Bonnie Bartlett (born June 20, 1929) is an American actress. Her career spans over 60 years, with her first major role being on a 1950s daytime drama, Love of Life. She is best known for her role as Ellen Craig on the medical drama series St. Elsewhere. She and her husband, actor William Daniels, who played her fictional husband Dr. Mark Craig, won the 1986 Emmy Awards on the same night, becoming the first married couple to accomplish the feat since Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in 1965.
Bartlett was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the daughter of Carrie Archer and Elwin Earl Bartlett, and was raised in Moline, Illinois. Her father was an insurance salesman and a failed actor, and she was determined to live out his dream. In 1947, she graduated from Moline High School.
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (June 2017)
Bartlett studied acting with Lee Strasberg, and first got her start in television playing the heroine "Vanessa Dale Raven" on the soap opera Love of Life from 1955 to 1959, replacing actress Peggy McCay. She also had a previous role on the program, in which briefly she played the character of Ellie Crown, a role which was played for several years by Hildy Parks. She then moved on to nighttime roles in the 1960s.
Her most widely known role was as Ellen Craig on St. Elsewhere. Initially an infrequently recurring character, she took on greater prominence in the 1984–1985 season when the storyline included Ellen and Mark's marital problems. The storyline deepened in the next season when their son was killed and they had to raise their granddaughter. Bartlett won back-to-back Emmys, and was made a contract player. Further difficult material included Ellen and Mark's divorce and slow reconciliation following the loss of their granddaughter in a custody dispute with her birth mother.
For many years Bartlett accepted only small guest appearances on such programs as The Golden Girls, Gunsmoke, The Rockford Files, and The Waltons, as well as a recurring role as Grace Snider Edwards on Little House on the Prairie from 1974 to 1977. Her acting career picked up considerably in the 1980s, including the miniseries V and North and South: Book II.
Bartlett and husband William Daniels made Emmy Awards history in 1986 when they became just the second real-life married couple to win acting awards on the same night. Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne first accomplished the feat in 1965. Bartlett and Daniels won for their portrayals of Dr. Mark and Mrs. Ellen Craig on the TV series St. Elsewhere. They later acted together again when she played a college dean who employed her husband's character, in a season of Daniels's ABC series Boy Meets World, and their characters later married.
When St. Elsewhere ended in 1988, Bartlett's career moved to a wide variety of guest-starring appearances, including major roles on Wiseguy as a tough and corrupt matriarch of a sewage business; as Andrea Drey, Secretary General of the United Earth Oceans Organization (UEO) on seaQuest DSV; on Home Improvement as Lucille Taylor (Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor's mother); and on ER as Ruth Katherine Greene. Bartlett's last feature film role to date was in the film Valediction.
Screen Actors Guild
Awards and honors
Bartlett won two Emmy awards for her role as Ellen Craig on the television drama, St. Elsewhere. She was the best supporting actress winner in both 1986 and 1987 and was nominated as well in 1988. For the same role, Bartlett also won a Q Award in 1987 as the Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series.
In 1961, she gave birth to a son, who died 24 hours later. They adopted two sons: Michael, who became an assistant director and stage manager in Los Angeles, and Robert, who became an artist and computer graphics designer based in New York City.
|1976||The Last Tycoon||Brady's secretary|
|1979||California Dreaming||Melinda Brooke|
|1979||Promises in the Dark||Nurse Farber|
|1988||Twins||Mary Ann Benedict|
|1995||The Grass Harp||Mrs. Buster|
|1996||Ghosts of Mississippi||Billie DeLaughter|
|1998||Primary Colors||Martha Harris|
|2006||Saving Shiloh||Mrs. Wallace|
|1951||Love of Life||Ellie Crown||Unknown episodes|
|1955–1959||Love of Life||Vanessa Dale Raven||Unknown episodes|
|1965||The Patty Duke Show||Miss Castle||Episode: "My Cousin the Heroine"|
|1969||The Jackie Gleason Show||Donna Douglas||Episode: "The Honeymooners: The Honeymoon Is Over"|
|1973||Emergency!||Eunice Evans||Episode: "Computer Error"|
|1974||Gunsmoke||Maylee Baines||Episode: "The Foundling"|
