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Shirley Mitchell Dies: Last Member of 'I Love Lucy' Cast Was 94

Image: Shirley Mitchell Dies: Last Member of 'I Love Lucy' Cast Was 94

By Alexandra Ward   |   Thursday, 14 Nov 2013 09:15 AM

Shirley Mitchell, the actress who played Lucille Ball's friend Marion with the funny laugh on "I Love Lucy," died Monday at her condominium complex in Westwood, Calif. She was 94.

Mitchell's sister-in-law, Academy Award-nominated actress Nancy Olson, told The Hollywood Reporter that Mitchell died of heart failure. She was believed to have been the last surviving adult cast member of the beloved '50s CBS sitcom.

Mitchell, a veteran film and television actress, had a three-episode run on the 1953-54 season of "I Love Lucy." Her character Marion Strong, which was originated by Margie Liszt in season two, was the cackling girlfriend who set up Lucy and Ricky on their first date.

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She also appeared in small roles on a handful of other TV shows like "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Bachelor Father," and "Green Acres," as well as in films such as "Jamboree," "Desk Set," "Big Business," and "The War of the Roses."

Born Nov. 4, 1919 in Toledo, Ohio, Mitchell started out on radio shows, including "The Great Gildersleeve" and "Fibber, McGee & Molly." She first met Ball while the two worked on "My Favorite Husband"

Mitchell was married to Jay Livingston, a pop composer credited with hits such as Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa" and Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera," from 1992 until his death in 2001. She was previously married to Julian Frieden, with whom she had two children — Scott and Brooke.

Fans of Mitchell took to Twitter to mourn her passing.

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