Phyllis Somerville, most known for her roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (directed by David Fincher) and Little Children (directed by Todd Field, In the Bedroom), passed away on July 16th at the age of 76, per The Hollywood Reporter. On the small screen, she was most well known for her role as Marlene in The Big C (created by Darlene Hunt, I Heart Huckabees), which ran from 2010 to 2013.
The Big C is about a woman named Cathy Jamison (Laura Linney, Ozark) who tries to find humor and happiness in her life after she received a cancer diagnosis. Somerville plays an irritable older woman who lost her husband to cancer and is estranged from her daughters. She finds a friend in Cathy. Somerville was part of the main cast in season 1 and became a recurring cast member in seasons 2 through 4.
Somerville is credited with appearances on many popular television shows, including as Ms. Maltese and Kristen Cameron in Law & Order (created by Dick Wolf), Dorothy Russel in NYPD Blue (created by Steven Bochco and David Milch), Gertrude Morgan in Sex and the City (created by Darren Star), and Brenda in The Sopranos (created by David Chase).
According to her manager, Paul Hilepo, Somerville died of natural causes in her home in New York City. In a statement, Hilepo said, “She was the consummate professional who lived her dream of being a working actress her entire life in NYC which spanned over 45 years. I will miss her greatly. Her friends and colleagues will miss her greatly as well” (The Hollywood Reporter). Hilepo worked with Somerville for 28 years of her 45-year career. Somerville’s final role was as Betty Carroll in the 2020 detective drama series, Mare of Easttown (created by Brad Ingelsby, Run All Night).