According to Deadline, Conchata Ferrell—best known as the tough-but-lovable housekeeper Berta on CBS’ Two And A Half Men—has died from “complications following a cardiac arrest.” She reportedly died yesterday afternoon at Sherman Oaks Hospital in California “surrounded by family.” Both original Two And A Half Men stars Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen have shared tributes to Ferrell on social media, with Cryer saying she was a “beautiful human” whose “gruff” personality on the show was completely different from her real “warmth and vulnerability.” Sheen, meanwhile, referred to her as “an absolute sweetheart,” adding, “Berta, your housekeeping was a tad suspect, your ‘people’ keeping was perfect.” Ferrell was 77.
an absolute sweetheart
a consummate pro
a genuine friend
a shocking and painful loss.
was a tad suspect,
your "people"keeping was perfect.
— Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) October 13, 2020
She was a beautiful human
Berta’s gruff exterior was an invention of the writers. Chatty’s warmth and vulnerability were her real strengths.
I’m crying for the woman I’ll miss, and the joy she brought so many. https://t.co/SucL6gFaAR
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) October 13, 2020
Ferrell was born in West Virginia in 1943 and didn’t start working in entertainment until she was in her 20s, appearing in sketch comedy shows, musicals, an award-winning performance in The Sea Horse, and the original off-Broadway run of The Hot l Baltimore. When Norman Lear turned that play into a sitcom for ABC in the ‘70s, Ferrell moved to Los Angeles to reprise her role. The show only lasted a single season, but it set the stage for prominent film roles like in 1979's Heartland and 1988's Mystic Pizza.
By the ‘90s, Ferrell had become positively prolific, with roles in Edward Scissorhands and True Romance, an Emmy-nominated run on L.A. Law, and appearances in shows like Friends and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She later showed up in Erin Brockovich, Grace And Frankie, Krampus, The Ranch, and a lengthy list of animated projects. Her most prominent role, though, was Two And Half Men, where she played Berta in over 200 episodes. As the story goes, Berta was only supposed to stick around for a few episodes early on after Alan and Jake (Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones) move in with Charle (Sheen), but Ferrell stuck around and eventually became an even bigger part of the show once Sheen’s character was killed off. Ferrell received two Emmy nominations for her time on Two And A Half Men.
She is survived by her husband, daughter, and two stepdaughters.