Rest in peace, Connie Sawyer. She was known as the oldest working actress in the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and she sadly died at the age of 105 at her home in Woodland Hills, CA. “It was a hell of a run,” a rep for Sawyer said to People. “In the old-fashioned sense of the phrase a ‘Great Broad.’”
Connie was born on Nov. 27, 1912 in Pueblo, CO and was raised there before her family moved to Oakland, CA. She began performing on stage from an early age, participating in talent competitions as a child. She soon took her talents to New York to work on the Vaudeville stage, and eventually, she made appearances on The Milton Berle Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. During the 1950s, Frank Sinatra’s manager went to see the Broadway play A Hole in the Head, in which Connie was portraying Miss Wexler — and because of this, her film career was born. She went on to reprise her role in the film adaptation opposite Frank in 1959.
Connie on The Jay Leno Show in 2013.
Throughout her extensive film and television career, she’s amassed over 140 credits. She’s appeared in many beloved television series, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laverne & Shirley, Hawaii Five-O, Dynasty, Seinfeld, and Will & Grace. Most recently, she was known for her brief stints in How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, 2 Broke Girls, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Ray Donovan.
Connie recently opened up to People about her age. “There aren’t that many people around who are 105. I always say you have to move, you have to get off the couch. I used to swim, play golf, tap dance, line dance — I was always moving and I was lucky,” she said in November 2017. “My parents lived a long time. Papa died at 91 and my mama was 89, so I had good genes too. That’s the reason,” she continued.
Connie is survived by her two daughters, Lisa Dudley and Julie Watkins, her four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.