Cynthia Harris, who is widely known for playing the mother of star Paul Reiser’s character on the sitcom Mad About You has passed away on October 3, 2021, in New York City.
Her death was made known publicly by her family.
Harris, 87, was a co-founder in 1993 of Off Broadway’s The Actors Company Theatre, for which she had served as both an actor and co-artistic director, also starred in the 1979 TV miniseries Edward & Mrs. Simpson, playing Wallis Simpson. She was nominated for a BAFTA Award for the performance.
In 1993 during the second season of Mad About You, her signature TV role arrived, when she was cast as Sylvia Buchman, mother of Reiser’s Paul Buchman and sometime nemesis of daughter-in-law Jamie Buchman (Helen Hunt).
Including two appearances in the 2019 series reboot, Harris appeared in 73 Mad About You episodes.
Harris is survived by her partner Nathan Silverstein, her assistant Terrence Mintern, brother Dr. Matthew Harris and his wife Frances, sister-in-law Maryjane Harris (brother David predeceased her), and many nieces and nephews.
Harris made her film debut in Isadora (1968) starring Vanessa Redgrave, which was followed by roles in Up the Sandbox (1972), Reuben, Reuben (1983), and Three Men and a Baby (1987), among others.
A long and prolific career in television included appearances on The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, Three’s Company, Archie Bunker’s Place, Kate & Allie, L.A. Law, Law & Order, All My Children and Rescue Me.