Barbara Bosson was an American actress who rose to fame in the 1980s for her role on the iconic TV series Hill Street Blues. Though she achieved success and critical acclaim for her work on the show, her life away from the screen was filled with tragedy. In this blog post, we take a look at the heartbreaking real-life story of Barbara Bosson.

Early Life

Barbara Bosson was born on November 11, 1939, in New York City. She was raised in Scarsdale, a town in Westchester County, New York. She attended Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama.

At Vassar, she became involved in theater productions, studying with Pauline Koner, and later joined the Eva Le Gallienne Repertory Company. She also acted in summer stock productions in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

After graduating from Yale in 1961, Bosson moved to Los Angeles and worked as an assistant director for the Mark Taper Forum. Her stage career soon blossomed, with roles on Broadway in “The Subject Was Roses,” “That Summer, That Fall,” and “Forty Carats.” She also had parts in a number of television movies, including the 1970 movie “The Name of the Game Is Kill” and the 1971 movie “The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker.”

The Tragic Real-Life Story of Barbara Bosson


Barbara Bosson began her acting career in the late 1960s and found success in numerous roles. She starred in the TV movie That Certain Summer alongside Scott Jacoby and Martin Sheen, as well as appearing in several episodes of the detective show Mannix.

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In 1981, Bosson landed the role of Fay Furillo on the groundbreaking police drama Hill Street Blues. Her character was a city councilwoman married to Sgt. Esterhaus (Michael Conrad). Bosson’s performance earned her consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986.

After Hill Street Blues, Bosson appeared in several other television series, including Remington Steele, The Commish, Jake and the Fatman, and Private Eye. She also appeared in feature films such as Marie (1985), Georgia (1995), and Intolerable Cruelty (2003).

In 2005, Bosson returned to television with a recurring role on the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. She played Elisabeth Perkins, the mother of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). Bosson had a short stint on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless in 2007, before retiring from acting.

Personal Life

Barbara Bosson was married twice in her life. Her first marriage was to actor Richard Jordan from 1964-1967. The couple had one child together, a daughter named Kaitlin.

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In 1984, she married writer and producer Steven Bochco. Together, they had two children, Sean and Jesse.

In 2001, tragedy struck when her husband Steven Bochco was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite the fact that he underwent aggressive treatments, he eventually passed away in 2018. Bosson was by his side until his last breath.

The death of her husband left Bosson utterly devastated. She channeled her grief into her activism, frequently appearing at various cancer awareness events. She was even able to find solace in performing on stage, as it gave her an opportunity to remember Bochco and keep his memory alive.


Barbara Bosson tragically passed away on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. She was 78 years old at the time of her death. Her death was announced by her daughter, Melissa Gilbert, who shared the news of her passing on Twitter.

Bosson’s cause of death was not made public but it was reported that she had been suffering from an illness prior to her death.

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Her passing was met with an outpouring of grief from fans, friends and colleagues alike. Many paid tribute to the beloved actress, praising her for her hard work and dedication to the craft of acting. Even after her death, Bosson’s legacy continues to live on through her memorable roles.

By Bio Life Story Team

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