Actress Maureen Stapleton, star of stage and screen (both big and small) passed away earlier this morning, due to complications from pulmonary disease. She was 80 years old.
Personally, I will always remember her in 1985's Cocoon, in which she played Mary Luckett. In that sci-fi fantasy, she was part of a group of Florida seniors given the chance to live forever... Like most of the original cast, Stapleton would reprise her role for the sequel, Cocoon: The Return three years later.
She knocked my socks off in 1987's Nuts, playing Rose Kirk, mother to Barbra Streisand's character. Based on the stage play about a very dysfunctional family, the film packs quite the punch, in large part because of Stapleton's performance. I also liked her in the 1981 thriller The Fan as Belle, the personal assistant to a well known actress (Lauren Bacall) who's being stalked by an admirer. During that same year, she won an OSCAR for her role as Emma, in the period drama Reds.
Stapleton could hop from one genre to the next with ease, taking comedic roles, like those in the gangster farce Johnny Dangerously to Plaza Suite, which merged 2 different styles for one movie. She also appeared in many episodic TV shows and like"Car 54, Where Are You?" and tele-films, such as Letters from Frank. Heck, she even hosted "Saturday Night Live" once in its fourth season, how cool is that?
She will be missed that's for sure. For more about her life and long career, click here.