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Florence Stanley, 79; Broadway Actress Turned to TV, Movies

October 10, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Veteran actress Florence Stanley, who played Det. Phil Fish's wife, Bernice, on "Barney Miller" and Judge Margaret W. Wilbur on "My Two Dads," died Oct. 3 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 79.

The cause of death was complications of a stroke, said her husband, Martin Newman.

The gravelly voiced Stanley began her career in New York with appearances on Broadway in "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," "Fiddler on The Roof," "The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild" and "Fools."

She also appeared in the Manhattan Theater Club's "It's Only A Play" and "What's Wrong with This Picture?"

"As the mother-in-law from hell, Stanley deadpans with the best of them," Associated Press wrote in 1994 about the latter play.

In 1996, Stanley performed in "And the Apple Doesn't Fall ..." at the Tiffany Theatre in West Hollywood.

On television, Stanley was a series regular on several shows, including "Nurses," and was a guest star on many other shows.

Her films include "Outrageous Fortune," "Up the Down Staircase" and "Atlantis: The Lost Empire."

Stanley was born in Chicago, and graduated from Northwestern University.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Adam of Los Angeles; a daughter, Judith of New York City; and two grandchildren.

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