Barbara Bosson, Emmy-Nominated ‘Hill Street Blues’ Star, Dies at 83
Barbara Bosson, the Emmy-nominated actor best known for her work on the acclaimed police drama “Hill Street Blues,” died Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Her son, director and producer Jesse Bochco, confirmed the news to the Reporter. She was 83.
Bosson married “Hill Street Blues” co-creator Steven Bochco in 1970, after the two met while attending Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Over the course of her career, Bosson starred in multiple series created by Bochco, including “Hooperman,” “Cop Rock,” and “Murder One.” The two divorced in 1997, and Bochco died in 2018 at age 74 from leukemia.
Born in 1939 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Bosson graduated from Gulfport, Florida’s Boca Ciega High School in 1957. While attending Carnegie Mellon, she made her first onscreen performance with an uncredited appearance in classic action film “Bullitt.” Before “Hill Street Blues” premiered in 1981, she made guest appearances on various TV shows, such as “Mannix,” “Longstreet,” “McMillan & Wife,” “Sunshine,” “Delvecchio,” and “Richie Brockelman, Private Eye.”
On “Hill Street Blues,” Bosson played Fay Furillo, the ex-wife of Hill Street police captain Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti). During the first five seasons of the show, Fay was a constant presence in the station, and the show saw her evolve from a needy, histrionic ex into a more strong-willed woman. Bosson received five consecutive Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nominations at the Emmys for her performance.
After Bochco was fired from “Hill Street Blues” by MTM Productions, Bosson also left the show, leaving three episodes into the sixth season. In 1987, the married couple collaborated again on the two season dramedy “Hooperman” on ABC, playing Celeste, the boss of the titular San Francisco police inspector (John Ritter). In 1990, she played the corrupt LA mayor Louise Plank in Bochco’s infamous musical police series “Cop Rock.” For her performance as Deputy District Attorney Miriam Grasso in 1995-1997’s “Murder One,” Bosson received another Emmy nod for Best Supporting Actress in 1996.
Outside of her collaborations with Bochco, Bosson guest-starred in several popular series during the ’90s, including “L.A. Law,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “NYPD Blue,” and “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” Her film credits include “Mame,” “Capricorn One,” and “The Last Starfighter.”
Bosson is survived by her two children and her two grandchildren.
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