Katherine Helmond (Actress) as Jessica Tate - Soap
Updated: 8/14/08

Name: Katherine Helmond

Birth Name: Katherine Marie Helmond

Born: July 5, 1928, Galveston, Texas

Katherine Helmond 1
Claim To Fame: Helmond first entered the spotlight as Jessica Tate, the matriarch on ABC's controversial series Soap, a role which earned her four Emmy nominations. She is also famous for her role on Who's the Boss as the free-spirited Mona Robinson.

Family Life: In 1957, Helmond married George N. Martin. After their divorce she married her second husband, David Christian in 1962. The couple have no children.

Info: As a child, Helmond attended Catholic school, and appeared in numerous school plays and pageants. She made her professional stage debut in "As You Like It," and worked for many years as a successful stage actress before switching over to television and movies. Her first film appearances were in the Manhattan-based Believe in Me and The Hospital, both shot in 1971. She appeared in 1975's The Hindenburg, and worked with Hitchcock in 1976's Family Plot.

In 1977, Helmond was cast as Jessica Tate, the scatterbrained, hedonistic matriarch on the TV sitcom Soap. She remained with the series until its cancellation in 1981. Jessica's fate was not revealed until Helmond's guest appearance on the Soap spinoff Benson, where she played Jessica's ghost.

In 1983, Katherine enrolled in the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop; she helmed the short subject Bankrupt and also several episodes of TV's Who's the Boss, in which she played Mona Robinson from 1984 through 1990. In 1984, ex-Monty Python director Terry Gilliam cast her as a vain matron undergoing a facelift in Brazil.

Trivia: Worked at a local theater in high school, hammering and sawing the scenery, cleaning the bathrooms and pulling the curtain.

Of Irish Catholic extraction on the side of her late mother, Thelma Malone.

Was nominated for Broadway's 1973 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "The Great God Brown."

Maxim magazine recently named her #9 on their TV's Best Nymphos list for her role as “Mona Robinson”.

Attended Bob Jones University in the early 1950s.

Stands 5’2” tall but wears heels in most of her roles.

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Where Are They Now: From 1996 to 2004, Helmond had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond, appearing in 14 episodes as “Lois Whelan” (Ray Barone's mother-in-law). In 2002 she was nominated as Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on the sitcom.

She continued working on stage in the 2000s and was acclaimed for her performances in 'Vagina Monologues'. In 2003 she appeared in Beethoven's 5th as Crazy Cora Wilkens, and voiced the Model T “Lizzie” in Pixar's 2006 hit Cars.

Her most recent appearance was in the 2007 TV movie A Grandpa for Christmas. Helmond resides in Los Angeles; she also has a home in New York.

Write To Katherine Helmond:
Katherine Helmond Agency for the Performing Arts (APA-LA) 405 S Beverly Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90212


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