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October 06, 2011 - Image 98

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-10-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Obituaries from page 80

A Late-In-Life Acting Career



ctress Frances Bay, the old lady
mugged" for a marble rye by
Jerry Seinfeld, placed into a
nursing home by Happy Gilmore, and
"Fonzi's" Grandma Nussbaum died in Los
Angeles on Sept. 15, 2011, at age 92.
From the 1978 Goldie Hawn-Chevy
Chase film Foul Play on, Bay "hit her stride
playing the role she became known for:
an often doddering, mostly sweet, elderly
woman:' the New York Times said.
Her credits include more than 150
appearances in TV shows and films. She
acted through 2011, nine years after losing
part of her right leg after a car accident.
Her last recurring role was as Aunt Ginny
in the ABC sitcom The Middle.
Bay appeared on Seinfeld three times as
Mabel Choate, once in the popular "marble
rye" episode, and in the show's final epi-
sode. As one Seinfeld aficionado said, the
ramifications of Seinfeld's rye bread theft
caused his father's impeachment as presi-
dent of his Florida condo community in a
different episode, which ran a clip of the


mugging. Along with the Seinfeld finale,
Bay also appeared in the final episodes of
Happy Days and Who's the Boss?
Discussing her stints on Happy Days,
she once described Henry "The Fonz"
Winkler as "just a sweet guy."
"He lost his own grandmother in the
Holocaust',' she reportedly said, "and he
wrote me a letter saying I was his virtual
Other well-known shows in which
Bay played variations of her stock char-
acter included Grey's Anatomy, Hannah
Montana, ER and Quantum Leap. Bay
appeared in four works by cult filmmaker
David Lynch, including Blue Velvet, and as
a "foul-mouthed madam" in Wild at Heart.
Bay was born Frances Goffman in the
small town of Mannville, Alberta, a village
in Canada of fewer than 1,000 located 120
miles east of Edmonton, and was raised
in Dauphin, Manitoba. Her father was
an immigrant from Ukraine and ran a
clothing store. She acted in school and in
regional theater and became prominent in
Canada during World War II as "the girl-
friend to the Canadian Forces" on a CBC

radio show that troops said
"kept their spirits up:'
"I always wanted to be
an actress:' Bay told the Los
Angeles Times in 1986. "And it
wasn't ego. I felt so little about
myself, considered myself
such a sparrow. Not just my
size. I thought I was so plain
... I did plays not to show off
but because if I did that — I
didn't realize it at the time —
I would be somebody other
than this person I didn't really
approve of. I guess that's true
of a lot of actors."
Bay became a homemaker
after marriage and didn't
resume acting until the 1970s, Actress Frances Bay, in her most famous role, being
mugged by Jerry Seinfeld for a marble rye bread.
when she took classes with
famed drama teacher Uta
Hagen. "I don't know if it was women's lib
Bay won a Gemini Award, the Canadian
or something that kind of turned inside
equivalent of the Emmy, in 1997 and a star
of me, but I just started doing it: got new
on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto in
pictures, started pounding the pavement,
2008 after a campaign generated 10,000
went to agents — and I got work',' she
letters on her behalf. Bay's husband and
son predeceased her.

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Because The Ira Kaufman Chapel has been in the same place

for so many years, we are asked if we plan to stay.

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The answer: "We're focused on improving, not moving."

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Jewish cemeteries in the Metro area, we are twice as close

Our Chapel is also easily accessible from all major freeways,

with ample parking, as well as five entrances and exits.

Understanding that location is important, we maintain one

that continues to meet this community's needs.


Bringing Together Family, Faith & Community

18325 W. 9 Mile Rd Southfield, MI 48075 • 248.569.0020 . • IraKaufman.com


October 6 • 2011



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average, we are just six miles away.

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show we are more convenient for the entire community.

than another chapel often described as "convenient." On


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While we are closer to the "Old Neighborhood" the facts

We did the math. Looking at the 10 most commonly used

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