Jackie Burroughs, RIP

I don’t have time right now for as full a post as her career deserves, but actress Jackie Burroughs has died of cancer at the age of 71.

I will always think of her first as Hetty from Road To Avonlea, because I watched that show regularly for its first couple of seasons, and because she was unforgettably good — it’s not easy to play a character who is essentially good and sympathetic without being “nice,” and she always nailed it from the very first episode: in that episode she was supposed to come off as unlikable at first, and gradually melt, and she played it so that the viewer would dislike her just enough at the beginning, without disliking her so much that we could never like her by the end. And she was playing a character who, I believe, was created for the series (as sort of a Marilla clone) so she had to do it without all that much guidance from the books.

She was so good that she was even memorably creepy — genuinely scary, really — as the voice of the evil book from The Care Bears Movie.