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A tale of artistic brilliance, resilience against leukemia



Audra Lindley was a distinguished figure in American theatre and television who made her presence felt in the landscape of entertainment. Beyond her noteworthy career, her narrative is underscored by a courageous confrontation with leukaemia.

Lindley not only showcased resilience in her on-stage and on-screen performances but also exhibited remarkable strength in navigating the complexities of her health journey till her demise.

Audra Lindley biography

Audra Lindley smile

Audra Marie Lindley (September 24, 1918 – October 16, 1997) was an actress who hailed from the United States. She was born in Los Angeles, situated in the U.S. state of California. Her father, Bert Lindley, was deeply entrenched in the world of film and stage acting, thus instilling the essence of show business in her from her early years.

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Audra Lindley career

Audra Lindley talking

In 1943, Lindley ventured to New York in her mid-20s to pursue a career in theatre. Throughout her extensive career, she graced many Broadway plays, including notable performances in On Golden Pond, Long Day’s Journey into Night and Horse Heavens.

After taking a hiatus from acting to raise five children, she made a comeback with consistent appearances on television in the early 1960s. This included her role as Sue Knowles in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow and a five-year stint as the manipulative Aunt Liz Matthews in Another World. Lindley also starred as Meredith Baxter’s mother in the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie and as Lee Grant’s best friend in Fay.

In 1971, Lindley starred in Taking Off. She made guest appearances on “The Love Boat” in 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1981.

Her peak fame came following her portrayal of the wisecracking, perpetually unfulfilled and sexually frustrated Helen Roper in the hit sitcom, Three’s Company (1977–79). She continued the role in the spin-off series, The Ropers” (1979–80), for two seasons. Lindley earned two Golden Globe Award nominations, one in 1973 for “Bridget Loves Bernie” and another in 1979 for “Three’s Company.”

Lindley remained active in television and film, taking on diverse roles in movies in Revenge of the Stepford Wives (1980) and Cannery Row (1982). She featured in the lesbian-themed film, Desert Hearts (1985) and appeared in projects like Troop Beverly Hills (1989) and an episode of Tales from the Crypt (1989).

In 1995, Lindley played Phoebe Buffay’s grandmother, Frances, on Friends. Her final roles in 1997 included featuring in an episode of Nothing Sacred, Sisters and Other Strangers and The Relic.

Her last performance was as Virginia Sheridan, a recurring role as Cybill Shepherd’s character’s mother on the sitcom, Cybill. Notably, she had previously portrayed Shepherd’s on-screen mother in the 1972 film, The Heartbreak Kid. A later episode of “Cybill” was dedicated to her.

Audra Lindley movies

Here are some of the movies Lindley has featured in:

  • Taking Off (1971): A coming-of-age drama about a teenager grappling with family turmoil and societal expectations. Lindley takes on the role of Mrs Rigby, a concerned neighbour.
  • The Heartbreak Kid (1972): A cynical comedy depicting a man who regrets his honeymoon and endeavours to escape his new wife. Lindley was featured as a guest at a hotel.
  • Spellbinder (1972): A thriller following a magician who becomes fixated on a young woman, believing she possesses supernatural powers. Lindley portrays Mrs Faraday, a wealthy client of the magician.
  • Murder Ahoy (1976): A comedy mystery unfolding on a luxury cruise ship. Lindley embodies the character of Miss Marbles, a wealthy passenger who becomes suspicious of the captain.
  • Revenge of the Stepford Wives (1975): A chilling sci-fi satire exploring a suburban community where wives are being replaced by robots. Lindley assumes the role of Mrs. Ellen Parker, a neighbour who notices the peculiar behaviour of the other women.
  • Cannery Row (1982): A heartwarming adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel, which delves into the lives of the residents of a colourful seaside town. Lindley plays Fauna, a lonely woman who forges a friendship with Doc, the town doctor.
  • Desert Hearts (1985): A lesbian romance unfolding in Nevada during the 1950s. Lindley portrays Vivian Bell, a wealthy housewife who falls in love with a young artist.
  • Sudden Death (1995): An action thriller centred around a security guard tasked with preventing a terrorist attack during a hockey game. Lindley plays Mrs. Duclos, a wealthy fan caught in the chaos.
  • The Relic (1997): A horror film depicting a museum curator, who stumbles upon a deadly ancient artefact. Lindley takes on the role of Mrs Haight, a benevolent museum patron who becomes a victim of the creature.

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Audra Lindley’s net worth

Audra Lindley smiling in black and white photo

According to reports, Lindley had an estimated net worth of $1.5 million as of the time of her demise.

Audra Lindley family

Lindley got married twice. Her first marriage was to Hardy Ulm in 1943 and together, the couple raised five children until Ulm died in 1970.

Subsequently, she got married to James Whitmore and their marriage lasted from 1972 to 1979. However, the couple divorced in 1979, reportedly due to differences in career priorities and lifestyles.

Audra Lindley age

Lindley was born on September 24, 1918. She died at age 79.

Audra Lindley death

Audra Lindley passed away on October 16, 1997, at the age of 79. Her demise resulted from complications arising from leukaemia, an ailment she had courageously battled for some time.

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