|1974–1979||Little House on the Prairie||Grace Snider Edwards||26 episodes|
|1974||The Waltons||Martha Rudge||Episode: "The Car"|
|1974||Gunsmoke||Agnes Benton||Episode: "In Performance of Duty"|
|1975||Kojak||Joan Milner||Episode: "The Good Luck Bomber"|
|1975||The Legend of Lizzie Borden||Sylvia Knowlton||TV movie|
|1976||The Rockford Files||Casey Patterson||Episode: "The Oracle Wore a Cashmere Suit"|
|1977||Washington: Behind Closed Doors||Joan Bailey||2 episodes|
|1977||Killer on Board||Debra Snowden||Television movie|
|1979||Hart to Hart||Myra Bensinger||Episode: "Murder Between Friends"|
|1979||Salem's Lot||Ann Norton||Television movie|
|1980||Rape and Marriage: The Rideout Case||Norma Joyce||Television movie|
|1980||Barney Miller||Ellen Milford||Episode: "The Delegate"|
|1981||ABC Afterschool Specials||Miriam Scott||Episode: "She Drinks a Little"|
|1981||Knots Landing||Dr. Ruth West||Episode: "Critical Condition"|
|1981||A Long Way Home||JoAnn Booth||TV movie|
|1982–1988||St. Elsewhere||Ellen Craig||70 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1986–87)
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
|1982||Barney Miller||Emily Loftis||Episode: "Inquiry"|
|1982||Lou Grant||Claire||Episode: "Unthinkable"|
|1983||V||Lynn Bernstein||2 episodes|
|1985||Hotel||Olga Petrovsky||Episode: "Passports"|
|1986||The Deliberate Stranger||Louise Bundy||TV Movie|
|1987||Right to Die||Lillian||TV Movie|
|1988||The Golden Girls||Barbara Thorndyke||Episode: "Dorothy's New Friend"|
|1989||Matlock||Lorraine Maslin||Episode: "The Blues Singer"|
|1989||Murder, She Wrote||Marilyn North||Episode: "Seal of the Confessional"|
|1989–1990||Midnight Caller||Hillary Townsend-King||4 episodes|
|1990||The Great Los Angeles Earthquake||Anita Parker|
|1990||Wiseguy||Harriet Weiss||2 episodes|
|1992||L.A. Law||Gloria Lee||Episode: "Diet, Diet My Darling"|
|1992||Room for Two||Francine Luboff||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1992||I'll Fly Away||Beth Lekatzis||Episode: "Fragile Truths"|
|1994||SeaQuest DSV||Secretary General of the UEO||Episode: "The Last Lap at Luxury"|
|1995||The Courtyard||Cathleen Fitzgerald||Television film|
|1995–1998||Home Improvement||Lucille Taylor||5 episodes|
|1996||The Faculty||Katherine||Episode: "Bus Stop"|
|1997–1999||Boy Meets World||Dean Bolander||5 episodes|
|1997–1998||ER||Ruth Greene||2 episodes|
|1997–1999||The Practice||Joanne Oz||2 episodes|
|1997||Touched by an Angel||Emily||Episode: "Venice"|
|1997||Sleeping with the Devil||Stasha Dubrovich||Television movie|
|1998||Stargate SG-1||Linea||Episode: "Prisoners"|
|1999–2002||Once and Again||Barbara Brooks||7 episodes|
|2000||Touched by an Angel||Lucy Scribner||Episode: "The Grudge"|
|2002||Strong Medicine||Edna Carlyle||Episode: "Discharged"|
|2003||Touched by an Angel||Loretta||Episode: "And a Nightingale Sang"|
|2004||NCIS||Dr. Sylvia Chalmers||Episode: "My Other Left Foot"|
|2005||Huff||Margaret||Episode: "All the King's Horses"|
|2006||Boston Legal||Marguerite Hauser||Episode: "Shock and Oww!"|
|2006||General Hospital||Miriam Spinelli||2 episodes|
|2008||Grey's Anatomy||Patient Rosie Bullard||Episode: "Rise Up"|
|2012||Of Two Minds||Kathleen||Television movie|
|2013||Parks and Recreation||Paula Horke||Episode: "Women In Garbage"|
|2017||Better Call Saul||Helen||2 Episodes|
- "Bonnie Bartlett Biography". Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Beverlye Hyman Fead, Aging in High Heels – Ageless Amazing Women Interview – Bonnie Bartlett". Beverlye Hyman Fead, Aging in High Heels. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Bonnie Bartlett". Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- Butterfield, Daniel. "On Call, Vol. 1, No. 2 – Personnel Profile: Bill and Bonnie Daniels... "The Story of How Captain Nice Met Alice Actress" – The St. Elsewhere Experience". Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Hall of Honor – Recipients" Archived October 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Moline-Coal Valley School District; retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Los Angeles Times (May 9, 2015). "In 'Girl Meets World,' William Daniels reprises Mr. Feeny". latimes.com. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "William Daniels Biography" Archived November 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Biography.com; retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "William Daniels". Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- "Bonnie Bartlett". Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- "Actor Profile: Bonnie Bartlett". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved March 29, 2016.