Family & Companions
Ann Wedgeworth was an American stage, film, and television actress best known for her role as the divorcee Lana Shields on the popular sitcom "Three's Company" (ABC, 1977-1984). Born and raised in Texas, Wedgeworth always had a desire to become an actress. She decided to earn a college degree first, however, which she received in 1957 from the University of Texas. Having spent her entire life in Texas, Wedgeworth packed her bags and head to New York City to pursue her acting dream after graduation. She arrived in the late 1950s and was fortunate enough to be admitted to the famed The Actors Studio. After a few years of honing her craft, Wedgeworth began making a name for herself in the world of New York theater by appearing in numerous off-Broadway and Broadway plays throughout the 1960s. She would consistently appear in plays well into the 1980s, even winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in 1978's "Chapter Two." It was on film and TV, however, where Wedgeworth would really make name for herself as an actress. She began appearing in guest spots on TV shows in the late 50s and all throughout the 60s on shows like "Kraft Theatre" (NBC, 1947-58), "The Defenders" (CBS, 1961-65) and "Hawk" (ABC, 1966), which allowed the young Wedgeworth to hone her acting skills for the screen. Wedgeworth eventually gravitated towards films roles, and by the 1970s she was starring in such acclaimed dramas as "Scarecrow" (1973), "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973) and "Thieves" (1977). It was her role as a sex-obsessed divorcée on "Three's Company," however, in which Wedgeworth would always be remembered. Wedgeworth continued working steadily throughout the '80s and '90s, with roles in the films "Miss Firecracker" (1989) and "Steel Magnolias" (1989), and the sitcom "Evening Shade" (CBS, 1990-94), in which she co-starred opposite Burt Reynolds, Ossie Davis and Marilu Henner. Her last credited role was in the 2006 drama "The Hawk Is Dying," which also starred Paul Giamatti and Michelle Williams. After a long and prolific acting career, Ann Wedgeworth passed away quietly at a New Jersey nursing home on November 16, 2017. She was 83.
Cast (Feature Film)
Landed her first screen role on "The Edge of Night"
Made her NYC stage debut in "The Crucible"
Made film debut in family drama "Andy"
Played Lahoma Lucas on the pilot of NBC daytime drama "Somerset"
Was the female lead in the dramatic film "Scarecrow"
Nabbed her breakout role as Lana Shields on "Three's Company"
Played Aunt Fern in "Steel Magnolias"
Was a castmember on the sitcom "Evening Shade"
Was cast alongside Vincent D'Onofrio and Renée Zellweger in romantic drama "The Whole Wide World"
Made her last film appearance in "The Hawk Is Dying"