Actress Maxine Stuart has passed away at age 94. Her daughter, Chris Ann Maxwell, told the Los Angeles Times that her mother died of natural causes on June 6 at her Beverly Hills home.
Stuart began her career in the New York theater. She had small movie roles but was best known for her TV work, which included guest appearances on shows such as CHICAGO HOPE, NYPD BLUE and JUDGING AMY. She received a 1989 Emmy nomination for her role as a piano teacher in THE WONDER YEARS.
Her soap roles included Grace O'Keefe in THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Mrs. Korman in THE YOUNG MARRIEDS, Mrs. Hewitt on PEYTON PLACE and Mrs. Dawson in GENERAL HOSPITAL.
In 1993, she joined THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS as Margaret Anderson. William J. Bell, the show's co-creator, cast Stuart after seeing her play a 70-something intern on MURPHY BROWN.
"She epitomized what I wanted – someone who brought a feistiness, a vitality and energy with her, who's gregarious and fun-loving," Bell told The Times in 1993.
Instead of focusing on the teens that summer, Bell told a story about an elderly couple.
When attorney Cricket Romalotti (Lauralee Bell) was asked by a senior citizen named Miles Dugan (Parley Baer) to help his 82-year-old friend Margaret Anderson (Stuart), who had been accused of shoplifting, she ended up taking on more than she bargained for. Margaret, as it turned out, lived in a substandard apartment building, and enlisted Cricket's aid to fight her absentee landlord. Along the way, Cricket--and viewers--learned more about such matters as the difficulty of living on a fixed income and love and sex among the elderly.
"A lot of the stuff they're saying is true. I act like I'm 12," Stuart said at the time. "When you're 20, you think, 'Oh, my god, if I ever get to be 30, I'll be so old.' But when you get to be this age, if you don't look in the mirror--or see yourself on TV--you don't know."