Edie McClurg Played Mrs. Poole on "The Hogan Family." See Her Now at 76.
The character actor is known for a wide variety of films and TV shows.
The TV series The Hogan Family went through a variety of changes, but one thing that stayed consistent was the presence of Edie McClurg as Mrs. Patty Poole. The show began as a sitcom about a family with a mother played by Valerie Harper, and it was first called Valerie. But when Harper left the show after the second season, it was re-titled Valerie's Family. Not long after that, the name of the show was changed again to The Hogan Family. Despite those changes, from Season 2 through Season 6, Mrs. Poole was always there as the family's nosy neighbor.
And while McClurg will always be associated with her Hogan Family character, she's had a lengthy career and has played some other very recognizable roles too. Read on to learn more about her work and to find out about her life today.
She was successful before The Hogan Family.
McClurg's prolific career as a character actor began before she was even cast as Mrs. Poole. Prior to The Hogan Family she had been in the movies Carrie and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and on the TV series The Richard Pryor Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Harper Valley P.T.A., and The Jeffersons, among many other roles. Her Ferris Bueller's Day Off part is particularly memorable; she plays school secretary, Grace, who calls Ferris a "righteous dude."
She's been in many more popular projects since.
Some of McClurg's other movies include Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Curly Sue, Natural Born Killers, and Flubber. She's also guest starred on numerous shows—including Seinfeld, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Married… with Children—and had recurring roles on 7th Heaven, Caroline in the City, and Melrose Place. Her voice acting career is also extensive and includes voicing characters in The Little Mermaid, A Bug's Life, Cars and Cars 2, Wreck-It Ralph, and Frozen.
She's shared memories of working with John Hughes.
McClurg was directed by John Hughes in four films: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Curly Sue, and She's Having a Baby. Of working with the beloved director, McClurg told the Chicago Tribune in 2016, "All the time I was working for him, I felt, 'Oh, I'm so happy to be here doing this. It was just so wonderful, compared to some of my other experiences. I felt I was very lucky to have the chance to work with all those people he pulled together. But I'm not sure I really understood, at the time, just how wonderful the films would turn out to be. And it was just one after another after another. I was so pleased to be a part of it."
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It's been reported that she's dealing with health problems.
McClurg hasn't been in the public eye much in recent years, but TMZ reported in 2019 that she had been diagnosed with dementia. The publication noted that two of the actor's family members and a friend filed documents requested that her affairs be handled by her cousin as her conservator.
That said, McClurg has worked since then. She's credited for a voice role on a 2020 episode of Family Guy.
She's proud of her career.
In 2017, McClurg spoke to KansasCity.com (via PopCulture.com) and looked back on her career. Of Ferris Bueller in particular, she said, "I met people from all over the world who wanted me to [quote the lines]. I just love that people keep remembering the film."
Speaking of her career as a whole, she added, "I feel blessed. A lot of things have flown past my mind for a while. But I know there are many people who still remember and still talk about (my work). They recite the words that were mine to begin with. I'm so pleased people still care about me. I love that they laugh when they think of me."