Phyllis Frelich Dead at 70

Tony-award winning actress Phyllis Frelich has passed away at the age of 70.

Born on February 29, 1944 in Devils Lake, North Dakota, Frelich was born to deaf parents and was the oldest of nine deaf children. She attended the North Dakota School for the Deaf and graduated in 1962.

Frelich's stage work included "Sganarelle" and "Songs From Milk Wood" at The National Theater of the Deaf. She was also seen in "Big River" and "Prymate" on Broadway. Frelich won the 1980 Tony award for Best Actress in a Play for her work as Sarah Norman in "Children of a Lesser God."

Frelich appeared in the daytime soap opera SANTA BARBARA as Sister Sarah in 1988.

Her other TV credits included ER, SWEET NOTHING IN MY EAR, GIMME A BREAK, L.A. LAW, DIAGNOSIS MURDER and SUE THOMAS: F.B.EYE. Her most recent credit was as Mrs. Betty Grissom on CSI.

In 1986 she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Janice Ryder in Love Is Never Silent.

Robert Steinberg, her husband of 46 years, told The Hollywood Reporter that Frelich for the past few years had been struggling with PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy), a rare degenerative neurological disease for which there are no treatments. She died Thursday at their home in Temple City, California.

Watch a scene from Frelich's memorable run on SANTA BARBARA below:

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