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Subject: Archive: Doris Belack, Oct. 4, 2011

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Date Posted: Wednesday, October 04, 04:19:56pm

Doris Belack (February 26, 1926 October 4, 2011) was an American character actress of stage, film and television.

Life and career

Belack was born in 1926 in New York City, the younger daughter of Isaac and Bertha Belack, Jewish immigrants from Russia. She had one sibling, an older sister. In 1955, she performed on the record Poetry of the Negro with Sidney Poitier. The record was produced by her husband, Philip Rose.

Belack has been misidentified as the first "Mrs. Fish" to Abe Vigoda's character on Barney Miller. She was actually only a one episode replacement for actress Florence Stanley, who played "Mrs. Fish" ("Bernice Fish"). Before that, Belack was seen mainly in soap operas; she originated the role of Anna Wolek Craig for nearly a decade on One Life to Live. She also appeared in Another World (three different roles over the show's 35-year run), The Doctors (1980, as psychiatrist Dr. Claudia Howard) and The Edge of Night (1981, as Beth Bryson who held Nancy Karr hostage). Later in the 1980s, she had the recurring role of Pine Valley's mayor on All My Children.

She played the formidable soap opera producer Rita Marshall in the 1982 comedy film Tootsie, which starred Dustin Hoffman. Her other film credits included roles in Fast Forward (1985), Batteries Not Included (1987), Splash, Too (1988), She-Devil (1989), Opportunity Knocks (1990), What About Bob? (1991), Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. (1994), Krippendorf's Tribe (1998), The Odd Couple II (1998) and Fail Safe (2000).

Belack played the lead role in the short-lived television sitcom called Baker's Dozen as "Florence Baker", the no-nonsense captain of an undercover anti-crime unit of the NYPD. The show lasted a month on CBS. She guest starred on an episode of The Golden Girls in 1985 as Dorothy Zbornak's sister, Gloria.

From 1990 to 2001, she played tough, sharp-tongued Judge Margaret Barry, a recurring role on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She also played Maureen McReary in Grand Theft Auto IV and provided the voices of Mrs. Dink and Mrs. Wingo in the Nickelodeon show Doug. Her last television appearance was on a 2003 episode of Sex and the City.

Personal life

Her husband, producer Philip Rose, died on May 31, 2011, four months before her own death; they were married for 65 years and had no children

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Subject Author Date
I remember her best in MANY 1970s/80s TV/film roles. We just saw an old BARNEY MILLER where she was cast as the original "Mrs. Fish" (pre Florence Stanley). Film audiences remember her best as Dustin Hoffman's TV producer 1983's TOOTSIE! ... (NT)Doris to cameraman, "I'd like to make her look a little more attractive, how far can you pull back?" "Response: How do you feel about Cleveland?"Wednesday, October 04, 05:24:07pm
The Golden Girls in 1985 as Dorothy Zbornak's sister, Gloria (NT)BeaWednesday, October 04, 05:54:21pm
Speaking of "Barney Miller", it always tripped me out the Jack Soo was only ONE year younger than Abe Vgoda! -Jack Soo would have been 100 years old on October 28! -Here's more on Soo's end. ...A heavy smoker (even on the show) esophageal cancer killed Soo, 61, in January 1979.Tuesday, October 10, 03:40:45pm

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