Ann Morgan Guilbert, Star of ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’ and ‘Nanny,’ Dies at 87

Actress was also known for role in “Grumpier Old Men”

Last Updated: June 15, 2016 @ 3:27 PM

Ann Morgan Guilbert, an actress best known for her role on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” has died at age 87, TheWrap has learned.

An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that Guilbert died at her Los Angeles home on Tuesday, with both of her children by her side, after battling cancer.

In the 1960s, Guilbert played Millie Helper, the Petries’ neighbor and Laura’s (Mary Tyler Moore) best friend, on the “Dick Van Dyke Show” for its entire five-season run. Three decades later, she gained fame with a new generation, playing Fran Drescher‘s grandmother on ‘The Nanny.”

Guilbert’s onscreen career began in the ’60s, when she appeared on popular shows like “My Three Sons” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”

Following the end of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” she went on to numerous TV guest roles, on shows like “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Dragnet 1967,” “The Partridge Family” and “Love, American Style.” She also played Nora in “The New Andy Griffith Show” in 1971. 

In 1995, she played Mama Ragetti in the comedy sequel “Grumpier Old Men” opposite Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Sophia Loren.

Guilbert also made multiple appearances on “Seinfeld” as a resident of the same retirement community as Jerry’s parents. She would also go on to star in the critically panned Larry David movie “Sour Grapes” and in David’s hit HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

More recently, Guilbert appeared on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Life in Pieces.”

She is survived by her two children, acting coach and writer Nora Eckstein and actress Hallie Todd.