×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Marcia Strassman, ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ Actress, Dies at 66

Actress Marcia Strassman, known for her roles in such hits as “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “MASH,” died Friday after a long fight with breast cancer, her sister Julie Strassman confirmed. She was 66.

Along with her many TV credits, Strassman co-starred opposite Rick Moranis in the 1989 Disney live-action hit “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and 1992 sequel “Honey I Blew Up the Kid.” She was also a longstanding member of the national board of the Screen Actors Guild.

The news of her death broke online when her friend, director Bob Weide, sent a tweet about her passing. Strassman died at her home in Sherman Oaks.

Strassman’s first major TV role came in 1964, when she appeared in “The Patty Duke Show.” She would go on to play Nurse Margie Culter in several episodes of “MASH.”

She’s best known, however, as Julie Kotter, wife to the titular school teacher on “Welcome Back, Kotter.” The series ran on ABC from 1975-1979 and featured a young John Travolta in the cast.

Most recently, Strassman had a stint on “Third Watch” in 2004, appeared in the 2003 TV adaptation of the “Tremors” films and NBC’s “Providence.” Also included in her TV credits are “Booker” and “Noah Knows Best,” and she did voice work for animated series including “Aaaahh!!! Real Monsters.”

Along with her the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” films, she was also in 1985 film “The Aviator” with Christopher Reeve and Rosanna Arquette.

Julie Strassman said her sister performed in an annual event to benefit breast cancer research called Duets for years, and was active in raising money and awareness for the disease, even before she was diagnosed.

Ron “Horshack” Palillo and Robert “Epstein” Hegyes of the original “Welcome Back, Kotter” cast died in 2012. John Sylvester White, who played Mr. Woodman on the show, died in 1988.

Strassman is survived by her daughter, costume designer Elizabeth “Lizzie” Collector, along with her sister Julie and brother Steven Strassman. Julie Strassman added that she was a beloved aunt to her son, Jesse, and daughter, Halley.

Funeral services are pending. Julie Strassman requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to cancer organizations such as the Susan B. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society, in Marcia Strassman’s name.

More TV

  • Deadwood

    'Deadwood' Movie Drops First Trailer, Premiere Date (Watch)

    HBO is taking fans back to Deadwood. Nearly 13 years after the hit Western series ended, HBO Films has released the first look at “Deadwood: The Movie.” The film will premiere on the network on May 31. Series regulars Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker and John Hawkes will reprise their roles in the film, [...]

  • Drew Goddard

    Oscar-Nominated Drew Goddard Inks Exclusive Overall Deal with 20th Century Fox TV

    Writer, director and producer Drew Goddard has signed an exclusive, multiyear overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, under which he will write, create, direct and develop new TV series for the studio across all platforms. Goddard’s deal, announced by Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden, is the first to close since [...]

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Comcast Unveils 'Flex,' a Streaming Service for Internet Customers

    Comcast said it would unveil “Flex,” a hub for its Internet-only customers that allows them to stream and purchase shows and movies, the latest effort by a traditional cable provider to latch on to customers who are migrating to broadband services, The Philadelphia cable giant will also make free, ad-supported services available via the service, [...]

  • Imagine, Zero Point Zero Produce Doc

    Imagine, Zero Point Zero to Produce Doc on Teen Skateboard Star Brighton Zeuner (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fourteen-year-old skateboarding star and two-time world champ Brighton Zeuner will be the focus of a feature documentary by Imagine Documentaries and Zero Point Zero, Variety has learned exclusively. Described as a coming-of-age story, the film will document Zeuner’s childhood, personal and professional relationships, and road to earning a spot as a member of the 2020 [...]

  • Smithsonian Handmaids Tale Costume

    Why the Smithsonian Chose to Enshrine 'Handmaid's Tale' Servant Costume

    The iconic red-caped, white-bonneted outfits worn by Elisabeth Moss and the other childbearing servants in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” created by costume designer Ane Crabtree, have become that show’s signature visual.  Hulu immediately knew it had a good thing, hiring groups of women around the country to parade in the garments to promote the show. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content