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Connie Sawyer
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    (November 27, 1912-January 21, 2018)
    Born in Pueblo, Colorado
    Birth name was Rosie Cohen
    Appeared in the films ‘A Hole in the Head’ (1959), ‘True Grit’ (1969), ‘Oh, God!’ (1977), ‘…And Justice for All’ (1979), ‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989), ‘Dumb and Dumber’ (1994), ‘The Trip’ (2002), ‘Pineapple Express’ (2008) and ‘Lovesick’ (2014)
    Appeared on Broadway in ‘Hilarities’ (1948) and ‘A Hole in the Head’ (1957)
    Guest appearances in episodes of ‘The Milton Berle Show,’ ‘The Jackie Gleason Show,’ ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ ‘Laverne and Shirley,’ ‘The Rockford Files,’ ‘Archie Bunker’s Place,’ ‘Dynasty,’ ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ ‘Home Improvement,’ ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Will and Grace,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘Two Broke Girls,’ ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ and ‘New Girl’
    She changed her name after an agent told her it sounded too Jewish.
    She said of her early days in vaudeville, ‘I was like a poor man’s Fanny Brice.’
    In Archie Bunker’s Place, she played the mother of Martin Balsam’s character, despite being only seven years older than Balsam. (Or maybe as little as two years older, depending on which of Balsam’s reported years of birth you accept as the correct one.)
    She appeared in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ as half of one of the couples interviewed about how they met, but she really wanted to be the deli customer who says ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ after Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm; director Rob Reiner informed her that he was giving the line to his mother.
    Her late career typecasting as little old ladies hit its peak when she portrayed ‘the oldest woman in the world’ in an episode of ‘New Girl.’ (2014)
    She got her big break in show biz opening for Sophie Tucker at Grossinger’s resort in the Catskills.
    She was the only member of the Broadway cast of ‘A Hole in the Head’ to reprise their role in the film version, having been retained at the insistence of the film’s star, Frank Sinatra.
    At the time of her death, she was the oldest member of both the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    She never minded that all her roles were small parts: ‘I never wanted to be a star…. Just keep me working – and let me get the residuals.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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