Kate Murtagh

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Kate Murtagh
Born(1920-10-29)October 29, 1920
DiedSeptember 10, 2017(2017-09-10) (aged 96)
Years active1951–1999

Kate Murtagh (October 29, 1920 – September 10, 2017)[1] was an American actress, and a native of Los Angeles, California.

In the 1930s and 1940s, she performed as one-third of the Murtah (sic) Sisters act with siblings Jean and Onreitt, performing in the film Freshman Year (1938)[1] and the Broadway play Take a Bow (1944).[2] The trio began performing when they were children, with the goal of singing straight harmony like the Pickens Sisters, whom they idolized, but the performances became more humorous with time.[3] In addition to the film and play, they performed in vaudeville and nightclubs.[4]

Murtagh appeared in films including Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961),The Night Strangler (1973), Dirty O'Neil (1974), Switchblade Sisters (1975), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Car (1977), Doctor Detroit (1983) and Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992). On television, she portrayed Iona Dobson in It's a Man's World.[5] She also appeared in other shows, including Daniel Boone, My Three Sons, The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie, The Twilight Zone and Highway to Heaven.[citation needed] She also portrayed Melissa Tatum in the Broadway play Texas, Li'l Darlin'.[2]

Murtagh is pictured on the front and back covers of the English rock band Supertramp's 1979 multi-platinum album, Breakfast in America. On the front cover she is depicted as a waitress named "Libby", in front of a depiction of New York City, striking a pose similar to that of the Statue of Liberty, but holding a tall glass of orange juice and a menu rather than a torch and tabula ansata. She also appears in the video for the band's 1982 single, "It's Raining Again", as the woman who gives the protagonist an umbrella.[citation needed]

Retired from acting since 1999, she was in her last years a resident at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital (MPTCHH), where she took classes in improvisation.[6]

Murtagh died at the MPTCHH in Woodland Hills, California,[1] on September 10, 2017, at the age of 96.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Lentz, Harris M., III (2019). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018. McFarland. ISBN 9781476670331. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Kate Murtagh". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Murtah Sisters Find Comedy Comes Easy". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. May 28, 1944. p. 47. Retrieved 25 August 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Wilson, Earl (July 11, 1944). "Critics' Glasses Morose Colored". The Courier-Journal. Kentucky, Louisville. p. 5. Retrieved 25 August 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 515. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ Wood, Douglas. "It's Libby, the Supertramp waitress!". The Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  7. ^ SAG-AFTRA - Summer 2018: In Memoriam

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