American actress Cynthia Harris, best known for playing the mother of star Paul Reiser’s character on the smash hit sitcom Mad About You, passed away on October 3 in New York. She was 87. Having made a name for herself for her appearances in films, television and Broadway and Off Broadway stage plays, the late actress' demise was announced by her family. No details of her death have been released as yet. Harris co-founded Off Broadway’s The Actors Company Theatre in 1993 and served as an actor as well as a co-artistic director. She was also nominated for a BAFTA Award for her performance as Wallis Simpson in the 1979 TV miniseries, Edward & Mrs. Simpson.
Cynthia Harris made her film debut in the Vanessa Redgrave-starrer Isadora in 1968, followed by roles in Up the Sandbox (1972), Reuben, Reuben (1983) and Three Men and a Baby (1987) to name a notable few. She garnered a wide following for television roles among which included appearances on shows like All My Children, Archie Bunker’s Place, Laverne & Shirley, The Bob Newhart Show, Three’s Company, Kate & Allie, Law & Order, L.A. Law and Rescue Me. She came in as a replacement for Barbara Barrie as the character Sarah in the original 1970 Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical Company. Harris later returned to Broadway for Terrence McNally’s Bad Habits in 1974 starring alongside F. Murray Abraham, Doris Roberts and Paul Benedict. Some other important stage credits she held included productions of Lost in Yonkers, The Tribute Artist and Bedroom Farce.
Cynthia Harris' most prolific TV role was in 1993 when she was cast as Sylvia Buchman, mother of Reiser’s Paul Buchman during the second season of Mad About You, which saw her appear in 73 episodes, including reprising her role on two occasions in the series reboot in 2019. She is survived by her partner Nathan Silverstein, brother Dr. Matthew Harris and his wife Frances, sister-in-law Maryjane Harris, her assistant Terrence Mintern and her many nieces and nephews.
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