Actress Marcia Strassman, Who Co-Starred on 'Welcome Back Kotter,' Dies at 66

Marcia Strassman in 1982's 'Soup for One'
Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

She also co-starred in 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids'

Actress Marcia Strassman, known for Welcome Back, Kotter and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, has died. She was 66.

Strassman's death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by her sister, Julie Strassman, and her friend, director Bob Weide. Strassman, who had been battling breast cancer, died Friday at her home in Los Angeles.

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Weide and Cher both posted online about her death. "So sad that a sweet friend, kind person and wonderful actress Marcia Strassman lost her brave battle with cancer today," Weide tweeted Oct. 25. Cher tweeted that Strassman was a "funny, talented friend."

Her sister told THR: "She was my idol. She was the funniest, smartest person I knew, and she always made me laugh. She was incredibly talented in everything — not just acting and dancing and singing — she could also sew and knit, and she was gorgeous. She was an amazing woman and loved by her family and loyal friends of 40 and 50 years."

Strassman's first major acting gig was playing nurse Margie Cutler on six episodes of M*A*S*H. This led to her landing the co-starring role of Julie Kotter on ABC's Welcome Back, Kotter in 1975, playing the title character's wife. The series lasted four seasons. 

She later appeared on numerous other series, including The Love Boat, The Rockford Files, Tremors, Third Watch and Magnum, P.I. She was a series lead on 21 Jump Street spinoff Booker, which lasted a season.

Strassman co-starred in several films, most notably as Rick Moranis' wife in the 1989 hit Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequel. 

The actress also had been a member of the Screen Actors Guild for decades and more recently served on its board.

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Julie told THR that her sister also volunteered for a charity called Duets for Cancer for years, long before her own diagnosis.

"People sang and raised money and awareness for breast cancer research," she said. "She was a fighter for the cause for a long time."

Memorial services are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization, the American Cancer Society or another charitable organization working to fight cancer.

In addition to Julie, survivors include Marcia's brother, Steven Strassman, and her daughter, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Collector. "Her daughter was her life," Julie said. "She also was a great aunt to my daughter, Halley Cohn, and Steven's son, Jesse."

Weide's post can be seen below.

Oct. 26 at 6:13 p.m. Updated with confirmation from Weide.

Oct. 26 at 8:23 p.m. Updated with information and quotes from Julie Strassman.

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