Actress Elena Verdugo, who is remembered for her long-running role as Consuelo Lopez on ABC 1969-76 medical drama “Marcus Welby, MD.,” died Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 92. Her longtime friend (and “Marcus Welby” co-star) Sharon Gless broke the news on social media.
Born on April 20, 1925, Verdugo made numerous film appearances through the 1940s, including Abbott & Costello comedy “Little Giant” where she met and married screenwriter Charles R. Marion. Verdugo also appeared opposite Lon Chaney Jr. in Universal horror films “House of Frankenstein” (as the sympathetic gypsy girl Ilonka) and “The Frozen Ghost,” and in the adventure-themed “Thief of Damascus.”
Verdugo’s first regularly scheduled TV role was on sitcom “Meet Millie,” which aired from 1952 to 1956. Next was 1963 western “Redigo,” which was followed by multiple appearances on “The New Phil Silvers Show” in 1964. She appeared regularly in two additional comedies prior to “Marcus Welby” – “Many Happy Returns” in 1964-65 and “Mona McClusky” in 1965-66.
Verdugo worked only sporadically after “Marcus Welby,” with her last acting credit for 1985 made-for television movie “Suburban Beat” with Dee Wallace and Shelley Fabares.