The late, great Carole Cook sadly left this world at the age of ninety-eight. Not only was she a beloved character actress that starred in several films and television shows over the years, but she also served as an apprentice to the legendary Lucille Ball. Born Mildred Francis Cook back in 1924 from Abilene, Texas; however, on Lucille’s advice adopted ‘Carole’ as her new Hollywood name for life after her big screen debut.
Ball was instrumental in Cook’s success in the entertainment industry and the two were incredibly close. After her separation from Desi Arnaz, Cook even moved into Ball’s home! During their time together, both appeared on “The Lucy Show” as well as “Here’s Lucy.” Furthermore, she was featured on shows like “Password,” “Maude,” “Kojak,” ”Dynasty,” and “Cagney & Lacey. Additionally, many recognize her for playing a grandmother role in the hit show Sixteen Candles”.
Robert Malcolm, the agent of Cook, confirmed the news of her death. She had lived a long life in Hollywood’s limelight before succumbing to heart failure at 98 years old on January 11th, 2023 – just days prior to reaching her 99th birthday. A long-time presence within Tinseltown, hers was an incredible journey that ended too soon for so many fans and colleagues alike who will remember her fondly.
Cook was propelled into the limelight after receiving a call from none other than Lucille Ball, inviting her to uproot and come be part of the Desilu musical review in Hollywood. Through their professional relationship, Cook and Ball developed an endearing friendship that endured for decades. One instance of this lovely bond is when some people often mistook Cook for the legendary actress!
Social media was swathed with commemorations of Cook after news of her untimely passing emerged.
“Today we lost one of the greats- Carole Cook was making people laugh since the 1950s- on TV, in movies, and on stage. We became friends when we were in a Broadway play for a full year. At 98, that huge heart of hers just gave up. I love you, Carole.”
“RIP to the legendary #carolecook, who appeared in Season 7 of #laverneandshirley as the hot-to-trot Mrs. Harmon on ‘I Do, I Don’t.’ She will be beyond missed.”
“Carole Cook in Sixteen Candles Friend, fun at dinner parties and always cracking jokes. A super LGBTQ+ ally. The long ash on her ciggy.”
The entertainment industry has lost a beloved star in Carole Cook. Her ingenious wit, humor and incomparable talent will never be forgotten. She is an icon whose legacy as one of the most iconic character actresses of all time will live on for generations to come.
Carole Cook was survived by her cherished husband, actor Tom Troupe. She will be deeply missed.
Carole Cook, your presence will be profoundly missed. May you rest in peace.
Don’t miss out on the exciting opportunity to watch Let’s Talk with Carole from the Lucy Show, now available digitally for CBS Home Video in 2010!