The Info List - Georgia Engel

Georgia Bright Engel (born July 28, 1948) is an American actress and comedian who is best known for her role as Georgette Franklin Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[1][2]

Early life

Engel was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Ruth Caroline (née Hendron) and Benjamin Franklin Engel, who was a Coast Guard admiral.[3] Engel attended the Kodiak Island Borough School District, and Walter Johnson High School and the Academy of the Washington Ballet from which she graduated. She earned her college degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.[1][2]

Her sister, Robin Ruth Engel, was Miss Hawaii, 1967.[4]


The wedding of Georgette and Ted in 1975.

After college, Engel appeared in musical productions with Washington's American Light Opera Company. She moved to New York City in 1969, appearing Off-Broadway in Lend an Ear, and for a year as Minnie Fay in the Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!, starting in December 1969.[5] A 1971 off-Broadway production of The House of Blue Leaves eventually played in Los Angeles, where Engel was seen by Mary Tyler Moore and her husband, producer Grant Tinker, her soon-to-be employers.[1][6]

Engel appeared as Georgette Franklin Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1972 until the sitcom ended in 1977.[7] The role won her two Emmy nominations. After that sitcom ended, she teamed up with former Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Betty White for The Betty White Show during its first and only (1977–78) season. She later co-starred on two short-lived 1980 sitcoms, Goodtime Girls as Loretta Smoot,[8] and in Jennifer Slept Here featuring Ann Jillian.[9]

Engel had a recurring role on Coach as Shirley Burleigh and starred as the voice of Love-a-Lot Bear in The Care Bears Movie (1985). She played a good witch in a 2007 recurring role[10][11] of Esmeralda[12][13] on the now-defunct NBC soap opera Passions. Engel received consecutive Emmy Award nominations as outstanding guest actress in a comedy series in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for her role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Robert Barone's mother-in-law, Pat MacDougall.[14]

While her movie appearances have been sporadic, Engel made her film debut in Miloš Forman's first English-language movie Taking Off[15] for which she was nominated for a British Academy Award for best supporting actress. Other film appearances include The Outside Man (1973),[16] Signs of Life (1989), [17] Papa Was a Preacher (1987),[18] The Sweetest Thing (2002)[19] and the made-for-TV movies The Day the Women Got Even (1980)[20] and A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story (1978).[21]

She lent her distinctive voice to the animated films Open Season (2006),[22] Open Season 2 (2009),[23] Open Season 3 (2011)[24] and Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001).

Engel returned to her stage roots in 2006, appearing on Broadway in the musical The Drowsy Chaperone, with Sutton Foster and Edward Hibbert. She created the role of Mrs. Tottendale, which she continued to perform, leaving the Broadway production as of April 1, 2007.[25] She was featured in the North American tour, performing in Toronto in September 2007,[26] through engagements at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco, in August 2008,[27] and at the Denver Performing Arts Complex in October 2008.[28]

For the summers of 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010, Engel appeared in various productions at The Muny Theater in Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. She most recently appeared in Show Boat in August 2010 as Parthy.[29] In July 2005, she appeared in Mame as Agnes Gooch,[30] in June 2007 she appeared in Oklahoma! as Aunt Eller,[31] and in July 2009 she appeared as Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man.[32][33]

In June 2010, Engel appeared at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine production of The Drowsy Chaperone as Mrs. Tottendale.[34] In October through December 2010, Engel was featured in the Vineyard Theatre's Off-Broadway production of Middletown, written by Will Eno.[35][36]

In 2012, she appeared in episodes of The Office as an older lady being helped by Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) and in the episode called "Palmdale, Ech" of Two and a Half Men as the mother of Lyndsey MacElroy portrayed by Courtney Thorne-Smith.[37] In March 2012, 35 years after the close of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Engel was reunited with Betty White in the third season of Hot in Cleveland as Mamie Sue Johnson, best friend of White's character Elka, in a continuing, recurring role.[38]

Engel appeared in the new Annie Baker play John, which opened Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre on July 22, 2015 (previews), directed by Sam Gold. The play ran to September 6, 2015.[39] The cast also features Lois Smith.[40] Engel won a 2016 Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress and was nominated for the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for her role in this play.[41]

Engel starred in the new musical Gotta Dance, which premiered at the Bank of America Theatre, Chicago on December 13, 2015, running through January 2016. The cast also stars Stefanie Powers, Lillias White and Andre DeShields. The musical is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, with a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, and the score by Matthew Sklar and Nell Benjamin.[42]



Year Film Role Notes
1971 Taking Off Margot Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1972 The Outside Man Mrs. Barnes
1978 A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story Claire Ruth
1980 The Day the Women Got Even Kathy Scott
1983 The Magic of Herself the Elf Willow Song voice
1985 Papa Was a Preacher 'Mama' Porter
1985 The Care Bears Movie Love-a-Lot Bear voice
1989 Signs of Life Betty
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Giraffe voice
2002 The Sweetest Thing Vera
2006 Open Season Bobbie voice
2006 Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run Bobbie voice
2007 Nunsensations Sr. Marie Eugene
2008 Open Season 2 Bobbie voice
2010 Open Season 3 Bobbie voice
2013 Grown Ups 2 Mrs. Lamonsoff


