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Camille Saviola dies at 71: Star Trek actress and Broadway vet passes away as fans lead tributes


Camille Saviola dies at 71: Star Trek actress and Broadway vet passes away as fans lead tributes










Camille Saviola, known for her role as Star Trek’s Kai Opaka, has died at the age of 71.

The actress also starred in various other TV shows throughout her 25-year career, as well as on Broadway.  

Her cause of death is currently unknown.

Gone too soon: Camille Saviola, known for her role as Star Trek's Kai Opaka, has died at the age of 71

Gone too soon: Camille Saviola, known for her role as Star Trek’s Kai Opaka, has died at the age of 71

The news was first reported by Star Trek fan site Memory Alpha before tributes began flooding in from friends and fans.

Leading the tributes to the late entertainer was her friend Harvey Fierstein.

Friday morning he took to Twitter to share a photo of the two and write: ‘Camille Saviola…. How could you leave us like this? She was a friend for 40 years who could always be counted on for a laugh, a shoulder or a kick I. The a**. The Italian Godmother of Soul! Farewell.’ 

Imprint: Camille's role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a religious leader had a lasting effect

Imprint: Camille’s role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a religious leader had a lasting effect

In tribute: One Star Trek enthusiast said, 'Kai Opaka was only seen on screen in 2 episodes, but what an impact she had on the fabric of DS9. Wishing actor Camille Saviola’s family love and peace. She will live on in the hearts of Trekkies everywhere'

In tribute: One Star Trek enthusiast said, ‘Kai Opaka was only seen on screen in 2 episodes, but what an impact she had on the fabric of DS9. Wishing actor Camille Saviola’s family love and peace. She will live on in the hearts of Trekkies everywhere’

Wilson Cruz also appeared on the app to pay tribute.

‘What a presence this woman was! My heart is heavy. My love to Camille’s family and family of friends throughout the industry. She will be missed,’ he said and hashtagged her name.  

And Dan Bucatinsky acknowledged the actress’ passing as he wrote, ‘RIP #CamilleSaviola. Wildly talented. We are all better for having had you with us.’

Camille’s role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a religious leader had a lasting effect. One Star Trek enthusiast said: ‘Kai Opaka was only seen on screen in 2 episodes, but what an impact she had on the fabric of DS9. Wishing actor Camille Saviola’s family love and peace. She will live on in the hearts of Trekkies everywhere.’

And another fan said: ‘She was brilliant at introducing us to the mysticism of the Prophets.’ 

Funny! The Bronx native appeared in a 1994 episode of Friends alongside Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer during a laundromat scene

Funny! The Bronx native appeared in a 1994 episode of Friends alongside Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer during a laundromat scene

Cameo appearance: Saviola played a feisty patron who gave Aniston's character Rachel a hard time about a saved washing machine

Cameo appearance: Saviola played a feisty patron who gave Aniston’s character Rachel a hard time about a saved washing machine

Laundry spat: Bringing spunk and sass to the screen, the industry vet had a showdown with Jen's timid and unassuming character before Schwimmer's embodiment of Ross stepped in

Laundry spat: Bringing spunk and sass to the screen, the industry vet had a showdown with Jen’s timid and unassuming character before Schwimmer’s embodiment of Ross stepped in

The performer has numerous credits to her name in TV and film, including stints on ER, NYPD Blue, Entourage, and Younger. 

The Bronx native appeared in a 1994 episode of Friends alongside Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer during a famously funny laundromat scene.

Saviola played a feisty patron who gave Aniston’s character Rachel a hard time about a saved washing machine. 

Bringing spunk and sass to the screen, the industry vet had a showdown with Jen’s timid and unassuming character before Schwimmer’s embodiment of Ross stepped in. 

Saviola’s stage work included a role as Mama Maddelena in Nine, Carol in Angry Housewives, and most recently a revival of the role Matron ‘Mama’ Morton in Chicago.

The beloved performer was born on July 16, 1950 in Bronx, New York. 

She was a graduate of Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art.

In the 70s the artist was the lead singer in the band Margo Lewis Explosion, which earned a disco contract. 

On stage: Saviola's stage work included a role as Mama Maddelena in Nine, Carol in Angry Housewives, and most recently Matron 'Mama' Morton in Chicago; seen with Allison Jones in What A Pair! A Celebration of Women's Duets from Broadway Musicals

On stage: Saviola’s stage work included a role as Mama Maddelena in Nine, Carol in Angry Housewives, and most recently Matron ‘Mama’ Morton in Chicago; seen with Allison Jones in What A Pair! A Celebration of Women’s Duets from Broadway Musicals

The showbiz veteran also worked with Woody Allen a number of times.

Her debut film was the director’s Broadway Danny Rose. She would later reconnect with him for The Purple Rose of Cairo. 

In 1991 they collaborated again for Shadows and Fog. 





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