Veteran actor Carole Cook, known for her role in the 1980s classic "Sixteen Candles," has died at age 98.
The news was confirmed by Cook's agent, who told CNN that she died "peacefully" Wednesday from heart failure.
Cook's decades-long career included numerous turns on Broadway, as well as over 60 screen credits, her most memorable arguably being "Sixteen Candles," which sees her play the role of the handsy "Grandma Helen." Cook also famously originated the role of Maggie Jones in the 1980 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "42nd Street."
Cook has credited TV legend Lucille Ball for giving her a "big break." According to CNN, Cook was working in theater in Ohio when Ball brought her to Hollywood to be part of Ball's DESILU theater's musical revue.
"I had no place to live in California so I lived in Lucy's guesthouse until I got settled," Cook told the website Queer Voices in 2019. "She changed my name. I was born Mildred Frances Cook but Lucy didn't think it was a good show business name. She gave me the name Carole after Carole Lombard. Lucy said to me, 'You have the same healthy disrespect for everything in general, just like Lombard.' "
The fellow actors worked together on "The Lucy Show" from 1963 to 1968 as well as spinoff "Here's Lucy" from 1969 to 1974, People noted. They remained close friends until Ball's death in 1989.
Behind the scenes, Cook was also an active advocate for HIV/AIDS charities, spending over 30 years working with S.T.A.G.E. LA, a musical theater benefit for HIV/AIDS.
Speaking with BroadwayWorld.com in 2015, Cook said she would like to be remembered "as somebody who brought a little difference to people's lives for the good."
"We all want to be beloved, and that would be nice," she said. "I'd like for them to think, I'm glad I knew her."
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