NEW YORK — Markie Post, who played the public defender in the 1980s sitcom “Night Court” and was a regular presence on television for four decades, has died. She was 70.
Post’s manager, Ellen Lubin Sanitsky, said Post died Saturday in Los Angeles after a years-long battle with cancer.
Post was a longtime television regular who appeared in shows from “Cheers” to “Scrubs.” She co-starred for three seasons on “Hearts Afire,” a three-season sitcom from Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and her husband, Arkansas native Harry Thomason, that featured Arkansans Billy Bob Thornton and Clark Duke.
But she was best known for her seven-season run on NBC’s “Night Court,” the Manhattan municipal court sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992 and starred Harry Anderson as Judge Harry T. Stone.
Post became a full-time cast member of “Night Court” in season three as Christine Sullivan, a sincere and strong-willed woman who served as a constant foil to Dan Fielding, John Larroquette’s womanizing, narcissistic prosecutor. With comic rebuttal, Post’s Christine deflected Fielding’s lechery throughout the series’ run. Though an unrealized romance between Christine and Harry was often teased, “Night Court” ended with Fielding realizing the public defendant was the love of his life.
Half of the principal cast of “Night Court” has died in recent years. From season four until the series ended in season nine, the six-member cast was Anderson, Post, Larroquette, Charles Robinson, Richard Moll and Marsha Warfield. Anderson died at age 65 in 2018. In July, Charles Robinson, who played the court clerk Mac, died at 75.
NBC is currently developing a sequel to the series starring Melissa Rauch of “The Big Bang Theory” as Stone’s daughter.
Post had two daughters with her second husband, TV producer and writer Michael A. Ross. In a statement, the family said “our pride is in who she was in addition to acting; a person who made elaborate cakes for friends, sewed curtains for first apartments and showed us how to be kind, loving and forgiving in an often harsh world.”
Post started in television behind the camera, working on the production crew of the game shows “Double Dare” and “Card Sharks.” Her first series regular role was in the Lee Majors action-adventure series “The Fall Guy,” in which she played Terri Michaels from 1982 to 1985.
Post’s other credits include playing Cameron Diaz’s mother in “There’s Something About Mary”; Elliot Reid’s mother on “Scrubs”; and appearances in the shows “The Love Boat,” “The A-Team” and “Fantasy Island.” While receiving chemotherapy treatments, Post acted in the Lifetime movie “Christmas Reservations” and guest starred on the ABC series “The Kids Are Alright.”