Character actress Billye Ree Wallace, who appeared in numerous TV series including “Seinfeld” and “Mad About You,” died Wednesday of respiratory failure and emphysema at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was 73.
Wallace is perhaps best remembered as Jerry Seinfeld’s nana on “Seinfeld.” She also portrayed spirited, slightly off-center old ladies in sitcoms such as “Dream On,” “Coach,” “Ellen” and “Who’s the Boss.”
She was equally successful in TV commercials, including the popular Del Monte salsa “three Chihuahuas, please!” commercial.
Wallace trained with Stella Adler and performed in more than 50 plays. She was one of the founders of the Gem Theater in Garden Grove, which became the home of the Grove Shakespeare Festival.
She appeared in a handful of films, the last a turn as the wacky old lady in the grocery store in the 1996 Albert Brooks-Debbie Reynolds starrer “Mother.”
She is survived by her mother, a sister, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held at 12:30 p.m. on March 20 at the Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood. A reception will follow. For more information, call (310) 657-6064.