Year Title Role Notes
1974 Rhoda Georgette Franklin 2 episodes: Rhoda's Wedding (Parts 1 & 2)
1972–77 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Georgette Franklin, later Georgette Franklin Baxter 56 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1976–77)
1977–78 The Betty White Show Mitzi Maloney 14 episodes
1979 Mork & Mindy Ambrosia Malspar 2 episodes: The Exidor Affair and Exidor's Wedding
1980 Goodtime Girls Loretta Smoot 13 episodes
1977–82 The Love Boat Cleo Bagby 4 episodes
1978–83 Fantasy Island Brenda Rappaport 5 episodes
1983–84 Jennifer Slept Here Susan Elliot 13 episodes
1992 Hi Honey, I'm Home! Georgette Franklin Baxter 1 episode: Elaine Takes a Wife
1991–97 Coach Shirley Burleigh 17 episodes
2003–05 Everybody Loves Raymond Pat MacDougall 13 episodes
Prism Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Series (2006)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2003–05)
2007 Passions Esmeralda 4 episodes
2012 The Office Irene 3 episodes
2012 Two and a Half Men Jean 2 episodes: Palmdale, Ech and Grandma's Pie
2012–15 Hot in Cleveland Mamie Sue Johnson 18 episodes
2018 One Day at a Time Sister Barbara Episode: Homecoming


  1. ^ a b c Soloski, Alexis. "Georgia Engel, a ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Sidekick, Takes a Star Turn" The New York Times, August 28, 2015
  2. ^ a b "Georgia Engel Overview" tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  3. ^ "Georgia Engel Biography (1948–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Miss America’s first contestant from isles won her main goals" Honolulu Star-Bulletin (archive), November 20, 2000, accessed March 31, 2016
  5. ^ " Hello, Dolly! Cast replacements" Playbill (vault), accessed March 31, 2016
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew. "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Drowsy's Georgia Engel PLUS Audra McDonald and [title of show] on Disc" Playbill, August 11, 2006
  7. ^ The Mary Tyler Moore Show museum.tv, accessed March 31, 2016
  8. ^ Terrace, Vincent. "Goodtime Girls", Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials, Volume 2, VNR AG, 1985, ISBN 0918432618, p. 174
  9. ^ "Two New Fantasy TV Shows Make Unimaginative Debuts". The Toledo Blade. November 4, 1983. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  10. ^ "Changing for the Good". sheknows.com. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  11. ^ SoapCentral.com Archived 2010-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Drowsy 's Engel to Star in Wicked-Themed Daytime Soap "Passions"". Playbill. Archived from the original on 6 July 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "Passions". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Georgia Engel Emmy" emmys.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  15. ^ Taking Off at AllMovie
  16. ^ The Outside Man tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  17. ^ Signs of Life tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  18. ^ Papa Was a Preacher tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  19. ^ The Sweetest Thing tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  20. ^ The Day the Women Got Even tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  21. ^ A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  22. ^ Open Season tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  23. ^ Open Season2 tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  24. ^ Open Season 3 tcm.com, accessed March 31, 2016
  25. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Lovely in the End: Georgia Engel Exits Drowsy Chaperone' April 1" playbill.com, April 1, 2007
  26. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Georgia Engel to Star in Drowsy Tour; Additional Dates Revealed" playbill.com, July 5, 2007
  27. ^ Richter, Judy. " The Drowsy Chaperone, San Francisco" aislesay.com, accessed August 2, 2015
  28. ^ Moore, John. " 'Drowsy Chaperone' Embodies Georgia Engel's Optimism" Denver Post, October 10, 2008
  29. ^ Gans, Andrew. Gary Beach, Georgia Engel, Danny Gurwin, Michel Bell Ride a Show Boat at the Muny Starting Aug. 9" playbill.com, August 9, 2010
  30. ^ Teachout, Terry. "A Hot Time in the Old Town" Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2005
  31. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott. "Brown, Callaway, Engel, Hocking, Jue, et al. Set for the Muny", theatermania.com, May 7, 2007, accessed August 2, 2015
  32. ^ "About This Artist-Georgia Engel". abouttheartists.com. Retrieved on 2015-08-03 from http://www.abouttheartists.com/artists/287947-georgia-engel#.
  33. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'Music Man", with Clow, Baldwin, Brown, English, Engel, Begins Muny Run July 20". playbill.com, July 20, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.playbill.com/news/article/music-man-with-clow-baldwin-brown-english-engel-begins-muny-run-july-20-162828#.
  34. ^ Peter, Thomas. Kressley, Engel and Larsen Headline 'The Drowsy Chaperone' at Ogunquit Playhouse" playbill.com, June 9, 2010
  35. ^ " 'Middletown': Georgia Engel & Michael Park join cast" Retrieved 17 June 2015
  36. ^ " 'Middletown' Listing" vineyard.com, accessed August 3, 2015
  37. ^ 'Two and a Half Men': Georgia Engel cast as Evelyn's lesbian love interest Archived 2012-04-13 at the Wayback Machine., March 5, 2012
  38. ^ Alyse Whitney. "The TVLine-Up: TV Worth Watching Wednesday", TV Line, March 28, 2012
  39. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Annie Baker and Sam Gold Reunite for World Premiere of 'John' " playbill.com, June 18, 2015
  40. ^ Clement, Olivia. "World Premiere of New Annie Baker and Sam Gold Collaboration, 'John', Begins Tonight" playbill.com, July 22, 2015
  41. ^ "2016 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced" Playbill, March 30, 2016
  42. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Broadway-Bound Gotta Dance, Starring Lillias White, André De Shields and Georgia Engel, Bows in Chicago" playbill.com, December 13, 2015

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