Marcia Strassman in 1975
Marcia Ann Strassman
April 28, 1948
New York City, U.S.
|Died||October 24, 2014 (aged 66)|
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, singer, television personality|
|Known for||Welcome Back, Kotter|
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
(m. 1984; div. 1989)
Marcia Ann Strassman (April 28, 1948 – October 24, 2014) was an American actress and singer, best known for her roles as Nurse Margie Cutler on M*A*S*H, as Julie Kotter on Welcome Back, Kotter, and as Diane Szalinski in the film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989).
Life and career
Strassman was born in New York City and raised in Passaic, New Jersey. Among her earliest acting credits was an appearance in an episode of The Patty Duke Show. In 1963, at age 15, she succeeded Liza Minnelli in the role of Ethel Hofflinger in the Off-Broadway musical Best Foot Forward.
In 1967, she became a recording artist for Uni Records. Her debut single, "The Flower Children", was a top-40 hit in many West Coast U.S. markets, hitting #4 in San Diego and #2 in San Francisco; the track also hit #3 in Vancouver, British Columbia (both at CKLG 730 AM and CFUN 1410 AM in July 1967). However, the single failed to break out nationally in either country; the record stalled at #105 in the United States, and just sneaked into RPM's Top 100 for Canada, peaking at #95.
Her follow-up release, "The Groovy World of Jack and Jill", charted in Denver, Colorado, but virtually nowhere else. A third single, "Star Gazer" (1968) (produced by Kim Fowley), failed to chart anywhere and brought Strassman's brief recording career to a close. Returning to acting after a gap of a few years, she landed the recurring role of Nurse Margie Cutler in six early episodes of M*A*S*H.
She landed her best-known role as Julie Kotter, the wife of title character high school teacher Gabe Kotter (Gabriel "Gabe" Kaplan) on the ABC comedy series Welcome Back, Kotter in 1975. The series lasted four years. Strassman was told that co-star Kaplan wanted her off the series and she stated in an interview that working on the series made her "miserable". Kaplan read the interview and realized series producer James Komack was separately telling the two actors they didn't like each other, and Kaplan informed Strassman that he actually wanted more balance between Kotter's work and home environments, which would afford Strassman the chance to do more on the series. Kaplan, a guest host on The Tonight Show that week, had Strassman on to tell the story as an interview guest; she recalled the incident decades later on a Biography Channel special about the history of Kotter.
In the 1970s, Strassman appeared as a guest star on Time Express, The Rockford Files, The Love Boat and other primetime dramas. In 1980, she starred as Lenina Crowne in a television production of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. She co-starred in the short-lived sitcom Good Time Harry that year. She guest-starred several times on Magnum, P.I., first introduced in the episode "Heal Thyself", where she played Dr. Karen Harmon, a former nurse with whom the title character served in Vietnam. In 1982, she played Maria Giannin in the romantic comedy Soup for One.
In 1989–90, she had a co-starring role on the 21 Jump Street spin-off, Booker, which starred Richard Grieco in the title role. She guest starred on the detective series Murder, She Wrote in 1996. Strassman had movie roles as the wife of Rick Moranis' scientist character in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992). In 1994, she reprised her role from those movies in the 3-D film spin-off Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!. She later went on to play Nancy Sterngood on the television series Tremors (2003).
In March 2007, Strassman was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer that had spread to her bones. She died of the disease at her home in Sherman Oaks, California, on October 24, 2014. She was 66 years old. She had a daughter, Elizabeth Collector (from her 1984 to 1989 marriage to Robert Collector).
