Mary Jo Catlett

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Mary Jo Catlett
Born (1938-09-02) September 2, 1938 (age 81)
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active1962–present
Notable work
Mrs. Puff in SpongeBob SquarePants

Mary Jo Catlett (born September 2, 1938) is an American actress and comedian. She has been a main cast member on the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants since its debut, providing the voice of Mrs. Puff. She is also known for originating the role of Ernestina in the 1964 Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! and for playing Pearl Gallagher, the third housekeeper on Diff'rent Strokes.[1]

Catlett began her career as a theater actress in Off-Broadway and Broadway musicals. Since the late 1960s, Catlett has appeared in television shows such as M*A*S*H, The Waltons, The Bob Newhart Show, The Dukes of Hazzard, and General Hospital. She received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination at the 1990 ceremony for her work in the latter.[2] She also received an Annie Award nomination in 2001 for her voice-over work as Mrs. Puff.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Catlett was born in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of Cornelia M. (née Callaghan) and Robert J. Catlett.[4]


In 1974, Catlett originated the role of Mrs. Tiffany in Fashion: or, Life in New York. Her performance was well-received; The New York Times' theater critic Clive Barnes called Catlett and co-star Henrietta Valor "exceptional ... both particular delights,"[5] and Jerry Tallmer of the New York Post said that the play's casting was "top-notch, with particular praise from this quarter for Mary Jo Catlett."[6] Catlett would reprise her role in the 1994 revival of Fashion.[7]

In 1976 and 1980, Catlett received Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for her roles in Come Back, Little Sheba and Philadelphia, Here I Come!, respectively.[8][9]

In 1995, Catlett's role as Madame de la Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast earned her a nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical at the Ovation Awards.[10]

Catlett appeared on General Hospital (for which she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award) and in several episodes of the television sitcom M*A*S*H. She provides the voice of Mrs. Puff in the animated TV series SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as the SpongeBob SquarePants movies. In 2002, she was nominated for The Annie Award for Best Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Production for SpongeBob SquarePants.


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Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Littlest Angel Scribe #1 Part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame anthology series
1971 Bananas Woman in Hotel Lobby Cheering Honeymoon Uncredited
1975 The Bob Newhart Show Mrs. Engleheart
The Waltons Elvira Roswell
Kojak Verna
1976 How to Break Up a Happy Divorce Soprano
Police Woman Car Rental Clark Television series
1976–1978 M*A*S*H Becky/Nurse Walsh 3 episodes
1977 Flush Bertha
Semi-Tough Earlene Emery
1978 Fantasy Island Hooligan Hanreddy/Carlotta Smith 4 episodes
1979 Welcome Back, Kotter Myrna Fishbein 1 episode
1979 The Champ Josie
Dukes of Hazzard Cousin Alice 1 episode
1981 Foul Play Stella Finkle
1981–1989 The Smurfs Additional voices Unknown episodes
1982 The Beach Girls Mrs. Brinker
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Rita
O'Hara's Wife Gloria
1982–1986 Diff'rent Strokes Pearl Gallagher Unknown episodes
1987 Murder, She Wrote Mrs. Metcalf 1 episode
1986 Alf Mary Jo 1 episode
1989–1990 General Hospital Mary Finnegan Unknown episodes
1994 Serial Mom Rosemary Ackerman
1996 Quack Pack The Claw's mother (voice)
1998 Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction mom 1 segment
1999 Rugrats Doreen (voice) 1 episode
1999–present SpongeBob SquarePants Mrs. Puff (voice) Unknown episodes
2004 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Witch (voice) 1 episode
Lloyd in Space Mrs. Horton (voice)
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Mrs. Puff (voice)
2004–2005 That's So Raven Mrs. Applebaum 4 episodes
2006 The Benchwarmers Mrs. Ellwood
2007 State of Mind Mrs. DelVecchio 1 episode
Kim Possible Aunt June (voice)
American Dad! Store On (voice)
2009 Days of Our Lives Bev
Cold Case Betty Joe Henders '09
Surprise Surprise Winnie Blythman LGBT film based on the earlier play by the same name
2010 Glee Mrs. Carlisle 1 episode
2011 2 Broke Girls Elaine
2012 Shake It Up! Elderly Woman
Desperate Housewives Debi Brown
Did You Look for Work This Week Trixie
2013 The Mentalist Ruth 1 episode
Mr. Box Office Gertrude
Modern Family Edith Episode: "Goodnight Gracie"
Rizzoli & Isles Bunny 1 episode
2014 Instant Mom Mrs. Sharp
Let's Be Cops Elderly Lady
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Mrs. Puff
The McCarthys Mrs. Murphy 1 episode
2016 When the Moon Was Twice as Big Elsie
Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Ethel Simmons 1 episode
2017 Trial and Error The East Peck Hall of Record's Clerk Episode: "The Right-Hand Man"
Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer Aunt Agnes (voice) Episode: "Billy/Willie"
2020 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Mrs. Puff (voice) In production[11]


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Buzzr TV David Ruprecht's Grandma Commercial Voice

Stage work[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1964-1970 Hello, Dolly! Ernestina Broadway
1974 Fashion Mrs. Tiffany, Evelyn
1969 Canterbury Tales Housewife, Village Girl and Parishioner
1972 Different Times Hazel Hughes and child
1973-1974 The Pajama Game Mabel [12]
1991 Lend Me a Tenor Julia [13][14]
1994 Beauty and the Beast Madame de la Grande Bouche
1998 The Music Man Eulalie Shinn [15]
2011 The Wedding Singer Rosie [16]


  1. ^ "Mary Jo Catlett". Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  2. ^ Miller, Ron (June 28, 1990). "Emmy Drama". Chicago Tribune.
  3. ^ Staff (2001). "29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2001)". Annie Award. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Mary Jo Catlett profile,; accessed April 17, 2016.
  5. ^ Barnes, Clive (February 19, 1974). "Stage: Vintage Musical". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Tallmer, Jerry (February 19, 1974). In the Female Fashion. New York Post.
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  11. ^ Davis, Brandon (January 23, 2019). "'SpongeBob SquarePants 3' Begins Production". Comicbook. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Nichols, David (July 14, 2011). "Theater review: 'The Wedding Singer' at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center". Los Angeles Times.

External links[edit]