Audra Marie Lindley

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Audra Marie Lindley

Also Known As: "Audra Ulm", "Audra Whitmore"
Birthplace: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Cause of death: Leukemia
Place of Burial: Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Herbert "Bert" Maxwell Lindley and Elizabeth Frances Lindley
Ex-wife of James Allen Whitmore and Dr. Hardy Ulm
Mother of Herbert Lindley Ulm; <private> Ulm; <private> Ulm; <private> Ulm; <private> Ulm and 2 others
Sister of <private> Lindley; <private> Lindley; <private> Lindley and <private> Lindley

Occupation: Actress
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Audra Marie Lindley

From Wikipedia (English):

Audra Marie Lindley (September 24, 1918 – October 16, 1997) was an American actress, most famous for her role as landlady Helen Roper on the sitcom Three's Company and its spin-off, The Ropers.

Life and career

Born in Los Angeles, California, Lindley was the daughter of show business parents. Her father was Bert Lindley, who was an actor who played small roles from 1917 through 1937. She got her early start in Hollywood by being a stand-in, which eventually progressed to stunt work, and eventually became a contract player with Warner Brothers. In 1943, she went to New York in her mid-20s to work in theater. Among her many Broadway plays during her long career were: On Golden Pond, Long Day's Journey into Night, and Horse Heavens. After a break from acting to raise five children, she began to make steady appearances on television in the early 1960s, including the role of Sue Knowles on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and a six-year stint as manipulative "Aunt Liz" Matthews on the NBC soap opera Another World. She also had regular roles as Meredith Baxter's mother in the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie, as well as Lee Grant’s best friend in Fay. In 1971, she starred in the first American film of the legendary Milos Forman, "Taking Off".

Her greatest fame arrived when she began playing the wisecracking, perpetually unfulfilled and sexually frustrated Helen Roper on the hit sitcom Three’s Company (1977) where she wore a wig to maintain the character’s exaggerated hairstyle. The character and her husband, Mr. Roper (played by Norman Fell), were spun off to their own show, The Ropers (1979), which was not a success.

Lindley continued to appear steadily on television and in film, such as Revenge of the Stepford Wives in 1980 and as Fauna, the owner of the "Bear Flag Restaurant," a Monterey, CA brothel portrayed in the 1982 film Cannery Row. In 1982, she appeared in the film Best Friends starring Goldie Hawn and Burt Reynolds.

She had a supporting role in the lesbian-themed film Desert Hearts (1985). In 1987 she had a large supporting role as Judith Light's mother in the TV movie Dangerous Affection. She also appeared in 1989's Troop Beverly Hills as outspoken director of the Wilderness Girls. Also in 1989, she was the main character of an episode of the horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt.

Lindley garnered further parts of all sizes in various TV films and series, including playing Phoebe Buffay's grandmother on Friends, and her last, a recurring role as Cybill Shepherd's mother on the CBS sitcom Cybill. (She had previously played Shepherd's mother in the 1972 film The Heartbreak Kid.)


Lindley died of leukemia on October 16, 1997, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

She was married to and divorced from Dr. Hardy Ulm (1943–1960), with whom she had five children.

She later married and divorced James Whitmore (1972–1979).


Audra Lindley Fast Facts:

  • Born into a show-business family; dropped out of high school to work as a stand-in and stuntwoman (usually involving horseback stunts).
  • Followed several successful stints on Broadway (On Golden Pond) with appearances on soap operas, including a six-year stay as the evil Aunt Liz on Another World.
  • Wore a wig for the role of witty landlord's wife Helen Roper on ABC's Three's Company and its short-lived spin-off, The Ropers.
  • Juggled three sitcom roles on three networks in 1976, adding Doc (CBS) and Fay (NBC) to her workload while on Three's Company.
  • Played Cybill Shepherd's mother twice—in the 1972 film The Heartbreak Kid and again 25 years later on the CBS sitcom Cybill. A Cybill script was at Lindley's bedside at the time of her death.
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Audra Marie Lindley's Timeline

September 24, 1918
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
April 3, 1953
Age 34
October 16, 1997
Age 79
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States