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Maxine Stuart, bandaged 'Twilight Zone' patient, soap actress, dies at 94

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Courtesy NBC News

Randee Dawn TODAY contributor

Maxine Stuart, an actress in film, TV and on stage whose decades-long career included a starring role in one of "The Twilight Zone's" most memorable episodes, has died at 94.

Her daughter, Chris Ann Maxwell, reported her June 6death of natural causes in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Stuart started out as a New York theater actress, but became largely known through her television work and appearances in TV anthologies like "Zone." After appearing in the soap opera "The Edge of Night," she shifted to Los Angeles and appeared in the 1960 "Zone" episode "Eye of the Beholder." In that episode, she spent the entire time with her head wrapped in bandages. When her character was revealed at the end as a failed post-surgical patient, another actress gave a face to the patient.

Born Maxine Shlivek in 1918 in New Jersey, Stuart was first married to fellow actor Frank Maxwell, and later married Tony-winning writer David Shaw, who died in 2007.

Stuart's later years as an actress earned her a 1989 Emmy nomination for her guest role as piano teacher Mrs. Carples on "The Wonder Years," and she also appeared in episodes of "Murphy Brown," "NYPD Blue," Judging Amy" and "Chicago Hope." Her soap career didn't end with "Night"; she had runs on "Peyton Place," "General Hospital" and "The Young and the Restless."

"She epitomized what I wanted -- someone who brought a feistiness, a vitality and energy with her, who's gregarious and fun-loving," "Y&R" show creator William Bell told The Los Angeles Times in 1993.

Also in the Times, Stuart then noted: "When you're 20, you think, 'Oh, my God, if I ever get to be 30, I'll be so old.' But when you get to be this age, if you don't look in the mirror -- or see yourself on TV -- you don't know."

 

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