Bethel Leslie

Tony and Emmy-nominated actress Bethel Leslie, who also essayed feature-film roles and was a chief TV scribe, died Sunday after a brief illness in New York. She was 70.

Leslie was discovered by George Abbot at the age of 15 and made her Broadway debut in his play “Snafu.” She appeared in many legit productions including “Years Ago,” “How I Wonder” and “Time of the Cuckoo.” Leslie received a Tony nomination in the featured-actress category in 1986 for her work in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

Venturing into TV in 1947, Leslie essayed roles in “Playhouse 90,” “The Rifleman,” “The Fugitive” and “Gunsmoke.” She was a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” and earned an Emmy nomination for an appearance in 1963.

She had several feature film credits including “Captain Newman, M.D.” (1963), “The Molly Maguires” (1970), “Ironweed” (1987) and “Message in a Bottle” (1999).

In the 1960s and 1970s, Leslie also pursued writing assignments. With partner Gerry Day, she was the head writer for the soap opera “The Secret Storm.”

She is survived by a daughter, her brother, writer Warren Leslie and two grandchildren.

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