Suzanne Pleshette, Bob Newhart
That's a wrap! The stakes are rarely higher for a TV series than at the end of a season — whether it's signing off until next fall with a climactic grand gesture or taking a well-earned final bow. As part of TV Guide Magazine's Finale Preview issue (on newsstands this week), and reflecting the magazine's ongoing celebration of its 60th anniversary, we take a fond look at 60 of the best series and season finales of all time. We hate goodbyes, except when they're done this well.
She was so nice to come home to. In many ways, Suzanne Pleshettes wonderful (and twice Emmy-nominated) performance as Emily Hartley on CBSs 70s classic The Bob Newhart Show was an important evolution of the dream sitcom wife. With her husky voice and dark good looks, Pleshette embodied an elegant, sophisticated, sardonic yet warm soulmate for the endearingly mild-mannered Newhart. If Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) were TVs first convincingly sexy modern sitcom couple, despite adhering to 60s TV conventions dictating they be shown sleeping in separate bedsas if!Bob and Emily took it a step further. They actually went to bed together. (One terrific episode chronicled a sleepless night as they tried to live up to their policy of not going to bed mad.) This bed, not so coincidentally, took its place in TV history when it was recreated for the finale of Bob Newharts second hit sitcom, Newhartwhere it was rev...
Suzanne Pleshette by Jim Spellman/WireImage.com
Truly a sad weekend for classic television. Suzanne Pleshette, who was best known for her role as Bob Newhart's wife on television's long-running The Bob Newhart Show, died on Saturday of respiratory failure. She was 70.Pleshette began her career as a stage actress and met her future husband, Tom Poston, when they appeared on Broadway in the 1959 comedy The Golden Fleecing though they wouldn't marry until 40 years (and some previous marriages) later. Poston himself passed away in April 2007, not long after his wife Pleshette underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer.Pleshette's film career included Jerry Lewis' The Geisha Boy, The Birds and The Ugly Daschund, while her TV appearances included Have Gun, Will Travel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and, most recently, 8 Simple Rules and Will & Grace. Pleshette famously reprised her role of Newhart's on-screen wife for the finale of Newhart, in which the entire country inn-set series was revealed to have been a crazy dream.
Question: Hey, Matt. I just wanted to get your opinion on the series finale of Alias. I have been a faithful fan from Season 1 and have written in to your column asking about Alias all the time. However, I felt the writers wrote a rather depressing ending. I mean, Renee, Nadia, Tom, Irina and Sloane all were killed, not to mention my favorite, Jack! I thought that Jack's death was totally unnecessary and mean-spirited toward the fans who have loved him from the first season on. And Irina, what's the deal? Why did they make her so evil? I mean, she saved the world at the end of Season 4 and then turned into her evil sister, Elena! It did not sync up and felt rather like a betrayal. Yes, I understand Rambaldi "changes you," but c'mon. I mean, I was happy with Sydney and Vaughn ending up together and Dixon as director, etc. But it was the finale. Make the fans happy all around; what can it hurt? I was waiting for Isabelle to run in and say, "Grandpa Jack!"
Answer: For my own analysis (one
How do we love Suzanne Pleshette? Let us count the ways. She's best known as Bob Newhart's TV wife, but she's also beloved for her memorably campy turn as Leona Helmsley in The Queen of Mean. She even added pizzazz to the awful Good Morning, Miami as the glammy grandmother. In the just-released special-edition DVD of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Pleshette pounces on one of her meatiest comedic roles yet. She plays the purrfectly wicked Zira — think Cruella DeVil in lioness form. Here, she tells TV Guide Online about her wicked ways, her love of singing and her possible future on Will & Grace.
TVGO: How was it playing the big, bad villain in Lion King II? Suzanne Pleshette: [Laughs] Well, you know, I can't imagine why they thought of me for that, the sweet little thing that I am. I loved it! Are you kidding? It is great to play those kind of parts. [Zira] is kind of like the lion