‘Mad About You’ star Cynthia Harris dead at 87

Cynthia Harris, who famously played Paul Reiser’s mom on his sitcom “Mad About You,” died Oct. 3 at 87.

Her family announced her passing and didn’t give a cause of death. Harris died in New York.

Harris was also known for her performances in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. She was the artistic director and co-founder of the Actors Company Theater, which she founded in 1993.

Harris was survived by her partner Nathan Silverstein, her assistant Terrence Mintern, her brother Dr. Matthew Harris, her sister-in-law Maryjane Harris and several nieces and nephews.

She was married to theater producer Eugene Wolsk from 1961 until their divorce in 1972.

She made many memorable guest appearances on the hit NBC ’90s sitcom alongside Reiser and Helen Hunt. Harris also appeared on the 2019 revival. She played the role of Sylvia Buchman on the second season of “Mad About You” in 1993. Over the course of the show, she was seen in 71 episodes.

Paul Reiser as Paul Buchman, Helen Hunt as Jamie Stemple Buchman and Cynthia Harris as Sylvia Buchman in “Mad About You.”
NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Harris also brought her career to the big screen and starred in films such as 1987’s “Three Men and a Baby” and “Reuben, Reuben” in 1983.

On the Manhattan stage, she starred in plays including Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company,” Terrence McNally’s “Bad Habits” and “The Tribute Artist.”

Aside from “Mad About You,” Harris made numerous appearances on iconic shows such as “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Three’s Company,” “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Law & Order” and “All My Children.”

One of her main TV roles was her portrayal of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, in the 1979 miniseries “Edward & Mrs. Simpson.” For her work, she was nominated for a BAFTA Award.

cynthia harris
Harris’ career spanned across film, television and Broadway plays.

Harris was born in New York Aug. 9, 1934. She graduated from Smith College in 1955 with a degree in theater and literature. She would then study her craft with acclaimed acting coach Lee Strasberg.

cynthia harris
Cynthia Harris in 1971.
Denver Post via Getty Images


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