Florence Stanley

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Florence Stanley
Florence Stanley 1977.png
Stanley in 1977
Florence Schwartz

(1924-07-01)July 1, 1924
DiedOctober 3, 2003(2003-10-03) (aged 79)
Resting place Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active1940–2003
Martin Newman
(m. 1951)
Website www.florencestanley.com

Florence Stanley (born Florence Schwartz; July 1, 1924 – October 3, 2003) was an American actress of stage, film, and television. She is best known for her roles in Barney Miller (1975–1977), My Two Dads (1987–1990), and Nurses (1991–1994), and the voice of Wilhelmina Bertha Packard in the franchise of Atlantis: The Lost Empire .


Early life and career

Florence Schwartz was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 1, 1924, the daughter of Hanna (née Weil) and Jack Schwartz.[ citation needed ] She began a long career on stage, film and TV starting in the 1940s. Her earliest theatrical performances include The Importance of Being Earnest with the Touring Players, Bury The Dead at New York's Cherry Lane Theatre, and Machinal . She began using the stage-name Florence Stanley at some point in her career.

During the 1950s, Stanley appeared in numerous live TV shows, and gave an acclaimed performance as Clytemnestra in the New York Shakespeare Festival's 1964 production of Electra , opposite Lee Grant, who played the title role. [1] Stanley began her long career on Broadway as Maureen Stapleton's understudy in a 1965 revival of The Glass Menagerie .

In 1966, she took over the role of Yente in Broadway's Fiddler On The Roof from Bea Arthur, leaving in 1971 (after more than 2,000 performances) to open in Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue , directed by Mike Nichols. In 1972, she went on to tap dance in the Broadway production of The Secret Affairs Of Mildred Wild, and in 1981 went back to work for Neil Simon in the Broadway production of Fools.

Film roles

Her film roles began in 1967 with Up the Down Staircase starring Sandy Dennis. In 1973, she was asked by director Mike Nichols to play a small role in his film The Day of the Dolphin starring George C. Scott. She recreated her role in the film version of The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), and was again cast by Nichols for The Fortune (1975), starring Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Stockard Channing. She went on to appear in the television series Joe and Sons for CBS in 1975; [2] :536 that same year Barney Miller producer Danny Arnold cast Stanley as Bernice Fish, the wife of Detective Fish (played by Abe Vigoda). Vigoda's and Stanley's characters were spun off in 1977 - Fish . [2] :345-346 She also appeared in the 1994 film Trapped in Paradise starring Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey. Stanley played Edna "Ma" Firpo in the movie.

Later roles

In 1966 she was a voice actress on the gothic inspired soap opera Dark Shadows voicing the supposed ghost of a sobbing woman in the basement.

On television, Stanley portrayed Margaret Wilbur, a family court judge who assigned custody of a twelve-year-old girl to two former boyfriends of the girl's late mother on My Two Dads , [2] :736-737 and directed three episodes of the series. She made two guest appearances on the TV series Night Court : an uncredited one in the season 4 episode "Murder" in which she plays a woman who cheerfully confesses to her husband's murder but may be hiding something, and another, credited, role in the season 6 episode "The Game Show" where she played Judge Wilbur. She later played Dr. Amanda Riskin on Nurses . [2] :776 She portrayed Elsie Engelhoff on Drexell's Class [2] :287 provided the voice for Grandma Ethyl Phillips on Dinosaurs [2] and made guest appearances on such television series as Mad About You (which reunited her with her former My Two Dads co-star, Paul Reiser), Malcolm in the Middle , Mr. Belvedere and Cybill . Later film roles include Trouble Bound (1993), The Odd Couple II and Bulworth (both in 1998) and Down With Love (2003). Stanley also provided the voice for Peter Griffin's mother, Thelma on Family Guy , but was replaced by Phyllis Diller after her death.[ citation needed ] In 1998, she played Muriel on The Simple Life . [3]

In 2001, she provided the voice of Wilhelmina Packard in Disney's 41st animated feature film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire , for which she was nominated for an Annie Award for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production, and the direct-to-video sequel, Atlantis: Milo's Return , in 2003.


On October 3, 2003, Stanley died of complications from a stroke at age 79. [4] She was interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.[ citation needed ]

Partial filmography

1967 Up the Down Staircase Ella Friedenberg
1970 Jenny Woman at PlaygroundUncredited
1973 The Day of the Dolphin Women's Club
1975 The Prisoner of Second Avenue Pearl
1975 The Fortune Mrs. Gould
1987 Outrageous Fortune Ticket Agent
1993 Trouble Bound Grandma Martucci
1994 Trapped in Paradise Ma Firpo
1995 A Goofy Movie WaitressVoice
1998 The Odd Couple II Hattie
1998 Bulworth Dobish
2000 The Brainiacs.com Grandma Tyler
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire Mrs. PackardVoice
2001 According to Spencer Grandma
2003 Down with Love Dry Cleaner's Wife
2003 Atlantis: Milo's Return Mrs. PackardVoice

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  1. "The Theater: 'Electra' Presented at the Delacorte; Lee Grant in Title Role of Sophocles Play; Production Is Staged by Gerald Freedman". New York Times . August 12, 1964.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 263. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7.
  3. Joyner, Will (June 3, 1998). "The Simple Life (1998 TV series)". The New York Times. p. E 8. ProQuest   109865641 . Retrieved November 25, 2020 via ProQuest.
  4. "Florence Stanley, 79, an actress" . The New York Times . Associated Press. October 12, 2003.