Famed actress Carlin Glynn dead at 83 following fight with cancer and dementia

July 22, 2023
Ben Marquis

Hollywood and Broadway actress Carlin Glynn passed away on July 13 at the age of 83, according to the Daily Caller.

Perhaps best known for her supporting role in the 1984 film "Sixteen Candles" and starring role in the Broadway musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," Glynn battled cancer and dementia in the years preceding her death.

"Never lost her sense of joy or wonder"

Glynn's death was announced last Saturday, July 15, in an Instagram post from her daughter, actress Mary Stuart Masterson, who wrote, "On Thursday, July 13th, my mother, Carlin Glynn Masterson, passed away. I was with her. I will always be grateful for those last moments, no matter how hard."

"Death is like birth in the oddest way. From my first breath to her last. This thread is as fragile as it is strong," she continued.

"She was the most graceful clumsy person you would ever meet. Strong, smart, silly, intuitive, kind, generous, passionate and a deep listener," the grieving daughter said. "She was devoted to my father and to the enormous circle of students and collaborators who were considered her chosen family."

Masterson added a photo of her mother when she was much younger, a stanza from a poem about death, and a photo from her 80th birthday celebration, "before the worst of dementia and cancer took their toll. She never lost her sense of joy or wonder." She heartbreakingly added, "Rest in peace, mommy."


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A post shared by Mary Stuart (@marystuartmasterson)

An actress and mother

According to Glynn's IMDb page, she was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1940 but attended high school in Texas and lived out her final years in New York.

She was preceded in death in 2018 by her husband, Peter Masterson, whom she married in 1960, but is survived by their three children -- Mary Stuart, Peter, and Alexandra.

Over the course of a career that spanned from 1975, when she appeared in the film "Three Days of the Condor," until 2006 when she appeared in an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," Glynn was credited with 23 acting appearances in movies and TV shows.

Award-winning actress

Glynn's most notable credits, according to People magazine, included her big screen debut in "Three Days of the Condor" and her portrayal of the mother of star Molly Ringwald's character in "Sixteen Candles."

She was also known for her recurring role in the 1987 TV series "Mr. President," and her portrayal of former first lady Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson in the 1991 TV miniseries "A Woman Named Jackie."

The actress also won a Tony Award in 1979 for her starring role as Madam Mona Stangley in the Broadway musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" -- which was adapted and directed by her husband -- a role she would later reprise in 1982 during a second run of the program.

Glynn once revealed in an interview that she had only agreed to play the part initially to help get the production started and had worried about accusations of nepotism, but everyone involved wanted her to continue in that role so she agreed to do so -- the role that would later be made even more famous by country singer Dolly Parton in a film adaptation of the musical.

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