Elizabeth Hoffman Dies: ‘Sisters’, ‘Winds Of War’ Actress Was 97

Veteran character actress Elizabeth Hoffman, perhaps best known for her role as Beatrice Reed Ventnor, mother of the titular sisters played by Swoosie Kurtz, Sela Ward, Patricia Kalember and Julianne Phillips, on NBC’s ’90s drama series Sisters, has died. Hoffman passed away of natural causes on Aug. 21 at her home in Malibu, CA, her son Chris confirmed to Deadline’s sister pub THR. She was 97.

Born in Corvallis, OR, Hoffman made her television debut recurring as Miss Mason on Little House on the Prairie in 1980. The following year she made her feature film debut as the lead in Frank LaLoggia’s supernatural horror film Fear No Evil.

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Hoffman also is known for her portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt in The Winds of War, the television miniseries directed and produced by Dan Curtis, which spanned the earliest years of World War II, from the Nazi blitzkrieg of Poland in 1939 to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. She went on to reprise her role as Eleanor Roosevelt in the miniseries War and Remembrance in 1988.

Hoffman next appeared in Monte Hellman’s 1989 horror film Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! But it was two years later that she would land the role of Beatrice in NBC’s Sisters, a role she would play on all six seasons of the NBC drama from 1991-1996.

Her other credits include the supporting role of Dr. Johnson opposite Barbra Streisand in 1987’s drama feature Nuts. She also guest-starred on television series such as Matlock and thirtysomething, and well as several movies including playing Grandma Ruth in Dante’s Peak. Her most recent television appearance was in 1997-1998 as Dr. Catherine Langford in Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner’s Stargate SG-1.

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