Linda Carlson, 'Newhart' and 'Murder One' actress, dead at 76


Linda Carlson, who starred in the short-lived 1970s TV series “Westside Medical” and “Kaz” before becoming a familiar recurring actor on “Newhart,” Steven Bochco’s “Murder One” and the television adaptation of “Clueless,” died Oct. 26 in Gaylordsville, Connecticut. She was 76.

Her family said the cause of death was ALS.

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Carlson moved to New York to attend graduate school at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and soon after began appearing Off Broadway and, in 1973, on Broadway in the Otto Preminger-directed revival of Erich Maria Remarque’s “Full Circle.”

Carlson made her TV debut in 1977’s “Westside Medical,” playing Dr. Janet Cottrell for the 13-episode run. The following year she co-starred in the legal drama “Kaz,” with Ron Leibman playing attorney Martin “Kaz” Kazinsky.

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Linda Carlson starred in the ABC TV series ‘Westside Medical,’ which aired in 1977.

Linda Carlson starred in the ABC TV series ‘Westside Medical,’ which aired in 1977.
(Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Numerous guest appearances followed, including roles on “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” “Brothers” (starring her then-husband Philip Charles MacKenzie), “My Two Dads” and, beginning in 1985, “Newhart” as the manager of the Vermont television station where Bob Newhart’s Dick Loudon hosted a talk show. She recurred in the role for three seasons.

In 1995, Carlson began a two-season stretch on Bochco’s legal drama “Murder One,” playing Judge Beth Bornstein.

Subsequent TV credits include “The Pretender,” “Clueless,” “Passions” and others.

On film, Carlson appeared in 1992’s “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” and 1993’s “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

She is survived by husband James A. V. Hart, sister Janet Calson Ouren, brother James Hale Carlson and four nieces and nephews.

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