Connie Sawyer[1][4][2] (born Rosie Cohen, born November 27, 1912 - January 21, 2018), was an American actress, affectionally  nicknamed "The Clown Princess of Comedy"  who up until her death in 2018, was the oldest working actress in Hollywood. She was born in Pueblo, Colorado and grew up in Oakland, California.

 

Professional Career

Sawyer was born in 1912 to orthodox Jews, immigrant Samuel from Romania, and Dora who had came over from Denver to marry, at the age of 7 she moved to Oakland with her family[2] her mother who had wanted to be an actress herself, and had encouraged her to take singing and dancing lessons and entered her in to talent competition's, her early career included working as a stand-up comedian in nightclubs and vaudeville theatres as a performer.[3] Sawyer's first television appearances were in The Milton Berle Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour and The Jackie Gleason Show in the late 1940s. In 1959 she was cast in the comedy film A Hole in the Head. She had performed in the original Broadway play as Miss Wexler, a character she created. When Sinatra bought the rights to the movie, the writer informed him that he hadn't written the part of Miss Wexler and Sinatra would have to ask Sawyer for rights to that character. Sinatra decided to hire Sawyer for his movie as the same role she played in the Broadway play. He later nominated her for membership in the Academy of Motion Pictures.

She continued to appear regularly on television, in such series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, Dynasty, When Harry Met Sally..., Murder, She Wrote, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Boy Meets World, Will & Grace, That '70s Show, 8 Simple Rules, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, ER, How I Met Your Mother and The Office.

In 2012 Sawyer, at the age of 99, was one of the oldest members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[3] She turned 100 in November 2012.[4] Author and gerontologist Jacob Appel MD paid tribute to Sawyer by modelling a minor character after her in his novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up (2012).She was also the eldest member of the prestigious Screen Actors Guild​, she died at 105 on January 21, 2018, in Woodland Hill, California. She was married for 10 years to film distributor Marshall Schacker and had 2 children.

Filmography[1]