Sylvia Field Truex, a longtime legit and feature actress who is perhaps most remembered as the kindly Mrs. Wilson on the early 1960s TV series “Dennis the Menace,” died July 31 in a nursing home in Fallbrook. She was 97.
Playing opposite Joseph Kearns’ grumpy Mr. Wilson from 1959 until Kearns’ death in 1962, Truex, whose professional name was Sylvia Field, portrayed the neighborly half of the couple next door — always ready with a plate of warm cookies and a kind smile for Dennis.
She also appeared in nine films, more than 40 Broadway plays and made numerous other TV appearances.
Truex, a Boston native, began her professional acting career at age 17 in a New York play, “The Bluebird.”
Her film career began in the late 1920s when she appeared in “The Exalted Flapper” and “Voice of the City.” Film credits during the 1940s included “Nobody’s Darling,” “Her Primitive Man” and “Blondie for Victory.”
Truex’s final two films were “All Mine to Give” in 1957 and “Annette” in 1958.
She married actor and comedian Ernest Truex in the 1940s and starred in a TV series on a New York station that featured members of her family.
The series, her first in television, ran three years before she and her husband relocated to California.
In addition to her role in “Dennis the Menace,” which aired on CBS from 1959 to 1963, Truex appeared in such popular series as “Perry Mason,” “Mickey Mouse Club,” “The Millionaires,” “Search for Tomorrow,” “Father Knows Best,” “Hazel,” “Petticoat Junction,” “World of Disney” and “Harry O.”
She was preceded in death by her husband 22 years ago and a daughter, Sally Moffatt.
Survivors include three grandsons.
Family suggests donations be made to the Screen Actors Retirement Home, 335 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.