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Katherine Marie Helmond (born July 5, 1928 in Galveston, Texasmarker) is an American film, theater and television actress, who is famous for playing Jessica Tate on Soap, Mona Robinson on Who's the Boss?, and Debra Barone's mom on Everybody Loves Raymond.



Helmond first came to fame as "Jessica Tate," the matriarch on Soap. She was a lead player on the controversial ABC series, from 1977 until it was cancelled in 1981.

In 1984, she took the role of "Mona Robinson" on the sitcom Who's the Boss?. The show was a ratings success, running for eight seasons and finishing in the Nielsen "Top 10" four straight years. In 1993 she appeared in one episode of the British version of Who's the Boss?.

From 1995–1997, she starred in the sitcom Coach as Doris Sherman, eccentric owner of the fictional Orlando Breakers professional football team.

From 1996 to 2004, Helmond had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond, appearing in 14 episodes as “Lois Whelan” (Ray Barone's mother-in-law).

Film appearances

She has appeared in three movies directed by Terry Gilliam:

In 1987 she played Goldie Hawn's mother in Overboard.

In 1988 she played Amanda in Lady in White.

In 1992 she portrayed Honor Zetterland, mother of the titular character in Inside Monkey Zetterland. Her character was an aging soap star who was being phased out of her own show on which she had starred for 30 years.

In 2003 she appeared in Beethoven's 5th.

She voiced the Model T “Lizzie” in Cars (in 2006).

She had also appeared in the 1975 television movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden as Emma Borden.

Award nominations

She was nominated for Broadwaymarker’s 1973 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown.

She was nominated for an Emmy for her role onSoap four times in a row (1978–1981) as Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In 1988 and 1989 she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Who's the Boss?. In 2002 she was nominated as Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Everybody Loves Raymond.

Personal life

Katherine attended Bob Jones Universitymarker in the early 1950s.She played the female heroine in BJU's 1955 cinematic release, "Wine of Morning," based on the book of the same title written, in 1950, by Bob Jones, Jr.

In 1957, Helmond married George N. Martin. After their divorce she married her second husband, David Christian; the two have been together since 1962; they have no children. They have owned homes in Los Angelesmarker, New York Citymarker, Long Islandmarker and Londonmarker.


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