Home Blogs Gloria Stroock, Esteemed Actress from ‘McMillan & Wife’ and ‘Fun With Dick and Jane’, Passes Away at 99

Gloria Stroock, Esteemed Actress from ‘McMillan & Wife’ and ‘Fun With Dick and Jane’, Passes Away at 99

Gloria Stroock, Esteemed Actress from ‘McMillan & Wife’ and ‘Fun With Dick and Jane’, Passes Away at 99

Gloria Stroock, celebrated for her role as Rock Hudson’s secretary in McMillan & Wife and her performances in movies like Fun With Dick and Jane, The Competition, and The Day of the Locust, has died at the age of 99.

Stroock passed away due to natural causes on May 5 in Tucson, Arizona, her daughter Kate Stern disclosed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Married to Emmy-winning writer-producer Leonard B. Stern from 1956 until his passing in 2011, Stroock was also the sister of Geraldine Brooks, a Tony-nominated actress and a Warner Bros. contract player.

During the last three seasons (1974-77) of McMillan & Wife, an NBC series crafted by her husband, Stroock played Maggie, the adept secretary to Hudson’s character, Stewart McMillan, a San Francisco police commissioner. Her film roles included the wife of Richard Dysart’s art director in John Schlesinger’s 1975 film The Day of the Locust and the wife of Ed McMahon’s embezzling boss in Ted Kotcheff’s Fun With Dick and Jane (1977), among others.

Born Gloria Jane Stroock on July 10, 1924, in Manhattan, her early life was steeped in the arts. Her father owned Brooks Costume and Uniform Co., a leading theatrical costume maker in New York, while her mother designed modern stage attire. This environment immersed her and her sister in the world of Broadway, the Ziegfeld Follies, and more from a young age.

Stroock’s artistic journey included writing a song at Camp Fernwood in Maine, which remains a camp anthem, and making her Broadway debut in 1945. Her television career spanned from appearances in Kraft Theater and Studio One to roles in The Snoop Sisters and Baretta. Later, she portrayed Rose Kennedy in the 1977 ABC telefilm Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy.

A longtime member of Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, she performed in numerous plays, including Driving Miss Daisy. Her creative expression extended into her later years with a memoir published at 93 and a solo sculpture exhibition at 95. Known for her elegance and grace, Stroock also had a noted aversion to freeways and bad grammar, a love for dark chocolate, and a remarkable memory for song lyrics.

Stroock credited her longevity to daily singing, which she believed kept her in high spirits and ensured pleasant dreams. She died at the residence of her son, Michael Stern, an Emmy-nominated film editor.

She is survived by her son, daughter, daughter-in-law Laura, grandchildren Ryan and Dylan, and great-grandchildren Gabriella, Jackson, Grayson, Noir, and J.J. Her sister Geraldine Brooks passed away in 1977.


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