Brenda Buell Vaccaro (born November 18, 1939) is an American stage, television and film actress.

Early life

Vaccaro was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian American parents Christine M. (née Pavia) and Mario A. Vaccaro (originally a lawyer), both of whom were pioneers in Italian cuisine.[1][2][3] She was raised in Texas, where her parents co-founded Mario's Restaurant (a nationally recognized restaurant)[4] and where Vaccaro graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas in 1958.[5] She returned to New York City to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse, and made her Broadway debut in the short-lived 1961 comedy Everybody Loves Opal, for which she won the Theatre World Award.


Vaccaro's Broadway credits include Cactus Flower (1965), How Now, Dow Jones (1967), The Goodbye People (1968), the female version of The Odd Couple, (1985), and Jake's Women (1992).[6] The husky-voiced actress is a three-time Tony Award nominee, for Best Featured Actress in a Play (Cactus Flower), Best Actress in a Musical (Dow Jones), and Best Actress in a Play (The Goodbye People).[7]

Vaccaro co-starred in the 1969 Dustin Hoffman/Jon Voight film Midnight Cowboy, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. For her performance in the 1975 film adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough she garnered an Academy Award nomination and won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Additional screen credits include Airport '77, Capricorn One, The Pride of Jesse Hallam, Supergirl, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Heart of Midnight, Zorro: The Gay Blade, and House by the Lake aka, Death Weekend.

Vaccaro's many television credits include a number of television movies and a regular role in the short-lived 1984 series Paper Dolls in addition to guest appearances on Banacek, The Fugitive, The Defenders, Coronet Blue, The Name of the Game, Marcus Welby, M.D., McCloud, The Streets of San Francisco, The Love Boat, St. Elsewhere, Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, Columbo, Touched by an Angel, Friends, The King of Queens, and Nip/Tuck. She has been nominated for an Emmy Award three times and won for Best Supporting Actress in Comedy-Variety, Variety or Music for The Shape of Things in 1974. She also starred in a series of commercials for Playtex.

Later she went on to supply the voice for Johnny Bravo's mother Bunny Bravo in the animated cartoon series. She also made a later appearance on The Smurfs as Scruple, an apprentice of Gargamel, opposite Paul Winchell.


Film and Television
Year Title Role Notes
1961 Naked City Rosa Alloro TV
1963 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Joanne Spencer TV
1969 Where It's At Molly Hirsch
1969 Midnight Cowboy Shirley Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1970 I Love My Wife Jody Burrows
1971 What's a Nice Girl Like You...? Shirley ABC Movie of the Week
1972 Summertree Vanetta
1972 Going Home Jenny Benson
1972 Marcus Welby, MD Marilyn Hoffman TV
1972 McCloud Police Officer Margaret Sereno TV
1974 Shape of Things, TheThe Shape of Things TV movie
Best Supporting Actress in Comedy-Variety, Variety or Music
1975 Once Is Not Enough Linda Riggs Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1976 Death Weekend Diane
1976 Sara Sara Yarnell TV
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series
1977 Capricorn One Kay Brubaker
1977 Airport '77 Eve Clayton
1979 Dear Detective Det. Sgt. Kate Hudson TV movie and TV series, 4 episodes
1979 Fast Charlie... the Moonbeam Rider Grace Wolf
1980 Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones Jane Briggs TV movie
1980 First Deadly Sin, TheThe First Deadly Sin Monica Gilbert
1981 Zorro, The Gay Blade Florinda
1981 Star Maker, TheThe Star Maker Dolores Baker TV movie
1984 Supergirl Bianca
1984 Paper Dolls Julia Blake TV, 13 episodes
1984 St. Elsewhere Rose Orso TV
1984 Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat Eleanor Savage TV, 2 episodes
1985 Water Dolores Thwaites
1987 Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, TheThe Jetsons Meet the Flintstones Didi TV movie
1988 Heart of Midnight Betty
1989 Ten Little Indians Marion Marshall
1989 Cookie Bunny
1990 Golden Girls, TheThe Golden Girls Angela Petrillo TV
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Comedy Series
1990 Columbo Jess McCurdy TV
1990 Stolen: One Husband Lisa Jarrett TV movie
1990 Lethal Games Stella Hudson
1991 Masque of the Red Death Elaina Hart
1992 Red Shoes Diaries Martha TV movie
1992 Civil Wars Actress TV
1994 Love Affair Nora Stillman
1995 Friends Gloria Tribbiani TV
1996 Mirror Has Two Faces, TheThe Mirror Has Two Faces Doris
1996 Touched by an Angel Al TV
1997 Ally McBeal Karen Horowitz TV
Johnny Bravo Various: Bunny Bravo / Attendant / Mama / Pilot #2 / Waitress / Woman TV
1998 King of Queens, TheThe King of Queens Sheila Rednester TV
2001 Becker Bob's Mother TV
2002 Sonny Meg
2002 Just a Walk in the Park Selma Williams TV movie
2004 Just Desserts Lina TV movie
2005 Boynton Beach Club Marilyn
2005 American Dad! Voice TV
2006 Nip/Tuck Beatrice Madsen TV
2006 War at Home, TheThe War at Home Barbara TV
2010 You Don't Know Jack Margo Janus TV movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie


External links

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