Character actress Carol Ann Susi, who is best known as the voice of Howard Wolowitz’s mother on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” has died after a brief battle with cancer. She was 62.
Mrs. Wolowitz became one of television’s iconic never-seen characters, instead living only as a bellowing voice that Simon Helberg‘s Howard was all too happy to shout back at. She “appeared” semi-regularly throughout the show’s entire run so far, enjoying a storyline right now with former comic shop owner Stuart (Kevin Sussman).
CBS, Warner Bros. Television and producers Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro and Bill Prady said in a statement, “‘The Big Bang Theory’ family has lost a beloved member today with the passing of Carol Ann Susi, who hilariously and memorably voiced the role of Mrs. Wolowitz. Unseen by viewers, the Mrs. Wolowitz character became a bit of a mystery throughout the show’s eight seasons. What was not a mystery, however, was Carol Ann’s immense talent and comedic timing, which were on display during each unforgettable appearance. In addition to her talent, Carol Ann was a constant source of joy and kindness to all. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family during this time, and we will miss her greatly.”
Born in Brooklyn — the accent she used to great effect on “The Big Bang Theory” — Susi studied acting at the renowned HB Studio in New York City before moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s. Her on-screen break came when she was cast as Kolchak’s secretary on “The Night Stalker.”
A veteran character actress, Susi has appeared in a wide array of shows and films including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “That ’70s Show,” “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” “Death Becomes Her,” “Coyote Ugly,” “Married… with Children,” “The King of Queens,” “Mad About You,” “Six Feet Under” and “Just Shoot Me.”
It is uncertain at this time how the show will address the passing of Susi. As she never appeared on-screen, save for a quick glimpse here or there, they could opt to simply recast the voice role, or they could work the passing of Mrs. Wolowitz into the show’s ongoing plots.