Mitzi Hoag, Actress on 'The Facts of Life' and 'Here Come the Brides,' Dies at 86

Courtesy Abbie Wolfson-Sanger
Mitzi Hoag

She played Jack Lord's secretary on the 'Hawaii Five-O' pilot and appeared in two Peter Fonda movies.

Mitzi Hoag, who had recurring roles on such TV series as The Facts of Life and Here Come the Brides, died Tuesday at her home in Sherman Oaks, her family announced. She was 86.

A native of Cleveland, Hoag portrayed a mother with three kids and a lawyer husband (Paul Sorvino) on We'll Get By, a short-lived comedy created by Alan Alda that lasted just 13 episodes in 1975.

She got to know Michael Landon while guest-starring on Bonanza and appeared on subsequent NBC shows he produced, including Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven and Father Murphy.

Hoag played Evie Green, the adoptive mother of Mindy Cohn's Natalie Green, on a handful of episodes of NBC's The Facts of Life. And on ABC's Here Come the Brides, she portrayed Miss Essie, the schoolteacher girlfriend/wife of Bo Svenson's Big Swede, on that show's first season (1968-69).

Born Margaret Myrtle Hoag on Sept. 25, 1932, she graduated from Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois, at age 19 and then attended graduate school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Hoag moved to New York and studied at the Actors Studio, then starred off-Broadway in a production of James Forsyth's Heloise. She arrived to Los Angeles in 1959 and played a nurse in Tammy and the Doctor (1963), then would work in another Peter Fonda starrer, The Trip (1967).

Also in 1967, she appeared with John Cassavetes in the Roger Corman biker flick Devil's Angels.

Hoag was Steve McGarrett's (Jack Lord) secretary on the September 1968 pilot episode of Hawaii Five-O and showed up on series including That Girl, Gunsmoke, Police Woman, The Rockford Files, The Partridge Family, Archie Bunker's Place and Grace Under Fire.

Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Jonathan; her daughter, Abbie; and grandsons James and Joseph Sanger. Donations in her memory can be made to Tree People or the Sierra Club.