Patty Freedman, an actress who became a publicist, died in her New York home on Feb. 17. The 64-year-old had been battling breast cancer.
Born in Detroit but raised in Southfield, Mich., Freedman started performing early at Cass Tech, Detroit’s performing arts high school, before attending Interlochen Arts Camp and University of Michigan, from which she graduated with honors and musical theater degree.
As Patty Dworkin, Freedman went onto perform on stage in Ohio with the Kenley Players before moving onto Broadway, where she worked on “See Saw,” “Shenandoah” and “Sly Fox.” After working with Jackie Gleason on “Sly Fox,” impressed ABC casting executives put her under contract and relocated her to Los Angeles. The ABC contract brought her roles on shows including “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Dynasty,” “Happy Days,” “Delta House,” “One Day at a Time,” “Eight is Enough,” and “Shirley.”
In film, Freedman was featured in “Ghostbusters,” “Mr. Mom” and “Airplane Two.” Her commercial career brought her together with many brands, including Ford, Airwick, Kleenex, Snuggles Fabric Softeners and more.
She and husband Andrew worked together at Andrew E. Freedman Public Relations, repping performers including Margo Martindale, Eartha Kitt, Stephen Schwartz, Winnie Holzman, Jason Robert Brown, Julie Halston, Liz Larsen, Billy Strich, John McDaniel, Lea Delaria, Steven Lutvak and many others. She also handled publicity for organizations including the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Circle in The Square, where she served as a board member, The Bushnell, Yale School of Drama, where she also lectured, and Syracuse University. She played an instrumental role in securing a Broadway berth for “Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which won a Tony for best musical.
Freedman is survived by her husband Andrew and sons Alexander and Christopher. Donations may be made to the Young Women’s Leadership Network.