Laura Waterbury was an American actress who appeared in several Broadway shows, films, and television shows. She was best known for her comedic role as Mrs. Smith in the 1985 film Better Off Dead. She died on September 25, 2013, at the age of 66, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Early Life and Career
Laura Waterbury was born on March 12, 1947, in Bedford, Ohio. She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and began her acting career on stage. She performed in 10 Broadway shows, including The Magic Show, The Robber Bridegroom, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She also worked in regional theatres and tours across the country.
She made her film debut in the 1979 comedy The In-Laws, starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. She went on to appear in other films, such as The Woman in Red, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear. She was most famous for her role as Mrs. Smith, the eccentric mother of the protagonist in the cult classic Better Off Dead, directed by Savage Steve Holland.
She also had a successful television career, appearing in shows such as MAS*H, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, and ER. She was the Auditions and Outside Field Representative at Actors’ Equity in Los Angeles for several years.
Death and Legacy
Laura Waterbury died on September 25, 2013, in North Hollywood, California, after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. She was survived by her husband, Don Took, her sister, Marsha, her brother, Irv, and many friends and colleagues.
Laura Waterbury was remembered as a talented, versatile, and generous actress, who had a glorious singing voice and an infectious laugh. She brought joy and humor to her roles and to her audiences. She was a gift to the world of entertainment and to those who knew her