Conchata Ferrell, one of the stars of Two and a Half Men, died on October 12 after after heart attack complications. She was 77 years old. Ferrell was a native of Loudendale, West Virginia, close to Charleston, but grew up primarily in Circleville, Ohio. Ferrell made her acting debut in 1969 while a student a Marshall University.
ABC Los Angeles’ reporter George Pennacchio was the first to report Ferrell’s death.
Ferrell who appeared in movies such as True Romance and Mystic Pizza as well as roles in other TV shows such as L.A. Law, is best known for her portrayal of Berta the housekeeper on Two and a Half Men. Ferrell played the role during all 12 seasons of the show’s run. In 1992, Ferrell was nominated for an Emmy for her role in L.A. Law.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ferrell Was Married to Her Husband Arnie Anderson for 34 Years
Ferrell was married once in her life, two Arnie Anderson, who she wed in 1986. Ferrell gave birth to a daughter named Samantha in 1986. Ferrell told The Chicago Tribune in 1991, “Arnie and I have been together 12 years, married five. We got married because our daughter asked us to.”
Anderson is referred to in the Tribune interview as a “sound man.” According to the article, Anderson’s two daughters from a previous relationship also lived with the couple.
2. Ferrell’s Husband Said in June 2020 That the Actress Could No Longer Speak or Communicate
Anderson told TMZ in June 2020 that Ferrell had been hospitalized in May after she began feeling unwell. Anderson said that Ferrell was semi-conscious at the time but was unable to communicate. During her hospitalization, Anderson said that Ferrell suffered a heart attack.
In December 2019, Ferrell was hospitalized with a kidney infection. Ferrell’s illness was not-related to COVID-19, her husband said. Anderson told TMZ in June 2020, “It’s going to be a while before there’s any recovery. It’s all neurological. There’s nothing we can do to speed it up the process. We are hoping for the best.”
Ferrell told Channel Guide Magazine in a 2015 interview that she had Type 2 diabetes so all of the snacks in her kitchen were “sugar-free.”
3. Ferrell Said the Producers Wanted Berta to Have a ‘Russian or Polish Accent’
Ferrell told The A.V. Club in a 2014 interview that when she auditioned for the role of Berta, the producers wanted to the character to be an immigrant. Ferrell said in the interview that she loved the idea of playing women who “do things that I don’t have the nerve to do.” Ferrell said she told Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator:
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.
4. Ferrell’s Co-Star Jon Cryer Paid Tribute to the Late Actress in a Touching Twitter Thread
Shortly after news of Ferrell’s death spread, her co-star Jon Cryer, paid a lengthy tribute on Twitter. Cryer referred to Ferrell as a “beautiful woman.” Cryer said that her character’s “gruff exterior” was invented by the writers of the show. Cryer tweeted, “I’m crying for the woman I’ll miss, and the joy she brought so many.”
In the early days of filming together, Cryer said that Ferrell refused to believe what a big fan of her work he was. Cryer said that it was not until her referenced a sitcom she appeared in in the 1970s named Hot L Baltimore “before she finally got that I was serious.” Ferrell played the role of prostitute April Greene in the show. Ferrell said in a 2018 interview with Huntington Quarterly that along with her three favorite roles were Berta in Two and a Half Men, Susan Bloom in L.A. Law and April Greene.
Cryer also said, “I’m glad that I absolutely knew how fortunate I was to share a stage with her. I treasured every moment and will continue to until we meet again.” Cryer finished his thread by saying, “2020 ist just merciless.”
5. Ferrell Said That the Only Time She Got Starstruck Was After Meeting Tennessee Williams
Ferrell told Channel Guide Mag in her 2015 interview that the only time in her career when she got starstruck was when she met legendary playwright Tennessee Williams. Ferrell said that she was performing in a Williams’ play, Battle of Angels, which was later renamed Orpheus Descending when Williams was introduced to her. Ferrell said the was told that Williams yelled “bravo” after her during the curtain call.
Ferrell said, “He was wearing his white suit — very Blanche DuBois. I finally said, “Can I have a picture made so I can send it to my mother?” And I have a couple of pictures of us laughing together.”