Verna Bloom, who was a scene-stealer in “Animal House” as the alcoholic wife of Dean Wormer, died Wednesday of complications from dementia, Variety reports. She was 80.
Though she appeared in a slew of television shows and movies throughout her decades-long career, her most famous role came in 1978, when she starred in the frat comedy as Marion Wormer.
Her character’s husband, the dean of Faber College, spent the entire film on a mission to boot the trouble-making Deltas from campus – but that didn’t stop his wife from dropping by one of the frat’s toga parties.
In a particularly memorable scene, Bloom’s drunken character sleeps with ladies’ man Otter (played by Tim Matheson) in a room decked floor to ceiling in cheetah print.
Bloom was born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1938, and made her film debut in 1969 with “Medium Cool.”
Her role as a single mother amid the backdrop of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago earned her a Best Actress nominee at the 1970 National Society of Film Critics Awards.
The Boston University alum was featured in episodes of shows like “The Equalizer,” “Cagney & Lacey,” “Kojak” and “Bonanaza,” as well as in films like Clint Eastwood’s “High Plains Drifter,” “The Hired Hand” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ.”
Her final acting role came in 2003, when she appeared on an episode of “The West Wing,” her first role in 10 years.