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|Born||Bibiana Maria Köchert
February 1, 1942
|Died||September 7, 1996
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Breast cancer|
|Spouse(s)||Donald B. Mathis (?-1973) (divorced) (1 child)|
Bibi Besch (born Bibiana Maria Köchert; February 1, 1942 – September 7, 1996) was an Austrian-born American actress. She appeared in several television shows and movies, and received an Emmy Award in 1992.
Bibiana Maria Köchert was born in Vienna, Austria in 1942, the younger of two daughters born to theater actress Gusti Huber, who starred in German films during World War II, and Gotfrid Köchert, an Austrian racing driver, who served in the Wehrmacht during World War II. She had an elder sister, Christiana Barbara Köchert (August 17, 1939 – August 13, 2004). Gusti and her two daughters remained in Vienna throughout World War II, emigrating to the United States after Joseph Besch, a radio executive and former U.S. Army captain, married Huber, a divorcee, in 1946, and became Huber's daughters' stepfather; his stepchildren took his surname. Huber and Besch later had two children, born in the United States, Drea and Andrew, the half-siblings of Bibiana and Christiana. Bibi, her sister and half-siblings, grew up in Chappaqua, New York, where they attended local elementary and junior high schools. She graduated from Horace Greeley High School there in 1959, and attended Connecticut College for Women, but, before graduating, moved to New York City to become an actress. Her only child is Samantha Mathis, also an actress.
Besch appeared in a variety of television series, including Street Hawk, The Edge of Night, The Secret Storm, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Dallas, The Golden Girls, Somerset, Backstairs at the White House, It's Garry Shandling's Show, and Date with an Angel. She played Dr. Carol Marcus, the early love of Admiral James T. Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), and her other films included roles in Victory at Entebbe (1976), The Pack (1977), The Promise (1979), Meteor (1979), The Beast Within (1982), The Lonely Lady (1983), The Day After (1983), Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry (1986), He's My Girl (1987), Who's That Girl (1987), Steel Magnolias (1989), Tremors (1990), and Betsy's Wedding (1990).
In 1992, she received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance in Doing Time on Maple Drive, which starred William McNamara and Jim Carrey as her sons. She received another Emmy nomination in 1993 for her recurring-character role as the neurotic mother of Janine Turner's character on Northern Exposure. She continued to act, including roles on ER and Melrose Place, until shortly before her death.
Bibi Besch died on September 7, 1996 at age 54 following a long battle with breast cancer. She was survived by her daughter, her sister, her half-siblings, nieces and nephews.