Sad news has come in as actress Cynthis Harris has died. Harris, whose most famous credits include Mad About You and Edward & Mrs. Simpson, reportedly passed away on Sunday. Her family confirmed her death with an online obituary, but further details such as a cause of death haven’t yet been revealed. She was 87 years old.
Cynthia Harris was born in New York City in 1934 and took an interest in performing on stage at a very young age. By 12, she was studying theater and graduated with a degree in theater and literature from Smith College in 1955. By the 1970s, she was appearing in big name television shows of the era like Laverne & Shirley, The Bob Newhart Show, and Three’s Company.
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In 1978, Harris starred in the British miniseries Edward & Mrs. Simpson, which follows the abdication of King Edward VIII who gave up his throne to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. Harris starred as Simpson with Edward Fox co-starring at the King. Her performance was very well received and earned Harris a BAFTA Award nomination in 1979, further establishing her as a talented actress.
Harris had a recurring role on L.A. Law in the 1980s and also on the series Ann Jillian in the 80s and 90s. She also appeared in shows like Archie Bunker’s Place, Kate & Allie, Murder, She Wrote, and All My Children. Harris would also regularly appear as Mike’s mother in the series Rescue Me and had roles in movies like Three Men and a Baby, The Distinguished Gentleman, and Mannequin: On the Move.
Certainly, Cynthia Harris’s best known role is playing Sylvia Buchman, the mother of Paul Reiser’s character, on the 1990s sitcom Mad About You. She appeared in more than 70 episodes of that show, serving as one of its most memorable performers alongside leads Reiser and Helen Hunt. She was given the opportunity to reprise the role in 2019 when Mad About You returned for a limited revival series. This also serves as the final performance of Harris, who had only been acting very sporadically since the early 2000s.
Those who knew Harris are now in mourning. Actress Finnerty Steeves posted to Twitter, “I met #CynthiaHarris when she played my mother in #NeilSimons Off Broadway #LostInYonkers in 2012. Thank you for being a wonderful friend, scene partner & for teaching my daughter to love tea parties. You were a firecracker Cynthia and you will be sorely missed.”
I met #CynthiaHarris when she played my mother in #NeilSimons Off Broadway #LostInYonkers in 2012. Thank you for being a wonderful friend, scene partner & for teaching my daughter to love tea parties. You were a firecracker Cynthia and you will be sorely missed. ???? pic.twitter.com/lDbipuBXQ0
— Finnerty Steeves (@FinnertySteeves) October 4, 2021
Fans are paying tribute to the laid actress as well. Mad About You fans and blogger @RichardReflects on Twitter wrote, “I have been rewatching #MadAboutYou on @PrimeVideo recently and have been marveling at how underrated her work was. Her chemistry with @PaulReiser and @HelenHunt was superb. RIP Cynthia Harris.”
I have been rewatching #MadAboutYou on @PrimeVideo recently and have been marveling at how underrated her work was. Her chemistry with @PaulReiser and @HelenHunt was superb. RIP Cynthia Harris. https://t.co/3fNNF3Iirr
— Richard (@RichardReflects) October 6, 2021
And another tweet from David Gordon reads, “I’m sad to hear that Cynthia Harris has passed. As you all know, Mad About You is my favorite TV show and boy did she capture the overbearing Jewish mom thing perfectly.”
I’m sad to hear that Cynthia Harris has passed. As you all know, Mad About You is my favorite TV show and boy did she capture the overbearing Jewish mom thing perfectly.
— David S. Pumpkins Gordon (@MrDavidGordon) October 6, 2021
Cynthia Harris is survived by her partner Nathan Silverstein, devoted assistant Terrence Mintern, brother Dr. Matthew Harris, sister-in-law Maryjane Harris, and many nieces and nephews. Our thoughts go out to them at this time. May she rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.
Topics: Mad About You, Obituaries