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Elmarie Wendel of '3rd Rock from the Sun' Dead at 89

Elmarie Wendel of '3rd Rock from the Sun' Dead at 89
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Elmarie Wendel, known to TV buffs as saucy Mrs. Dubcek on "3rd Rock from the Sun," has died at 89, TMZ reports.

The actress's death was confirmed by her daughter, J.C. Wendel, who called her "a great mom and a badass dame."

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Wendel got her start in show biz as a singer, performing with her family around the U.S., including at the Grand Ole Opry.

After enjoying success on Broadway and in touring productions, she made her TV debut in the early '80s, going on to make appearances on shows like "Knight Rider" (1982), "The Jeffersons" (1985), "The Facts of Life" (1987), and a two-part episode of "Seinfeld" (1992), on which she played a delusional, faded silent-movie star.

Wendel's career-defining role was that of Mrs. Dubcek on "3rd Rock from the Sun" from 1996-2001, but she also enjoyed extended success with recurring roles on "NYPD Blue" (2001-2002) and "George Lopez" (2003-2007).

Her final movie was "The Lorax," for which she provided the voice of Aunt Grizelda, and her last TV work was on an episode of "The Exes" in 2014. In 2015, she provided voices for the hit video game "Fallout 4," then retired.

Wendel was remembered fondly on Twitter by her "3rd Rock" co-star Jim Beaver, who noted her "terribly, terribly sweet" demeanor.

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