Elena Verdugo, Emmy-Nominated Actress on ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.,’ Dies at 92

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Elena Verdugo, who portrayed the devoted office assistant and nurse Consuelo Lopez opposite Robert Young on the 1970s ABC drama Marcus Welby, M.D., has died. She was 92.  Verdugo died Tuesday in Los Angeles.  Early in her career, Miss Gless had a recurring role as hospital worker Kathleen Faverty on Marcus Welby, M.D., and she and Verdugo had been extremely close ever since.marcus-welby-md

Verdugo replaced Audrey Totter as the star of the CBS Radio comedy Meet Millie and http://highlighthollywood.com/wp-admin/post-new.php#continued to play the wisecracking Brooklyn secretary Millie Bronson on the CBS television version — one of the first shows to be broadcast live from Hollywood — that ran for four seasons, from 1952 through 1956.

 

On the big screen, Verdugo appeared opposite Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1945 Universal horror films House of Frankenstein (as the sympathetic gypsy girl Ilonka) and The Frozen Ghost and in the adventure tale Thief of Damascus (1952).

 

Verdugo also was a singer and dancer. She performed in the 1940s with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra and handled the vocals on his hit “Tico Tico,” which was used in the finale of the 1945 Sonja Henie film It’s a Pleasure!.

 

 

Miss Verdugo received supporting actress Emmy nominations in 1971 and 1972 for playing the warmhearted Consuelo, whom many consider to be the first working-professional Latina woman to be portrayed on series television. Marcus Welby aired for seven seasons, from 1969-76.

 

 

A native of Los Angeles, Verdugo was a descendant of Jose Maria Verdugo, a Spanish army officer who in 1784 was granted grazing rights to a 36,000-acre area that included much of what is now Glendale, Burbank, Eagle Rock and La Crescenta.

 

Verdugo finished high school on the Fox studio lot and appeared as a dancer in the Don Ameche-Betty Grable studio musical Down Argentine Way (1940).

 

 

Verdugo’s son, actor Richard Marion (Pharmacist’s Mate Williams on TV’s Operation Petticoat), died at age 50 of an apparent heart attack in 1999.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP; IMDB
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