Linda Carlson, beloved character actress, passed away from ALS at 76 years of age


The acting community is in mourning on Tuesday, with beloved character actress Linda Carlson passing away at 76 years of age.

Her family confirmed through Legacy.com that she passed away last Tuesday, October 26, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

She passed away in Gaylordsville, CT, after battling the crippling disease. 

R.I.P.: The acting community is in mourning on Tuesday, with beloved character actress Linda Carlson passing away at 76 years of age

R.I.P.: The acting community is in mourning on Tuesday, with beloved character actress Linda Carlson passing away at 76 years of age

Carlson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee but raised in Edina, Minnesota, where she first started performing in high school.

She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Iowa and was granted a full scholarship to the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

She received her Master of Fine Arts from Tisch and then broke into the professional theater world with the Negro Ensemble in New York City.

Minnesota-raised: Carlson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee but raised in Edina, Minnesota, where she first started performing in high school

Minnesota-raised: Carlson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee but raised in Edina, Minnesota, where she first started performing in high school

She later moved to Repertory Theatre in Milwaukee and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Manitoba Theatre Center in Winnipeg, Canada and the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis.  

Carlson appeared in several off-Broadway productions such as The Death of Lord Chatterly and Miss Julie, while also portraying Crete in Full Circle.

The actress moved to the small screen in 1976 with her first TV role as Dr. Janet Cottrell on Westside Medical.

Theater: She later moved to Repertory Theatre in Milwaukee and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Manitoba Theatre Center in Winnipeg, Canada and the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis

Theater: She later moved to Repertory Theatre in Milwaukee and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Manitoba Theatre Center in Winnipeg, Canada and the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis

She would go on to guest star on Kojak before landing a role on the short-lived TV series Kaz as Katie McKenna, alongside Ron Liebman as the title character.

Carlson spent the bulk of the 1980s guest starring on numerous TV shows such as WKRP in Cincinnati, Lou Grant, Quincy M.E., Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Cagney & Lacey and Growing Pains.

She landed a recurring role on the hit sitcom Newhart as Bev Dutton, the manager of the Vermont television station where Newhart hosted a Sunday afternoon interview show.

TV roles: She would go on to guest star on Kojak before landing a role on the short-lived TV series Kaz as Katie McKenna, alongside Ron Liebman as the title character

TV roles: She would go on to guest star on Kojak before landing a role on the short-lived TV series Kaz as Katie McKenna, alongside Ron Liebman as the title character

The actress also starred in movies such as Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, The Pickle, The Beverly Hillbillies, before starring as Judge Beth Borenstein on Murder One, which ran for just two seasons.

She would go on to guest-star on The Pretender, the Clueless TV series, NYPD BLUE and her last acting role on Passions in 2002.

Carlson was also a writer who was published in the New York Times, who also funded scholarships at Village for Children and Families in Hartford and at the Virginia Avenue Project in Los Angeles.

She is survived by her husband James A. V. Hart, her sister Janet Calson Ouren of Reno, Nevada, her brother James Hale Carlson from Missoula, MN and four nieces and nephews. 

The family requests that donations may be made in Linda’s name to the Village for Children and Families or the ALS Association. 

Beverly Hillbillies: The actress also starred in movies such as Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, The Pickle, The Beverly Hillbillies, before starring as Judge Beth Borenstein on Murder One, which ran for just two seasons

Beverly Hillbillies: The actress also starred in movies such as Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, The Pickle, The Beverly Hillbillies, before starring as Judge Beth Borenstein on Murder One, which ran for just two seasons

Donations: The family requests that donations may be made in Linda's name to the Village for Children and Families or the ALS Association

Donations: The family requests that donations may be made in Linda’s name to the Village for Children and Families or the ALS Association

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