Marcia DeRousse, who came to the aid of the supernatural as Dr. Patricia Ludwig on the HBO drama True Blood, died Saturday in Altadena after a long illness, a publicist announced. She was 70.
She wrote on Facebook in April that a fall in her doctor’s office was going to “lead to my death,” adding that the spill “caused my hiatal hernia to move to an area where it is now dangerous.”
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The 4-foot-4 DeRousse made her big-screen debut alongside fellow little person Billy Barty in the Warner Bros. film Under the Rainbow (1981), also starring Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher. She also was in the movies Tiptoes (2002) and D.J. Caruso’s The Disappointments Room (2016).
DeRousse appeared on episodes on the Alan Ball-created True Blood during its second, fourth and seventh seasons.
A native of Doniphan, Missouri, DeRousse graduated from the University of Missouri and came to Los Angeles with her mother in 1980. She became interested in a career as an actor while teaching in the Pasadena public school system.
A chance meeting with Barty led to her appearing as one of the hotel guests in Under the Rainbow, and she followed with guest-starring turns on ABC’s The Fall Guy and NBC’s St. Elsewhere.
DeRousse, who lived in Altadena, considered Poltergeist actress Zelda Rubinstein a mentor. She was described as “an outspoken dynamo with a distinct, sharp wit,” an advocate for opportunities for the senior disabled community and a lover of cats, especially strays.
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