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Bibi Besch
Born February 1, 1940(1940-02-01)
Vienna, Austria
Died September 7, 1996 (aged 56)
Los Angeles, California

Bibiana Besch (February 1, 1940 – September 7, 1996) was an Austrian/American actress.


Early life

Besch was born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of theater actress Gusti Huber, who starred in German films during World War II and left Austria in the mid 1940s.[1] Besch had a stepfather,[2] Joseph Besch, a radio executive and former captain in the U.S. army.[1] She had two sisters, Drea and Christina, and a brother, Andrew.[3] She grew up in Chappaqua, New York and later moved to New York City. Besch was the mother of actress Samantha Mathis and aunt of former Horace Greeley High School gym teacher and soccer coach, Joseph Besch.


Besch appeared in a variety of daytime soaps such as The Secret Storm, The Edge of Night, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, and finally, Somerset. In addition to her theater career, she began appearing in more nationally known primetime features, such as the 1979 miniseries Backstairs at the White House.

Her most famous role was probably as Dr. Carol Marcus, the mother of Captain James T. Kirk's son in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She also had a small role as the much-hated "Belle Marmillion" in the hit movie Steel Magnolias. Besch also appeared in such films as The Day After, the acclaimed made-for-television film directed by Nicholas Meyer, Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry with Katharine Hepburn, Victory at Entebbe and Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story. She can also be seen as the doctor's wife in Tremors being sucked under the desert inside her station wagon by the graboids.

In 1992, she received her first acting nomination for the landmark TV-movie Doing Time on Maple Drive (which co-starred Jim Carrey). She received another Emmy nomination a year later for her performance as Janine Turner's neurotic mother 'Jane O'Connell' (a recurring role) in Northern Exposure episode. She continued to appear in films and television, including ER and Melrose Place, right up until her 1996 death at the age of 56 following a long battle with breast cancer. She was cremated.


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