US actress Conchata Ferrell, best known for Two and a Half Men, has died, aged 77.
She was hospitalised in May and spent more than four weeks in the ICU, where she went into cardiac arrest at one point. Variety reports she was relocated to a long-term treatment centre, where she was on a respirator and dialysis.
Ferrell played Berta the housekeeper on Two and a Half Men on all 12 seasons of Two and a Half Men landing two Emmy nominations for supporting actress in a comedy series.
Berta was only going to be on the show for two episodes but for her audition she entered the room and said, “I know that you’re looking for, like, a Russian or a Polish accent, and I’ve got a pretty good Russian. However, I bring my own ethnicity to this, and I’ve worked this material. It works better in Trailer Park than it does in anything else,” she recalled in a 2014 interview.
“And Chuck [Lorre] just laughed and said, ‘Well, do whatever makes you happy.’ And I did it, and it was really funny, and I left thinking, ‘Well, if I don’t get it, it’s not because I didn’t do the best I could.’ And it turned out that he really liked the idea of this woman being a trailer-park person.”
Creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre described Ferrell as “one of the greats.”
“We called her Chatty. And we all loved her,” Lorre said in a statement. “Twelve years of highs and lows, and lots and lots of laughter. Through it all she was a rock. One of the greats. I was privileged to call her a friend.”
“We are saddened by the loss of Conchata Ferrell and are grateful for the years she brought us laughs as Berta which will live on forever,” Warner Bros. TV tweeted.
Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer also paid tribute.
She was also well known for her recurring role as attorney Susan Bloom in L.A. Law for which she received another Emmy nomination.
Other TV credits included The Ranch, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen Angel, Matlock, B.J. and the Bear.
Film credits included Heartland, Edward Scissorhands, Erin Brockovich, Mystic Pizza, Network, Crime and Punishment in Suburbia and True Romance.