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'I Love Lucy' actress Doris Singleton dies at 92

June 29, 2012|By Nardine Saad
  • 'I Love Lucy' actress Doris Singleton has died.
'I Love Lucy' actress Doris Singleton has died. (Valerie Macon / Getty Images )

Doris Singleton, an actress on "I Love Lucy" who played one of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's neighbors and called her character "Lucy's nemesis," has died. She was 92.

Singleton died Tuesday in Los Angeles from complications of cancer, according to her nephew Henry Isaacs.  

Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, posted on Facebook that Singleton died the same day that writer-director Nora Ephron passed away, according to the Associated Press.

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"A day of saying hasta luego to two great ladies, Nora Ephron and Doris Singleton. May they both fly swiftly heavenward and enjoy a blissful rest for jobs well done down here. They were loved and appreciated and will be missed," she wrote.  

Singleton appeared in 10 episodes between 1953 and 1957 and originally played Lillian Appleby. Her name was changed to Caroline Appleby in later episodes.

She called her bespectacled character "Lucy's nemesis" because the two housewives competed with their two sons, Singleton told the Archive of American Television of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation in 2005.

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"There was a rivalry there but she had to be nice, Lucy had to be nice to Caroline, because her husband owned the radio station."

Born Dorothea Singleton on Sept. 29, 1919, in Brooklyn, N.Y., she spent her childhood in New York and trained as a ballet dancer. She later moved with her family to Long Beach, where she attended high school.

As a singer and radio actress, she worked with Bob Hope. She met Ball in the 1940s while performing on the radio show "My Favorite Husband," Variety reported. Ball later invited her to join "I Love Lucy."

One of her last acting roles was in a 1982 episode of "Dynasty," but she later appeared on screen for the "American Masters" documentary "Finding Lucy" in 2000 and an "E! True Hollywood Story" about "I Love Lucy" in 2005.

The actress had stints on "Here's Lucy," "The Munsters," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Perry Mason," "All in the Family" and "Days of Our Lives"  during her career. She also played Margaret Williams in "My Three Sons" in the 1960s. Don Grady, who played Robbie on the popular family sitcom, died Wednesday. He was 68.

Singleton was married for 61 years to the late comedy writer Charlie Isaacs, who died in 2002.

Times staff writer Claire Noland contributed to this report.

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