Vale: Sada Thompson

US actress Sada Thompson, best known to the matriarch in the 1970s drama Family, has died, aged 83.

Thompson died of lung disease on Wednesday at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut.

Family ran from 1976 to 1980 with Thompson playing the mother to a family including Meredith Baxter and Kristy McNicol. The drama was praised for truthfully presenting stories that expressed real problems.

Thompson, LA Times TV critic Cecil Smith wrote in 1976, “is the heart of Family‘ the fulcrum on which this family turns. She’s not Mother Knows Best — God knows! — she’s quick-tempered, outspoken and often wrong.”

The role earned her four Emmy nominations for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, and she won the award in 1978.

“It saddens me greatly that she’s gone,” Meredith Baxter, who early on took over the role of older daughter Nancy in the series, said in a statement to The Times on Friday. “She was a formidable teacher and a wonderful woman. I admired her greatly.”

She received five other Emmy nominations, including one in 1991 for a guest appearance on Cheers.

Her other appearances included Law & Order, Father Dowling Mysteries, The Love Boat, Marco Polo and Lincoln. Her final screen role was the 2000 film Pollock.

She was also respected for her Broadway performances and received a Tony Award.

Source: LA Times


  1. I have not seen, nor heard of Sada since her brilliant work on the highly beautiful and sadly forgotten 70’s masterpiece “Family”.

    I bought the Season 1/2 set from Amazon US several years ago and have since watched it several times, each time mesmerized by Sada’s performance.

    Sleep well Sada, you were a true gem.

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