Dody Goodman specialized in comedy. As anyone who saw her muck up Principal McGee's class schedules in Grease probably surmised.

Goodman's career dated back to Broadway in the 1940s. For all her credits—notably, she was an Emmy-nominated performer on Jack Paar's Tonight Show, and a Fernwood, Ohio, elder in the 1970s cult sitcom Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman—Goodman was arguably best known for one word: Grease.

Goodman played Blanche, the scattered front-office assistant, to Eve Arden's iron-willed Rydell High ruler in the popular 1978 movie musical. The mismatched pair returned for the less-popular 1982 sequel, Grease 2. Arden died in 1990. Goodman kept on, even taking a whirl in the Broadway revival of Grease! in the 1990s.

She was 93 when she died last Sunday at a hospital in New Jersey. Fortunately, Blanche's smudges are indelible.

Other recently noted passings:

  • Kermit Love, 91, was the costume designer from the world of ballet who made Big Bird a big, yellow bird, literally. He also helped create the Sesame Street costumes for Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster.
  • Howard Brandy, 79, was a "strong-jawed" publicist, as Variety put it, who was known to cartoon fans, even if they didn't know it, as the model for the strong-jawed Dudley Do-Right.
  • William Vince, 44, produced Capote, and per, was the first person thanked in star Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-night acceptance speech. Recently, Vince worked on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the star-crossed Terry Gilliam fantasy that will go down as Heath Ledger's final film.
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