LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Stage, screen and TV actress Carole Cook, who rose to fame in Hollywood when close pal Lucille Ball cast her in various comedic roles before landing parts in such film hits as "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" and "Sixteen Candles," died Wednesday, three days shy of her 99th birthday.
Cook died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, according to her husband, actor Tom Troupe.
She got her start in show business when Ball plucked her from her native Texas to appear in the "Desilu Review" in the late 1950s. As Cook's mentor, Ball frequently cast her in guest roles in her subsequent series "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy." The two remained life-long friends, with Lucy even appearing as Carole's matron-of-honor at her 1964 wedding to Troupe.
On television, Cook worked on a wide variety of shows including "Maude," "Kojak," "Dynasty," "Cagney & Lacey," and most recently guest- starred on "Grey's Anatomy."
She appeared in such feature films as "Grandview, U.S.A.," "American Gigolo," "Summer Lovers" and "Palm Springs Weekend."
In addition to her film and television work, Cook appeared in the original Broadway productions of "42nd Street" and "Romantic Comedy," and was the second actress (after Carol Channing) to star as Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" for a lengthy run in Australia.
Cook and her husband received the 2002 Theatre Ovation Award for career achievement, the first husband and wife to be so honored. In 2018, she appeared in a sold-out engagement at New York's Feinstein's/54 Below in a one- woman show, a musical evening of career anecdotes and reminisces.
Offstage, Cook was a longtime advocate in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by stepson Christopher Troupe and his wife Becky; sister Regina Cocanougher; and other extended family.
Services have not been announced, but the family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund).