actress on the small screen, and 80s sitcom fans undoubtedly remember her well for her role in Who's the Boss? Sadly, Helmond has passed away. She was 89 years old at the time of her death.

The venerable actress died on Saturday, February 23 at her home in Los Angeles. Katherine Helmond's talent agency, APA, confirmed her death as due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by her half-sister Alice and husband David Christian. She and Christian were married for nearly 60 years. In a touching statement (via THR), Christian shared this about his wife:

She was the love of my life. We spent 57 beautiful, wonderful, loving years together, which I will treasure forever. I've been with Katherine since I was 19 years old. The night she died, I saw that the moon was exactly half-full, just as I am now … half of what I’ve been my entire adult life.

Katherine Helmond is arguably best known for her role on ABC's long-running sitcom Who's the Boss? She played Mona Robinson on the show. Mona was Angela's sexually adventurous and more than a little feisty mother. A Mona-centric spinoff was reportedly in the works at ABC at one time, but it never materialized.

Who's the Boss? also starred Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano, and Danny Pintauro. Milano, who continued her streak of hit TV shows with Charmed following Who's the Boss, took to Twitter to share a tribute to Katherine Helmond and all that she learned from her:

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Katherine Helmond's performance as Mona was a hit with critics and fans, and she was nominated for three Emmys and two Golden Globes for the role, winning the Golden Globe for Supporting Actress in 1989. Who's the Boss? isn't the only show that resulted in critical praise, however. Her first high-profile TV gig was Soap, which premiered in 1977.

Soap was a spoof of daytime serial television, and Katherine Helmond starred as socialite Jessica Tate. For that role, she was nominated for the Emmy in the Lead Actress category for all four seasons it was on the air. For Jessica Tate, she also won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical back in 1981.

Her final Emmy nomination came in 2002, when she was up for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for appearing on Everybody Loves Raymond as Debra's mom. Patricia Heaton, who played Debra on the show, shared a tribute of her own on social media:

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While Katherine Helmond's death is certainly a sad event, at least we can be sure that her legacy as a comedic actress will endure for so long as TV fans continue to enjoy her works over the years, and I think it's safe to say that Who's the Boss won't be forgotten any time soon.

Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend go out to Katherine Helmond's friends, family, and loved ones in what must be a difficult time.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).