When “The Drew Carey Show” premiered on ABC in 1995, fans immediately fell in love with the characters who worked in the fictional human resources department of Winfred-Louder (via Closer Weekly). Each week the show followed the day-to-day lives of Drew and his quirky coworkers, namely Christa Miller (Kate O’Brien), Ryan Stiles (Lewis), Diedrich Bader (Oswald), Kathy Kinney (Mimi), and Craig Ferguson (Mr. Wick), as they faced everyday workplace challenges and frustrations (via IMDb).
Viewers were sad to say goodbye to the characters they came to know when the show ended in 2004. Luckily the show helped launch the careers of many comedic actors, including Drew Carey who went on to host “Drew Carey’s Improv All Stars,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” and “The Price is Right” in 2007, as noted by his biography at the website for “The Price Is Right.”
Although many of the show’s actors went on to star in other notable projects, a few of the show’s regulars have died.
As the owner of the Winfred-Louder department store, Fran Louder took her power to the next level. Played by actress Nan Martin, Fran was the office cougar who wasn’t afraid to sleep with her employees and was quick to demean Drew’s career ambitions.
Martin’s role on “The Drew Carey Show” was one of many for the prolific film and stage actress. The New York Times penned an obit on the actress who made her Broadway debut in 1950 before going on to appear in films and television shows, including “The Twilight Zone,” “Goodbye Columbus,” “E.R.,” and “The Untouchables.” She was also nominated for a Tony award for her role in the 1958 production of “J.B,” and was the recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award for lead actress in Edward Albee’s play “Three Tall Women” in 1995 (via Variety).
The actress died at her Malibu, California home in March 2010 at the age of 82.
Drew’s fictional father on “The Drew Carey Show,” George Carey, was played by actor Stanley Anderson. George was a Korean war veteran who was known to offer dating advice to his sons, Drew and Steve.
Prior to joining the cast of “The Drew Carey Show,” Anderson had a successful career in film and theater. He began his career with the Seattle Repertory Theatre and went on to appear in Michael Bay’s movies “Armageddon,” and “The Rock,” as well as popular television shows like “Ally McBeal,” “Just Shoot Me,” and “Seinfeld.” Anderson won a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Piggy Bank,” as his family noted in his obituary (via PR Newswire). He was also known for his voiceovers in ads for Democratic candidates, and his membership in actors unions.
Anderson died at the age of 78 on June 24, 2018, several weeks after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
Debbie Lee Carrington
Drew Carey’s nemesis on “The Drew Carey Show,” Mimi, was an unforgettable presence on the show due to her heavy eye shadow, brightly colored outfits, and sarcasm. Basically, Mimi made Drew’s life in the office a living hell. On her mission to make Drew’s life miserable, Mimi took it one step further by introducing Doreen, better known as Mini Mimi, to her Winfred-Louder coworkers.
Doreen was played by Debbie Lee Carrington, an actress and stuntwoman who appeared as Thumbelina in 1990’s “Total Recall,” according to Variety. The San Jose, California-born actress began landing roles after being discovered by Little People of America in 1981 while attending the University of California, Davis. Her credits range from appearances on television series such as “The Drew Carey Show,” to stunt roles. Carrington played various parts in films and television series, including “Titanic,” “Child’s Play,” “Star Wars,” and Men in Black,” according to an obit penned by the outlet.
Carrington died in 2018 at age 58.
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