|1982||Soup for One||Maria|
|1985||The Aviator||Rose Stiller|
|1989||Honey, I Shrunk the Kids||Diane Szalinski|
|1991||And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird||Sarah Carson|
|1992||Honey, I Blew Up the Kid||Diane Szalinski||Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1993||Another Stakeout||Pam O'Hara|
|1994||Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!||Diane Szalinski||Short film|
|1995||Cops n Roberts|
|1996||Earth Minus Zero||Debbie Heller|
|1996||Highlander: The Series||Betsy Fields|
|2002||Gale Force||Kim Nelson|
|2003||The Movie Hero||Blake's Mom|
|2003||Power Play||Susan Breecher|
|1964–1965||The Patty Duke Show||Adeline / Gladys / Model||3 episodes|
|1967||Ironside||Samantha Dain||Episode: "The Man Who Believed"|
|1972||Wednesday Night Out||Television movie|
|1972–1973||M*A*S*H||Nurse Margie Cutler||6 episodes|
|1973||Love Story||Episode: "Mirabelle's Summer"|
|1974||Police Story||Jacqueline||Episode: "The Ripper"|
|1974||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Episode: "The Latch-Key Child"|
|1975||Journey from Darkness||Nancy||Television movie|
|1975–1979||Welcome Back, Kotter||Julie Kotter||94 episodes|
|1976||City of Angels||Episode: "The Losers"|
|1976||Brenda Starr||Kentucky Smith||Television movie|
|1977||The Love Boat II||Pat McFarland||Television movie|
|1978||The Love Boat||Stephanie Lewis||Episode: "Last of the Stubings/Million Dollar Man/The Sisters"|
|1978||Fantasy Island||Kay Penny / Katherine Patrino||Episode: "The Funny Girl/Butch and Sundance"|
|1979||Time Express||Sara Mason||Episode: "Rodeo/Cop"|
|1979||The Rockford Files||Whitney Cox||2-part episode|
|1980||Once Upon a Family||Pam Ferguson||Television movie|
|1980||Brave New World||Lenina Disney||Television movie|
|1980||Good Time Harry||Carol Younger||7 episodes|
|1981||Likely Stories, Vol. 1||Television movie|
|1982||Magnum, P.I.||Dr. Karen Harmon||Episode: "Heal Thyself"|
|1983||At Ease||Olivia Taylor||Episode: "Love Sick"|
|1984||E/R||Dr. Eve Sheridan||2 episodes|
|1985||Shadow Chasers||Stella Pence||Episode: "Shadow Chasers: Part 1"|
|1987||Stingray||Councilwoman Sondra Decker||Episode: "Gemini"|
|1987||Amazing Stories||Nel Lewise||Episode: "Such Interesting Neighbors"|
|1987||Haunted by Her Past||Rita Kamen||Television movie|
|1987||I Married Dora||Nina||Episode: "A Matter of Moulding"|
|1988||ABC Afterschool Specials||Mary Watson||Episode: "Daddy Can't Read"|
|1988||CBS Summer Playhouse||Elaine||Episode: "Tickets, Please"|
|1989||TV 101||Mrs. Myers||3 episodes|
|1989||Miss Teen USA 1989||Co-host|
|1989–1990||Booker||Alicia Rudd||22 episodes|
|1992||Mastergate||Merry Chase||Television movie|
|1992||Civil Wars||Marcia Kellogg||Episode: "A Bus Named Desire"|
|1994||Phenom||Catherine||Episode: "Men Are Dogs"|
|1995||Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare||Margaret McKenna||Television movie|
|1995||Touched by an Angel||Lisa Patcherik||Episode: "Interview with an Angel"|
|1995||Charlie Grace||Andrea Farrell||Episode: "Bring Me the Head of Darnell Sims"|
|1995–1997||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Hairyette / Harryette / Weatherperson||5 episodes|
|1996||Murder, She Wrote||Terri Garman Holbert||Episode: "The Dark Side of the Door"|
|1996||The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play||Dr. Trish George||Television movie|
|1996||Highlander||Betsy Fields||Episode: "Glory Days"|
|1997||L.A. Heat||Martha||Episode: Rap Sheet"|
|1997||Tracey Takes On...||Mallory Blair||Episode: "Politics"|
|1997||Rugrats||Miss Appleby||Episode: "Dust Bunnies/Educating Angelica"|
|1997||Baywatch||Rena Jaffe, Jordan's Mother||Episode: "Out of the Blue"|
|1999||Odd Man Out||Wendy Flemming||Episode: "Batman Forever"|
|2000||Noah Knows Best||Martine Beznick||13 episodes|
|2003||Tremors||Nancy Sterngood||13 episodes|
|2004||Third Watch||Sergeant Laura Wynn||4 episodes|
|2006||Twenty Good Years||Mackenzie||Episode: "The Crying Game"|
|2014||Looking for Mr. Right||Opal||Television movie|
- "The Flower Children" / "Out of the Picture" (1967)
- "The Groovy World of Jack & Jill" / "The Flower Shop" (1967)
- "Self-Analysis" / "Star Gazer" (1968)
- Best Foot Forward Archived 2015-02-09 at the Wayback Machine at the Internet Off-Broadway Database.
- "From the Music Capitals of the World". Billboard: 7. July 15, 1967. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn Presents: Across The Charts The 1960s. Record Research. p. 371. ISBN 978-0898201758.
- Marcia Strassman profile, las-solanas.com; accessed October 26, 2014.
- Windeler, Robert (November 6, 1978). "A Set Becomes a Set-to as Mrs. Kotter Takes on Gabe, and the Sweathogs Take Sides". People. 10 (19). ISSN 0093-7673.
- "Welcome Back Kotter/The Facts of Life/Roseanne". Biography. Episode 1–06. 22 April 2008. A&E.
- "Marcia Strassman dies at 66; actress starred in 'Welcome Back, Kotter'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- III, Harris M. Lentz (May 7, 2015). "Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2014". McFarland. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Google Books.
- "Marcia Strassman, Wife on 'Welcome Back, Kotter', Dies at 66". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 27, 2014.
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