Florence Stanley
Birth Place:
Chicago, IL


The raspy-voiced actress who endeared herself to television viewers as the wife of Abe Vigoda's character in the popular sitcom Barney Miller (as well as the short-lived spin-off Fish), Florence Stanley found most of her success on the small screen. A Chicago native and graduate of Northwestern University, Stanley moved to New York City shortly after finishing college and kicked off an acting career on Broadway. Stanley followed roles in Fiddler on the Roof and The Glass Menagerie with stints at both the Manhattan Theater Club and the New York Shakespeare Festival. In June 1950, she made her television debut in an episode of the popular drama series Studio One; years later, she loaned her already distinct voice to the '60s series Dark Shadows (as the sobbing Josette). Although subsequent appearances in The Day of the Dolphin (1973) and The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1974) found her feature career blossoming, her role in Barney Miller gave Stanley the most exposure she had received to date. She took a ten-year hiatus from the screen after Fish, triumphantly returning to TV in Night Court and Mr. Belvedere in 1987. Stanley returned to feature work the same year with a small role in the Shelley Long/Bette Midler comedy Outrageous Fortune. The comeback provided her career with something of a second wind, and the 1990s found the veteran actress increasingly busy with roles in such high-profile features as Trapped in Paradise (1994), A Goofy Movie (1995), and Bulworth (1998). Stanley never entirely abandoned the small screen, and the late '90s and early 2000s found her alternating between TV roles in Malcolm in the Middle and NYPD Blue, with feature work in Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), its small-screen spin-off, and Down With Love (2003). Behind the scenes, the longtime actress was also a member of the League of Professional Theater Women as well as the motion picture and television academies. Stanley died of complications from a stroke October 3, 2003, in Los Angeles. She was 79. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Provided by Rovi