The actress Carol Ann Susi, best known for playing Mrs Wolowitz passed away on the 11th November of this year following a brief battle with cancer.

The actress delighted thousands of viewers by being a recurring member of cast whilst never making an on screen appearance on The Big Bang Theory. The actress would sit upstairs and interact with the cast based purely on the ever changing script and their voices. This settles many fans beliefs that Mrs Wolowitz was played by Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) and that the actresses’ interjections were pre-recorded. This demonstrates a great deal of skill, for voice actors they can usually take as much or little time as they need and do as many recordings as they want, in Carol’s case there is only really one shot, as it is filmed live in front of a live audience who don’t like to be kept waiting or watching school boy mistakes, which takes serious guts. Not to mention that her other screen work includes: Grey’s Anatomy, The King of Queens and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Her fellow cast members form the hit show have paid many tributes to the star commenting on how brilliant she was and how missed she will be. CBS, Warner Bros and the producers of The Big Bang Theory commented on her “immense talent and comedic timing,” and that they will “miss her greatly”. Kunal Nayyar (who plays Raj Koothrappali) tweeted “My heart is broken. I will miss your smile. Your spirit is forever with us.” Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) also tweeted “yes Carol Ann Susi passed away. The beloved voice of Mrs Wolowitz and our dear friend castmate. Rough day”, Susi’s death will probably affect Bialik more than the others as she first met her future cast member while filming the hit TV series Blossom when she was a child star. Which just shows that after working with the same people for almost eight years you get attached.

Hollywood Reporter

What does this mean for The Big Bang Theory? Either a lot will change or nothing at all. For those of you who have not caught the most recent series let me tell you that Howard is still a mommy’s boy. But now that the beloved actress is no longer with them what will they do? It seems they have two routes they could take, either cut the character and dedicate that episode to Carol Ann or hire someone else. The prior gives the writers the opportunity to do an episode about the importance of telling people you love that you love them, it would force Howard to grow a pair and fend completely for himself without having to worry about his mother and it would give them the opportunity to see what they an do with the other characters surrounding this tragedy. The latter has been attempted in many TV and film series from Dad’s Army to Harry Potter.

However this has a tendency to backfire for no other reason than that it appears disrespectful, pretending that this person will fill the shoes of the previous actor. But a writer has to write what a writer has to write and in this case they have to do what best suits the programme, as the character has previously suffered a “heart-attack-like-event” it is plausible that she will die of an illness brought on by her morbid obesity, which would also win them brownie points for raising awareness for the disease. But in doing this they may rush Howard’s emotional maturity and make it look more like depression. I suppose the final question is; if they kill off Mrs Wolowitz will Mr Wolowitz come back into the picture? In my case a writer has to write what a writer has to write without being wrong, therefore being right, so in all honesty I do not know.

What I do know is that the industry has taken a real hit this week, a loss of an incredibly diverse actor that was probably not the most appreciated as much as she should have been. I speak on behalf of Tea Break when offering her family the most sincere condolences for the loss of a woman taken far too soon. To the woman that brought us joy through our teenage years, thank you and rest in peace Carol Ann Susi.


Charly Spirling


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