In Memoriam: Remembering the women of TV we've lost in 2021

By: Start TV Staff    Posted: December 20, 2021, 12:42PM

All images: The Everett Collection

As we reach the end of the year, we want to take a moment to reflect upon the talented women of television that passed away in 2021.

Over the past year, we have had to say goodbye to sitcom icons, variety show singers, sci-fi standouts, and more. Thankfully, their wonderful work lives on.

Here are some of the losses that hit the TV industry in 2021.

1

Tanya Roberts, star of Charlie's Angels and That '70s Show

She also starred in many classic '80s films such as A View to Kill, Sheena, and The Beastmaster. She was 65.

2

Cloris Leachman, Phyllis from Mary Tyler Moore and most awarded actress in Emmy history

The actress appeared on television in eight different decades. She was 82.

3

Cicely Tyson, a pioneering TV icon who garnered countless awards

She was the first black actor with a lead role in a primetime television drama. She was 96.

4

Jessica Walter, the 'Arrested Development' star with six decades of TV credits

She worked with everyone from Ron Howard and William Shatner to Wonder Woman and Mannix. She was 80.

5

Amy Johnston, Vinnie Barbarino's love on Welcome Back, Kotter

She also played Buddy Holly's girlfriend in The Buddy Holly Story. She was 66.

6

Gloria Henry, the mom on Dennis the Menace

The actress behind Mrs. Mitchell died one day following her 98th birthday.

7

Arlene Golonka, love interest to both Howard and Sam in Mayberry

The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. actress was 85.

8

Erin O'Brien, who played Andy Griffith's gal and the title character in the '77 Sunset Strip' pilot

The former Tonight Show singer made her final TV acting appearance on Perry Mason. She was 87.

9

Joanne Linville, who had memorable roles in Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

She was the first woman to play a Romulan in the Trek universe. She was 93.

10

Billie Hayes, the wicked witch known as Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf

The Broadway veteran was 96 years old.

11

Gloria Henry, the mom on Dennis the Menace

The actress behind Mrs. Mitchell died one day following her 98th birthday.

12

Amy Johnston, Vinnie Barbarino's love on Welcome Back, Kotter

She also played Buddy Holly's girlfriend in The Buddy Holly Story.

13

Erin O'Brien, who played Andy Griffith's gal and the title character in the '77 Sunset Strip' pilot

She also played Buddy Holly's girlfriend in The Buddy Holly Story.

14

Linda Carlson of Newhart, Kaz and Westside Medical

She worked with Leonard Nimoy on Broadway and played Pearl Bodine of the Beverly Hillbillies on the big screen. She was 76.

15

Bridget Hanley, the sweet Candy Pruitt from Here Come the Brides

The self-described ''tomboy'' played the love interest of teen idol Bobby Sherman.

16

Cynthia Harris, who wooed King Edward in ‘Edward and Mrs. Simpson’ and played Sylvia in ‘Mad About You’

She also appeared on the big screen with Barbra Streisand and had guest roles on Kojak, Three’s Company and The Bob Newhart Show.

17

Jean Hale, the Mad Hatter's moll on Batman who married Dabney Coleman

She twice played an accused client of Perry Mason. She was 82.

18

Jane Powell, star of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and many other Golden Age musicals

She also sang on The Ed Sullivan Show and boarded The Love Boat.

19

Patricia Hitchcock, daughter of Alfred Hitchcock who appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Presents

She also acted on TV alongside William Shatner and Andy Griffith.

20

Jane Withers, Golden Age child actor and beloved star of 1960s commercials

She costarred with Shirley Temple and received a teddy bear from President Roosevelt.

21

Markie Post, a 1980s television icon from Night Court and The Fall Guy

The actress best known for playing public defender Christine Sullivan was 70.

22

Betty Lynn, who played Barney Fife's love Thelma Lou

She toured Asia during USO shows, became fast friends with Bette Davis, and retired to the real-life Mayberry.

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Ryan 5 months ago
I guess that I will have to wait until it's my time to go to Heaven, whenever that may be(I'm only 52), before I'll ever get the chance to meet these "WONDERFUL" ladies.

"MAJOR BUMMER"!!!
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