Monday, August 13, 2018

Patricia Benoit Dead at 91

Actress Patricia Benoit died on August 6 at her home in Port Chester, New York. She was 91.

Benoit is best known for playing Nancy Remington, the sweetheart and eventual wife of Wally Cox's character on the 1950s NBC sitcom Mister Peepers. The show, broadcast live from a New York theater for three seasons from July 1952 to June 1955, starred Cox (later the voice of the superhero Underdog) as the mild-mannered Robinson Peepers, a science teacher at Jefferson City Junior High. Benoit's Nancy was a nurse and the object of Peepers' awkward affection.

In a highly anticipated television moment, the two were married near the end of the second season, with the new husband and wife on the cover of TV Guide in May 1954.

Born on February 21, 1927, in Fort Worth, Texas, Benoit attended Texas State College before moving to New York City when she was 19.

She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, appeared on a 1950 episode of Believe It or Not and had a career breakthrough when she starred as Melvyn Douglas' long-lost daughter in the 1951-1952 Broadway comedy Glad Tidings.

On daytime soaps, she played the lead role of Laura Manning on NBC's Today Is Ours, which premiered in June 1958. Laura was vice principal of a junior high school in the town of Bolton, and dealt with her remarried ex-husband, Karl, who had visitation rights to their son, Nicky. She later joined the cast of CBS' top-rated As the World Turns, played Dr. David Stewart's wife, Betty. David and Betty had adopted Ellen Lowell's son, Danny, and Betty was determined not to give him up.

Benoit also appeared on Broadway in 1956 in "Time Limit" opposite Arthur Kennedy and in "Middle of the Night" with Edward G. Robinson.

Benoit moved to Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in 1961 and left acting a few years later to raise her children, her family noted.

Survivors include her sons Jeremy and Nicholas; grandchildren Nicholas, Michael and Melissa; great-granddaughter Ella; and sister Doris.

Check out a 1962 episode of As the World Turns below featuring Benoit as Betty Stewart.

- FLASHBACK: A Complete, Concise Yearly History of TV Soap Operas - 1947 to 1977 (Part 3)

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