- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2005

BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) — Carolyn Coates, an actress who portrayed such strong women characters as Madam Irma in “The Balcony” and Hecuba in “The Trojan Women,” died March 28 of cancer, said her husband, the actor James Noble. She was 77.

Miss Coates performed in “The Balcony” and “The Trojan Women” at the Circle in the Square in New York. She also was known for her roles in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “The Seagull” and “The Cherry Orchard.”

Miss Coates was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in Santa Monica, Calif., where she acted in children’s theater. She went on to major in acting at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in stock companies in the East.

She met Mr. Noble — who played Gov. Gatling on the TV show “Benson” — in 1951 in Worcester, Mass., while playing Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion.” The couple appeared in many plays together, notably “Long Day’s Journey into Night” and “A Delicate Balance.”

In 1986, Miss Coates took a nine-year sabbatical to volunteer in hospitals and on hot lines for the AIDS Project Los Angeles and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York.

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