Angela Paton, whose dozens of credits include playing an innkeeper in the Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day, died Thursday in Oakland, CA. She was 86. Her nephew told the Associated Press that she had been in hospice care since a recent heart attack.
Paton had a long career in local Bay Area theater and appeared briefly on Broadway in 1969’s The Three Sisters and 1980’s Passione, starring
Jerry Stiller. She was in her late 50s when she began to land TV guest spots on such popular series as Thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, Hunter and Quantum Leap. She also did a six-episode arc of Falcon Crest and appeared in the early-’90s features Flatliners and Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael before getting the role for which she’s best remembered.
Groundhog Day opened at No. 1 in February 1993 and went on to gross $70.1M and become a repeated-view favorite. SNL alum Murray starred as a grumpy weatherman who began living the same day over and over again (remember the song that played on his alarm clock every morning?). Paton played Mrs. Lancaster, the kind-spirited innkeeper who asked Murray’s Phil multiple times, “Will you be checking out today, Mr. Connors?”
Paton continued to work steadily well into this decade, racking up more than 90 credits including TV’s Star Trek: Voyager, NYPD Blue, ER, Home Improvement, Cybill, Dharma & Greg, JAG, My Name Is Earl and Medium. She also appeared on the big screen in such films as The Wedding Singer, Joe Dirt, Lolita, American Wedding and Red Eye.
Paton also appeared on Broadway, opposite Jim Parsons in the short-lived 2012 revival of Harvey.