Georgia Engel, 'Everybody Loves Raymond' Actress, Dead at 70

Georgia Engel, best known for her roles on Everybody Loves Raymond and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died Monday at age 70.

John Quilty, her friend and executor, told The New York Times the actresses' cause of death is unknown. Engel was a Christian Scientist who did not visit doctors.

Engel earned two Emmy nominations for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for playing Georgette, the girlfriend and wife of Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She joined the beloved sitcom in 1972, during the third season, notes Variety.

Engel, whose sweet and unique voice made her a popular character actress, also had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Pat MacDougall, the mother-in-law of Brad Garrett's character. She appeared in three seasons from 2003 to 2015. The role earned her three Emmy nominations for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series.

She also appeared on Hot in Cleveland. Her most recent TV appearance came in Netflix's One Day At A Time remake series.

While Engel spent most of her career in television, she also appeared in a handful of movies and in several Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Her movie credits included Grown Ups 2, Open Season, The Sweetest Thing, Dr. Dolittle 2 and Signs of Life.

Her earliest credit is Milos Forman's English-language debut, the 1971 comedy Taking Off. The film earned six BAFTA Film Awards nominations, including one for Engel's supporting role.

In the past decade, Engel juggled between stage and television work. In 2006, she starred in The Drowsy Chaperone, playing Mrs. Tottensdale. She also earned an Obie Award for distinguished performance by an actress for her performance in the 2015 off-Broadway play John, written by Annie Baker. The Washinton, D.C. native was also active at the Muny Theater in St. Louis, Missouri in the late 2000's.

"...All the good things I've been involved in — from Mary Tyler Moore to Everybody Loves Raymond to [The Drowsy Chaperone] — at the time you're doing it, you're not aware of something being real special," Engel told Playbill in 2006 when asked if she is aware something will succeed while she is doing it. "It takes a little bit of hindsight."

Engel made her Broadway debut in Hello, Dolly!, opposite Ethel Merman. One thing she learned from Merman was having an incredible work ethic. During the original run, Merman and Engel did not take any breaks. But when Engel had her own success with Drowsy years later, she had to take a vacation and the only thing she could think about was working.


"You got the feeling she wouldn't ever want to be out because she wouldn't want to disappoint the people that came to see her, and that has just carried with me," she told Playbill. "So here I am in a quandary about what to do when my week's vacation comes. I probably won't have a vacation — I'll probably just do a pilot or something for TV and use my vacation for that."

Engel is survived by two sisters, Robin Engel and Penny Lusk.