Ann Wedgeworth, Three's Company and Evening Shade actress, dies aged 83

Joann Johnston
November 19, 2017

Ann Wedgeworth, a Tony victor for her performance in Neil Simon's 1977 comedy Chapter Two, has died at age 83. Her Broadway credits included Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment (1960), James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie (1964), Saul Bellow's The Last Analysis (1964), and Herb Gardner's Thieves (1974).

Wedgeworth first made her mark on Broadway, where she won a Tony for her role in Neil Simon's "Chapter Two," Extra reported.

Her film roles also included Aunt Fern in Steel Magnolias, Hilda in Sweet Dreams with Jessica Lange and Ed Harris, Frenchy in the 1973 movie Scarecrow, and Dallas Angel in Citizens Band.

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In addition to stage work, Wedgeworth was well known for her work in film and television.

But she's perhaps best known for her brief tenure on the TV sitcom "Three's Comedy", where she played Lana Shields, an older woman with her eyes set on her young neighbor Jack, played by John Ritter.

The "Three's Company" star died in New Yor after a long illness, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported. She and Charles Durning appeared in an unsold pilot for a spin-off of the show to be called "Harlan & Merleen" in 1994. The couple was best friends with Burt Reynolds and Marilu Henner's Wood and Ava Newton, who move back to the small town of Evening Shade, Ark. after Wood quits professional football due to an injury. Previously, Wedgeworth was married to actor Rip Torn. Wedgeworth is survived by daughters Danae and Dianna.

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