Carole Cook dead at 98

Carole Cook has died credit:Bang Showbiz
Carole Cook has died credit:Bang Showbiz

Carole Cook has died.

The 'Sixteen Candles' actress - who portrayed Grandma Helen in the cult 1980s classic - passed away on Wednesday (11.01.23), just three days before her 99th birthday, as a result of heart failure, her husband Tom Troupe has announced.

Carole, whose real name was Mildred Frances Cook, was born in Texas but was brought to Los Angeles on the behest of Lucille Ball, who met with her and helped establish her stage name.

The pair worked together on 'The Lucy Show' from 1963 to 1968 and then spin-off 'Here's Lucy' from 1969 to 1974 and remained good friends until the comedy legend died in 1989.

Carole also made three appearances on Broadway - including in the Tony Award-winning musical '42nd Street' - and played Don Knotts' wife Bessie Limet in 1964's 'The Incredible Mr. Limpet', with other film roles including parts in 'American Gigolo', 'A Very Sordid Wedding', and 'The Gauntlet'.

She was still working in 2018, with a one-woman show in which she sang and shared her memories staged at Feinstein's/54 Below in New York.

She said of the gig: “At my age, playing [here] is not a career move. I have jewellery bigger than this room.”

In September 2018, the actress caused controversy when she suggested President Donald Trump should be assassinated in an interview with TMZ when she and her husband were outside Craig's in West Hollywood.

She said: “Where is John Wilkes Booth when you need him, right?”

Her remarks sparked a visit from the Secret Service, of which she said: "They couldn’t have been nicer. I said, ‘I can’t go to prison, the stripes are horizontal, they don’t look good on me.'”

Carole married Tom in March 1964, with Lucille as matron of honour.

She is survived by stepson, Christopher, his wife, Becky, sister Regina, and nieces and nephews.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Entertainment Community Fund, which was formerly known as The Actors Fund.