WiRED Mourns the Loss of Elmarie Wendel, WiRED Honorary Board Member


WiRED International’s board and volunteers are deeply saddened by the death of actress Elmarie Wendel on July 21, 2018, at age 89.


Ms. Wendel was a television, stage and voice actress, best known to the public for her portrayal of Mrs. Dubcek on NBC’s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun and to WiRED as a member of its Honorary Board.


Ms. Wendel was born on November 23, 1929, in Howard County, Iowa, and performed with her musical parents and sisters in Midwest concert halls. She began her serious pursuit of acting as a theater major at the University of Oregon, earned her bachelor’s degree there and went immediately on the road with Ashland Repertory with a slate of plays both classic and contemporary. Ms. Wendel worked from coast to coast as a jazz singer, arriving in New York City, where she performed in four Broadway shows, 10 off-Broadway shows and in three cast albums. Her biggest hits were Little Mary Sunshine and Ben Bagley’s Cole Porter Revisited. In addition to her role in 3rd Rock from the Sun, she played Gina in the George Lopez show and voiced Great Aunt Grizelda in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax film. Ms. Wendel volunteered for years at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles as a teacher, voice acting coach and recorder of audio books. She also produced several ballets for the Media City Ballet (now called Pacific Ballet Dance Theater) and acted as a major supporter and “face coach” for the company.


WiRED board member Suellen Crano, Ph.D., said, “Elmarie may have been a triple threat in Hollywood, as an actor, singer, and dancer, but she was a triple threat as a WiRED board member too — loving, caring, and giving. We will all miss her.”


Ms. Wendel is survived by her daughter, actress J.C. Wendel.