Markie Post was one of my earliest TV crushes – she was the epitome of grace and class, with such a kind spirit to match.
Sadly, Markie passed away in 2021 at the age of 70.
During her last years in life, the beloved actress fought a terrible battle to stay alive.
Night Court was the kind of show that kept you laughing from start to finish, and one of the biggest stars of the ’80s series was the stunning Markie Post.
As Public Defender Christine Sullivan on the beloved NBC sitcom, Markie reached new heights in her acting career – she played the character for 159 episodes until 1992.
To me, it felt like Markie had the whole package – she had the brains, beauty, spunk, talent, and charisma. Kids who grew up in the late 1970s & 1980s know what I’m talking about – you could always see the light in her eyes, that’s where her real stardom was!
I also loved her in Chicago P.D., where she appeared as Barbara ‘Bunny’ Fletcher from 2014 to 2017. Markie managed to turn that recurring role into a major standout, showing everyone that she was pure class.
Markie Post was born in 1950 and had a privileged upbringing. She spent her childhood in Walnut Creek, California – her father was a nuclear physicist, and her mom was a poet. The actress was actually born Marjorie Post, but started using the name “Markie” when she was a kid because her siblings struggled to pronounce Marjorie.
In high school, she was a cheerleader. She studied physics in college, mainly as a result of her academic upbringing, but by her own admission, Markie ”did quite poorly.”
”I was intimidated by my father. He’s the dearest man in the world, and he tried to help me through math and equations. But constantly muttering ‘It’s so easy!’ didn’t make it easy for me,” she said.
Her first steps into show business were strictly behind-the-scenes work. Prior to her acting career, Markie worked as a staff member and researcher on game shows such as Split Second and Double Dare.
“I learned more researching that game show than I did in four years of college,” Markie Post told Bill Tush when visiting his show in the 1980s.
Her efforts eventually led to guest appearances on series like Cheers and Hart to Hart. In 1977, Markie switched to acting full-time. Markie Post really made her mark on television through portraying bail bondswoman Terri Michaels on The Fall Guy.
The adventure series, which ran from 1982 to 1986, proved to be Markie’s breakthrough. Yet pretty soon after her debut on The Fall Guy, she got bored of playing the role of Terri and started to search for more challenging projects.
”I am very functionary on the show,” Markie told The Times and Democrat in 1984.
”I am like the tape at the beginning of Mission: Impossible. But, on occasion, they bring me into the caper and that makes it more exciting.”
In 1985, Markie signed the contract that would change her life. After a successful guest appearance on Night Court’s second season, producers at NBC convinced Markie to take on the new female lead in the third season.
Markie’s acting on Night Court was fabulous and helped to catapult her into stardom.
”Audiences are crazy about our show,” she told Courier-Post in 1986.
The talented and versatile actress had been working hard to reach the top – she was paid $400,000 per year for her work on the ABC sitcom.
”I was not a big visualizer. I was sort of a leap in and see what happens kind of person. Really honestly I used to characterize myself in terms of my career as being like Wile E. Coyote, running out on a cliff and everything’s groovy until you look down and then you fall. So I just was not going to look down and just keep working, trying to take things as they came,” she told Patch in 2011.
Starring as kindhearted public defender Christine Sullivan, Markie captured the heart of many a young man. Her acting skills were great, and like many actresses from the 80s, she was drop-dead gorgeous to boot. According to Markie herself, mind, she wasn’t anything special.
”I’m no sexual siren. I see prettier girls than me in the grocery store every day,” Markie once said.
However, her stunning, breathtaking beauty really shone through the television screen and propelled her head first into a prolific acting career. As an actress, she used both her father’s and mother’s personalities, endeavoring to combine them into one.
”My passionate, emotional side, that’s my mother’s, but it’s tempered by my father’s logic and precision,” she explained.
With a career spanning over three decades, her acting credits really speak for themselves. For a younger audience, she is perhaps most recognizable for playing the mother in the 1998 cult classic There’s Something About Mary.
In addition to a successful career in Hollywood, Markie also had an admirable marriage. Everything started in the early 1980s when she met Michael A. Ross at an acting class. The couple married shortly after that and settled in Toluca Lake outside Los Angeles, near Bob Hope’s mansion.
Markie and Michael A. Ross raised two beautiful daughter, Kate and Daisy. The acting couple had a strong marriage and often worked side by side, helping each other in their profession.
When asked about the secret behind her long marriage in 2011, Markie replied:
”We just decided that no matter what, dead or alive, we’re getting to the end of our lives together. You have that as your goal, you know that it’s going to be boring sometimes. You know it’s going to be hard. You can get on each other’s nerves. All that stuff is sort of a given. It is. You can’t be spoiled and think that life is always going to be wonderful all the time, but if it’s wonderful 80 percent of the time, you’re really lucky.”
Markie Post and Michael Ross were married for 39 years before tragedy struck.
Markie Post death
Sadly, Markie passed away on August 7, 2021, just three months away from celebrating her 71st birthday.
The last years of her life were plagued by sickness. She endured a four-year-long battle with cancer, but tried to live as normally as possible despite undergoing chemotherapy. It’s unknown what kind of cancer she had.
According to Deadline, she remained active and worked on several TV projects before her death. Among other things, she held down a recurring guest role on the ABC series The Kids Are Alright.
“But for us, our pride is in who she was in addition to acting; a person who made elaborate cakes for friends, sewed curtains for first apartments and showed us how to be kind, loving and forgiving in an often harsh world,” her family said in a statement.
Markie referred to her cancer treatment as her ”side job” – and she remained strong until her last breath. Following her passing, many of Markie’s shocked paid tribute to her.
One of the most heartbreaking messages came from actress Melissa Joan Hart, who worked together with Markie in Holiday in Handcuffs.
“I’m heartbroken to lose an angel here on earth! My dear friend and TV mother [Markie Post] is finally at rest after a long hard battle with cancer. I can’t describe what she meant to me, the friendship we had and the kindness she demonstrated for me… Love you so much Markie! You will be forever missed!,” Melissa wrote on Instagram.
Markie always seemed so kind, strong & confident every time I saw her on a show or in interviews.
I’m so sorry to hear about her passing. I didn’t know she was fighting cancer. She was such a good actress and I always enjoyed her performances.
Rest in peace Markie and thanks for your contribution to the creative arts!