Merie Earle, who started in show business at the age of 77
GLENDALE Calif. --Merie Earle, who started in show business at the age of 77 and became a minor celebrity for a series of TV commercials in which she chided viewers not to forget to call their mothers, has died following surgery, her agent said. She was 95.
Earle was a veteran of more than 12 feature films, 50 TV commercials, including the phone company's 'Reach out and touch someone,' and appeared several times on Johnny Carson's 'Tonight Show,' her agent Evelyn Schultz said Monday.
She also played Maude Gormsley, a neighbor of 'The Waltons.'
She moved to Hollywood from Ohio in 1952 with her husband, a retired train engineer, to be near their daughter. Both have since died.
Earle died Sunday at the Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, Calif., where she was recovering from an operation to treat cancer of the colon Oct. 15. Cause of death was listed as uremic poisoning, Schultz said.
Earle recently completed a rock video and made regular appearances on the TV situation comedy 'Alice.'
Memorial services for the actress will take place at the Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church in Montrose, Calif. Thursday at 2 p.m. Burial will be in Earle's hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, her church has asked that donations be sent to a memorial fund set up in the actress' honor.