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Elena Verdugo (1925 - 2017)

Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives

Elena Verdugo (1925 - 2017)

Elena Verdugo, the actress best known for her role as nurse Consuelo Lopez on the “Marcus Welby, M.D.” TV series, has died, according to multiple news sources. She was 92.

Verdugo died Tuesday, May 29, 2017, in Los Angeles, a representative for actress Sharon Gless told The Hollywood Reporter.

Gless had a recurring role on “Marcus Welby, M.D.” as hospital worker Kathleen Faverty. She remained close friends with Verdugo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sharon Gless made a statement on Facebook: “My dearest, longest-time friend. … wonderful actress, funniest woman I ever knew. She was mischief till the end. It is not just the end of an era. It is the end of an epoch. The world is a less interesting place.”

Verdugo, a native of Los Angeles, started acting in childhood. She appeared in many movies in the 1940s. She starred opposite Gene Autry in the movie “The Big Sombrero.” She had a supporting role in the Abbott and Costello comedy “Little Giant.” In 1957, Verdugo starred in the musical comedy film “Panama Sal.”


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Verdugo starred on the CBS Radio comedy “Meet Millie” as the wisecracking Brooklyn secretary Millie Bronson. She then starred on the television version of “Meet Millie” from 1952 until 1956. The show was one of the first to air live from Hollywood.

She had a recurring role in 1964 on “The New Phil Silvers Show” as the sister of Silver’s character. She also starred on the CBS sitcom “Many Happy Returns” during the 1964-1965 season.

Her most popular character was nurse Consuelo Lopez on the “Marcus Welby, M.D.” TV series, which ran from 1969 until 1976. She received supporting actress Emmy nominations in 1971 and 1972 for playing the thoughtful nurse. Many consider the role to be one of the first to portray a working-professional Latina woman.

Verdugo was married twice and had a son, Richard Marion, who became an actor. Her son was 50 when he died of an apparent heart attack in 1999.

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