Dec. 7, 2013, 1:50 PM EST
By Tim Kenneally
Actress Kate Williamson, whose extensive credits include a run on the Ellen DeGeneres comedy "Ellen," died Friday night after a period of failing health.
Williamson's death comes mere weeks after the death of her husband, actor Al Ruscio, who died at age 89 on Nov. 12.
The actress died surrounded by her four children at her Encino, Calif., home.
Born Robina Jane Sparks to actress/singer Nydia Westman and producer/writer Salathiel Robert Sparks, Williamson's decades-long acting career included the 1994 Barry Levinson film "Disclosure," the 2002 film "Dahmer," which starred Jeremy Renner as cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and the 1993 James Spader film "Dream Lover."
On the television side, Williamson appeared on "Falcon Crest," "Beauty and the Beast," "Murder, She Wrote," "JAG" and "7th Heaven," among many more.
Willliamson and Ruscio married in 1954, and had four children together — actress and poet Elizabeth Ruscio, director and editor Michael Ruscio, production designer Nina Ruscio and teacher Maria Ruscio.
Judy Fox, who managed both Williamson and Ruscio, remembers Williamson as a "lovely character actress, like Al." Fox told TheWrap that the pair "have raised a remarkably talented family. A wonderful legacy. No doubt Kate and Al are together, dancing in the heavens & free at last from debilitating illnesses."
Williamson is also survived by five grandchildren.
WILLIAMSON, Kate (Robina Jane Sparks)
Born: 1930, U.S.A.
Died: 12/6/2013, Encino, California, U.S.A.
Kate Willimason’s westerns – actress:
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1980 (nurse #2)
The Hi-Lo Country – 1998 (Mrs. Young)