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Frances Sternhagen Obituary – Death: Tony-Winning Broadway Actress, Cliff’s Mom On ‘Cheers’ Passed Away At 93, Cause Of Death

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Frances Sternhagen Obituary – Death: Tony-Winning Broadway Actress, Cliff’s Mom On ‘Cheers’ Passed Away At 93, Cause Of Death

Frances Sternhagen, the renowned Broadway actress celebrated for her comedic portrayal of Esther Clavin on Cheers, passed away on November 27 at the age of 93 from natural causes. Her son, actor John Carlin, announced her peaceful passing at home, just a month and a half before her 94th birthday.

A luminary on the New York stage, Sternhagen earned two Tony Awards and received nominations for five others for her outstanding performances in productions such as The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (1972), Equus (1975), Angel (1978), On Golden Pond (1979), and Morning’s at Seven (2002). Her Tony wins were for Best Featured Actress/Play in 1974 and 1995 for Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor and Augustus Goetz’s The Heiress, respectively.

While Sternhagen did not reprise some of her notable stage roles for film adaptations, she made memorable appearances in films such as Up the Down Staircase (1967), Paddy Chayefsky’s The Hospital (1971), Billy Wilder’s Fedora (1978), and Bright Lights, Big City (1988).

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Television viewers fondly remember Sternhagen for her recurring role on Cheers, where she portrayed the mother of Cliff Claven (John Ratzenberger). She also played significant characters on ER, Sex and the City, and The Closer. With a career spanning from the 1950s to 2012, her TV credits include Law & Order, Tales From The Crypt, The Simpsons, Parenthood, and more.

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Born on January 13, 1930, in Washington D.C., Sternhagen studied acting at the Perry Mansfield School of the Theatre and the Neighborhood Playhouse. She made her Broadway debut in 1955 and continued to grace the stage until her final major performance in 2005.

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Sternhagen is survived by six children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, actor Thomas A. Carlin, passed away in 1991. A celebration of her illustrious career and life will be planned for mid-January.

 

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