'Sixteen Candles' Star Carole Cook Dead at 98

Carole Cook, a favorite of famed comedienne Lucille Ball, died on Wednesday at the age of 98.

via People:

Cook’s husband, actor Tom Troupe, 94, said the cause of death was heart failure, according to multiple reports. She would have turned 99 on Saturday.

Fans of 1980s cinema will doubtlessly remember Cook foremost as the handsy “Grandma Helen” in the era class Sixteen Candles, who exclaimed over teenage granddaughter Samantha (played by Molly Ringwald) and grabbed at her budding curves in an infamously inappropriate scene.

Originally from Abilene, Texas, Cook — born Mildred Frances Cook — was brought to Los Angeles on the behest of Ball, who met with her and eventually helped establish her stage name. The fellow actors worked together on The Lucy Show from 1963-68 as well as spinoff Here’s Lucy from 1969-74, and remained close friends through Ball’s death in 1989.

Cook’s standout credits on stage included the role of Maggie Jones in Tony Award-winning musical 42nd Street, as well as Blanche Dailey in Broadway’s Romantic Comedy.

In film, in addition to Sixteen Candles, she will be well-remembered as Don Knotts’ wife Bessie Limpet in 1964’s The Incredible Mr. Limpet, as well as a host of appearances in titles including American Gigolo, Palm Springs Weekend, The Gauntlet, Grandview, U.S.A., Summer Lovers and A Very Sordid Wedding.

Cook also made her mark in television as well, appearing in the the long-running series Grey’s Anatomy among others.

The actress, lauded by Ball as having a “healthy disrespect for all things in general,” made news headlines in 2018 when she told TMZ in no uncertain terms about her opinion of then-President Donald Trump.

“Where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him?” was her comment, when the outlet asked about an incident regarding a Trump banner unfurled at a theatre performance in Los Angeles.

98 is a long time.

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