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The Devastating Death Of West Side Story's Yvonne Wilder

Yvonne Wilder, the actress known for role as Consuelo in 1961's "West Side Story," has died at the age of 84, according to Variety. The publication further reports that the actress died on November 24 at her home in Los Angeles. A cause of death was not included in the obituary. Per Variety, Wilder is survived by her husband of 21 years, Zach Kleiman, as well as a son, Chris, and two grandchildren.

Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and Russ Tamblyn, all co-stars of Wilder's in "West Side Story," spoke to TCM about their time working on the film back in May (via Entertainment Weekly). Both Moreno and Chakiris pointed to Wilder's humorous personality as key to the film's success, including one line spoken in the song "America" that was improvised by Wilder.

"Yvonne Wilder had an extraordinary, unique sense of humor," Chakiris told TCM. "I did the play in London with Yvonne so I knew her before the movie. But Yvonne's humor was adopted by all of us."

Wilder's last credited film appearance came in 1993 in the role of Mrs. Dorf in "Dorf Goes Fishing," alongside Tim Conway (via IMDb). According to Variety, Wilder largely turned away from acting in the 1990s, instead preferring to focus on her artwork. Some of her work has appeared at the Santa Monica Art Institute (via yvonnewilder-watercolors.com).

She also appeared in Full House and a number of other productions

Credited then as Yvonne Othon, the 1961 adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway play marked the actress's very first film role at the young age of 24 (via IMDb). She had previously played the role of Anita in a West End production of the play (via Variety). IMDb also credits Wilder as a vocal performer on two "West Side Story" songs: "America," one of the most popular pieces of music to come from the production, and "I Feel Pretty."

In addition to her role in the original "West Side Story" film, readers might recognize Wilder from her seven appearances on "Full House," in which she played Irene Katsopolis, the mother-in-law of Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) and the grandmother to his children. Wilder played the role beginning in Season 2, replacing actress Rhoda Gemignani (via IMDb). 

Wilder also starred in the first season of the 1977 ABC sitcom "Operation Petticoat" in the series regular role of Major Edna Howard. She also appeared in all 13 episodes of the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Condo," which aired in 1983. Wilder's additional television roles over the years include guest spots on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Partridge Family," and "Archie Bunker's Place," among others.