×

Carole Cook, a veteran stage and screen actor who was a protégé of Lucille Ball, has died in Beverly Hills, Calif., of heart failure. She was 98.

Cook was known for her guest roles on “The Lucy Show” from 1963-68 and “Here’s Lucy” from 1969-74. She began her acting career in 1959 when Ball requested she appear in an episode of “Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse” titled, “The Desilu Revue.”

In films, Cook was known for her role as Molly Ringwald’s Grandma Helen in the 1984 John Hughes rom-com, “Sixteen Candles.” She also appeared in “The Incredible Mr. Limpet,” “Palm Springs Weekend,” “American Gigolo,” “The Gauntlet,” “Grandview, U.S.A.,” “Summer Lovers” and “A Very Sordid Wedding.”

In addition to her television work with Ball, Cook guest starred on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “U.S. Marshal,” “Daniel Boone,” “My World and Welcome to It,” “That Girl,” “Baretta,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Knight Rider,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Love Boat,” “The A-Team,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Born Mildred Frances Cook on Jan. 14, 1924, in Abilene, Texas, Cook changed her name professionally to Carole after Ball suggested a name change that honored her friend and fellow actor, Carole Lombard.

On stage, Cook created the role of Maggie Jones in the New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo companies of the Tony Award-winning musical “42nd Street.” She originated the role of Blanche Daly in the Broadway musical “Romantic Comedy” and, in 1965, followed Carol Channing as the second actor to portray Dolly Levi in “Hello, Dolly!”

Cook and her husband Tom Troupe co-starred in the Los Angeles and Dallas productions of “The Lion in Winter,” and later appeared together in “The Gin Game.”

Additional theater credits include “70 Girls 70,” “The Threepenny Opera,” “Call Me Madam,” “Pal Joey,” “Follies,” “The Boys From Syracusem” “Kismet,” “Dear World,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “A Little Night Music,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Steel Magnolias” and “Father’s Day.”

She is survived by her husband Tom, stepson Christopher Troupe and his wife Becky, sister Regina Cocanougher and several nieces and nephews.