Norma Michaels, 'Modern Family' and 'King of Queens' Actress, Dead at 95

Norma Michaels, who appeared in a 2010 episode of Modern Family and had a recurring role on King of Queens, died on Saturday, Jan. 11. Michaels was a veteran character actress whose career began in the 1950s. She was 95 years old.

Michaels' death was announced in the Palm Springs Desert Sun, which published her obituary. She passed away peacefully at her home in Palm Springs, California. She is survived by several cousins, her manager and friend Jasper Cole and his husband Dennis Turrone.

Michaels was born in Los Angeles and took several small roles on television shows in the 1950s and early 1960s. She earned a breakthrough part on The Jack Benny Program in 1964, which would lead to other roles in film and television.

Michaels retired form acting in 1980 to become a therapist, but she returned in 1987 with a guest role on Highway to Heaven, reports Entertainment Weekly.

Michaels played countless older women and grandmother characters throughout the rest of her career. She appeared in episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Gilmore Girls, Lizzie McGuire, The Andy Dick Show, Ally McBeal, Malcolm in the Middle, Boston Legal, Medium, Mind of Mencia, The King of Queens, Las Vegas, iCarly, Mad Men, ER, Greek, Leverage, Rules of Engagement, Suburgatory, Life in Pieces, Days of Our Lives and Angie Tribeca.

Her final television appearance came in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "The Night Shift" in 2016. In 2010, she played Helen in the Modern Family episode "Manny Get Your Gun."

Michaels also found several roles in movies, making her final appearance on the big screen as Sally Field's mother in the 2015 indie hit Hello, My Name Is Doris. Other movie credits include Easy A, Acts of Mercy, You Don't Mess With The Zohan, George Bush Goes to Heaven, Go For Broke and Big Shots.

Modern Family is now in the middle of its 11th and final season. In this week's episode, Fred Willard made a guest appearance as Frank Dunphy, the father of Ty Burrell's Phil. The episode revealed Fred died, and Phil was shown delivering his eulogy.

Star Sarah Hyland revealed she did not know her TV grandfather died until the episode aired.

"I guess I should've put a spoiler alert for Grandpa Frank dying, but I was just caught off guard. Like, as his granddaughter, you think I'd be invited to his funeral," Hyland wrote on Instagram. "If it's any consolation to those who are angry about the spoiler alert, karma hit real fast and Boo just farted in my face and the smell was so bad she had to get off the bed because she couldn't handle the heat."


Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. The series finale is scheduled for April 8.

Photo credit: Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images