Comedy actress Carol Arthur has died according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 85 years old. After an 11-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Arthur died Sunday at Mary Pickford House in the Motion Picture & Television Fund House in Woodland Hills. She had lived there since 2015 and was the widow of actor Dom DeLuise.
Arthur was born as Carol Arata in Hackensack, New Jersey. She attended the Feagin School of Dramatic Radio and Arts and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She made her Broadway debut in High Spirits in 1964 and later performed in The Music Man with Dick Van Dyke and in Woman of the Year with Lauren Bacall in the 1980s. Between her time on Broadway she also appeared in dozens of films.
The actress is remembered primarily for her role as principal Harriett Van Johnson in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. A frequent contributor to Arthur’s, Brooks said in a statement: “She was my lifelong friend and she will be missed. Arthur also worked with Brooks in Silent Movie, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
Brooks also tweeted a tribute to the veteran actress, recalling her role in Blazing Saddles as the “overblown, outspoken teacher.
It is sad to hear that Carol Arthurâs has died. She was so great in “Blazing Saddles” as Harriett Johnson, the “exaggerated, outspoken teacher. She will be missed.
– Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) November 2, 2020
Arthur met her late husband DeLuise in 1963 at the Provincetown Playhouse in Massachusetts when she performed in “Summer and Smirk”. Two years later they were married. They remained together until he died of kidney failure in 2009.
Karens for Biden: A new poll sorts voting preferences by first name
“I’ve never met anyone like him,” Arthur told the Los Angeles Times about DeLuise in 1999. “He was just so much bigger than life, and he was so funny. I thought, ‘You can spend your whole life like that.'”
Her other acting achievements include The World’s Greatest Mistress, Hot Stuff, The Princess and the Dwarf, Driving Me Crazy, The Good Bad Guy, The Godson and Between the Sheets. Arthur also appeared in her husband’s comedy variety show on CBS, the Dom DeLuise Show.
A notable film in which she appeared was the 1983 film Happy. She was accompanied by Dom and her three sons Michael, Peter and David, who also became actors. Her last acting performance was an episode of 7th Heaven in 2004.
Arthur leaves behind her three sons, her three grandchildren and her brother. Details for a memorial service have yet to be announced.