Shirley Mitchell, believed to be the last surviving cast member of I Love Lucy, died November 11, 2013, at age 94. Mitchell played Marion Strong in three episodes of the legendary sitcom. Classic TV fans might also remember Mitchell as Kate’s trouble-making Cousin Mae on Petticoat Junction.
Marion Strong was a member of the Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League along with Lucy, Ethel, Carolyn Appleby, and others. On one occasion, she bragged about having been mistress of ceremonies for the Senior Shenanigans at the Rappahanock School for Girls. She was prone to cackling, which led Lucy to tell her, “I’ve been waiting 10 years for you to lay that egg.”
In a delightful scene in “Lucy Tells the Truth,” Ethel and Carolyn goad Lucy into telling Marion the truth about what she thinks of her ridiculous new hat. (Ricky and the Mertzes had bet Lucy that she couldn’t go 24 hours without telling a lie.) Watch Lucy tell Marion the ugly truth at the 9:00 mark below.
“Lucy Tells the Truth,” I Love Lucy (Nov. 9, 1953)
- Shirley Mitchell Dead: ‘I Love Lucy’ Actress Dies At 94 (huffingtonpost.com)