Conchata Ferrell, ‘Two and a Half Men’ Star, Dies at 77
Conchata Ferrell, best known for her role as Berta the housekeeper on “Two and a Half Men,” died on Tuesday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., a rep for Warner Bros. Television confirmed to Variety. She was 77.
“We are saddened by the loss of Conchata Ferrell and are grateful for the years she brought us laughs as Berta which will live on forever,” Warner Bros. TV, the studio behind “Two and a Half Men,” tweeted.
Ferrell was hospitalized in May and spent more than four weeks in the ICU, where she went into cardiac arrest at one point. The actress was relocated to a long-term treatment center, where she was on a respirator and dialysis.
Ferrell was most recognized for playing Berta on all 12 seasons of “Two and a Half Men,” for which she received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations (in 2005 and 2007) for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. She appeared in a total of 212 episodes from 2003 to 2015.
She talked to AV Club in 2014 about her role as Berta, which had originally been written as an Eastern European woman. Ferrell said she changed the character’s nationality to “trailer park” and though she wasn’t a Grateful Dead fan, she said, “I definitely was an old hippie. I was a political hippie.”
Born in Charleston, W. Va., she graduated from Marshall University, where she made her first onstage performance in a skit comedy. Out of school, Ferrell sought a career in theater and made her 1973 Off-Broadway debut as a member of the Circle in the Square theatrical company in Lanford Wilson’s “Hot L Baltimore.” For her next Off-Broadway role as Gertrude Blum in “The Sea Horse,” she won Drama Desk, Theatre World and Obie Awards as best actress.
Moving into film, she appeared in the adaptation of “Hot L Baltimore” and then as the housekeeper in the 1979 feature film “Heartland,” co-starring Julia Roberts. In 1992, Ferrell received her first Emmy Award nomination for her recurring role as attorney Susan Bloom in “L.A. Law.”
She most recently appeared as Shirley in a 2017 episode of Netflix’s sitcom series “The Ranch.” Her other TV credits include “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Teen Angel,” “Matlock” and “B. J. and the Bear,” and film credits include “Edward Scissorhands,” “Network,” “Crime and Punishment in Suburbia” and “True Romance.”
She is survived by her husband, sound mixer Arnold Anderson, a daughter and two step-daughters.
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