Actress Elizabeth Hoffman has passed away at the age of 97, leaving fans of film and television to celebrate a career that came later in life and spanned two decades.
Hoffman played Catherine Langford in a pair of memorable guest appearances on Stargate SG-1, beginning with one of Season One’s best hours — rescuing her long-lost fiancé (played by the late, great Keene Curtis) in “The Torment of Tantalus.” She returned as an alternate universe version of the character in “There But For the Grace of God.”
Langford was the daughter of the archaeologist who discovered the Stargate, and who spent most of her life working to make the Stargate program a reality. Hoffman took over the role from Viveca Lindfors, who originated it in Stargate’s 1994 feature film. Lindfors died in 1995.
Hoffman’s son confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter says that she died of natural causes at her home in Malibu on August 21. She was 97 years old.
Elizabeth Hoffman was born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1927. Her screen career began in 1980 with a guest appearance as Miss Mason on Little House on the Prairie. This was followed by a string of guest spots on shows like The A-Team and The Greatest American Hero. She then played First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1983’s miniseries The Winds of War (reprising the role in 1988’s War and Remembrance), a role she later said was the one that resonated most with her.
She later had a recurring roles on Matlock and Thirtysomething, and for six seasons co-starred on NBC’s Sisters as Bea, the family matriarch. On the big screen Hoffman was featured in the 1997 volcano disaster movie Dante’s Peak, starring Pierce Brosnan.
And of course science fiction fans will also recognize the actress as Bhavani, leader of the Barzan people who were negotiating access to a newly discovered wormhole in the episode “The Price.” This gave Hoffman the chance to act under prosthetics.
Although Hoffman’s work on Stargate SG-1 in 1998 marked her final role on screen, she did return to the stage before retiring.
She spoke with GateWorld in 2006, saying that she worked in her career to bring honesty to the roles that she played. “I’ve been so lucky to have played so many [characters]. I’ve done Tennessee Williams in the “Streetcar [Named Desire]” and I’ve done four of his plays. Arthur Miller and Chekhov. Virginia Woolf. I’ve just been so privileged. I hope that I have infused these things with as much honesty as I could bring. I’ve always worked toward that goal.”
Be sure to listen to this very special conversation here.
Our best wishes go to Elizabeth’s family and friends as they grieve her loss and celebrate her life.