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Sunday, January 20, 2008
Suzanne Pleshette 1937 -- 2008
I hadn't planned to post anything today -- typing with one finger isn't easy -- but that was before I heard the sad news about Suzanne Pleshette.
Suzanne Pleshette died yesterday, finally succumbing to a long battle with lung cancer. Nearing the end of her long and colorful career, she took a recurring role as a worldly and decidedly randy grandmother on the sit-com “Good Morning, Miami” (2002-2003), filmed on Stage 16 at CBS Radford. I worked on the set lighting crew for that show.
I’ve met a lot of actresses in the past thirty years, but never one so gracious as Suzanne. She always came on set with a big smile and that wonderful whiskey-soaked laugh, greeting all of us – PA’s, grips, juicers, camera, set dressing, props, sound, hair and make-up, and the drivers – with a warm and generous respect that came straight from her big heart. She could be bodaciously bawdy one moment, dropping good-natured, perfectly timed F-bombs on the delighted live audience -- then turn slyly and sweetly demure the next: but always, there was that wonderful laugh, that big beaming smile.
Her husband, Tom Poston, used to drop by from time to time (and eventually did a few guest spots), while Bob Newhart -- a living legend on the Radford lot -- came on stage to say hello to her and the crew. Suzanne Pleshette was television royalty.
For reasons I’ll never understand, she wasn’t invited back for the second (and final) season of “Good Morning, Miami.” I thought that was big mistake – the audience loved her as much as we did – but the giant brains upstairs work in their own mysterious ways. Still, she made a point of coming back onto Stage 16 every now and then, cruising through the sets like a queen, smiling, laughing, and hugging us all, one by one.
What a great, classy lady. She was one very sexy broad who loved her life and the people in it – and everybody who had the pleasure to meet her loved her back. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
Thanks for the memories, Suzanne. We'll miss you.