Barbara Bosson, a talented and versatile actor who was best known for her role as Fay Furillo on the hit series Hill Street Blues, died on February 18, 2023 at the age of 83. Her son, Jesse Bochco, confirmed her death in an Instagram post, saying that she had “more spirit and zest than you could shake a stick at” and that she was “forever in our hearts”. But what was Barbara Bosson’s cause of death? How did the Emmy-nominated star pass away?
A Mysterious Cause of Death
According to Distractify, Barbara Bosson’s cause of death is currently unknown. Her son did not reveal any details about how she died, except that she passed away “peacefully” and was “surrounded by her family and loved ones”. It is possible that she died of natural causes, considering her advanced age, but no official statement has been made yet.
Barbara Bosson is survived by her son, Jesse Bochco, who is a director and producer; her daughter, Melissa Bochco, who is a writer; and her two grandchildren. She was previously married to Steven Bochco, a renowned writer and producer who co-created Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and Murder One. They divorced in 1997 after 27 years of marriage, but remained on good terms. Steven Bochco died in 2018 from leukemia.
A Remarkable Career in Television
Barbara Bosson was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania in 1939. She started her acting career in the late 1960s, appearing in various TV shows and movies. Her first feature film role was in Bullitt (1968), starring Steve McQueen. She also wrote for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and A Session With the Committee.
She rose to fame in the 1980s, when she joined the cast of Hill Street Blues as Fay Furillo, the ex-wife of police captain Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti). She played the role for six seasons, from 1981 to 1986, and received five Emmy nominations for best supporting actress in a drama series. She was praised for her portrayal of a strong and independent woman who struggled with her divorce, raising her children, and finding love again.
She continued to work with her husband, Steven Bochco, on several other TV shows, such as Richie Brockelman: The Missing 24 Hours, Richie Brockelman, Private Eye, Hooperman, Cop Rock, and Murder One. She also appeared in The Last Starfighter (1984), a cult sci-fi movie; and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), where she played Roana, a Bajoran woman who had a brief romance with Odo (Rene Auberjonois).
She received another Emmy nomination for best supporting actress in a drama series in 1995 for Murder One, where she played Miriam Grasso, a tough and smart defense attorney who worked with Theodore Hoffman (Daniel Benzali). She also wrote an episode of the show called Scattering Dad (1998), which was based on her own experience of losing her father.
She retired from acting in the early 2000s, but remained active in the entertainment industry as a mentor and supporter of young actors. She also enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.
A Legacy of Talent and Courage
Barbara Bosson was not only a talented actor, but also a trailblazer and an advocate for women’s rights and equality in Hollywood. She fought for fair pay and recognition for her work on Hill Street Blues, where she faced discrimination and harassment from the production company after her husband left the show. She also spoke out against sexism and ageism in the industry, and encouraged other women to pursue their dreams.
She was loved and respected by her colleagues and fans alike, who admired her for her versatility, charisma, and humor. She will be remembered as one of the most memorable actors of her generation, who left a lasting impression on television history.