Sex And The City’s Bunny MacDougal Actress Has Passed Away, Age 93 

“Don’t hustle me, young lady. This is Chanel.”

Frances Sternhagen, the actress who played Sex And The City matriarch Bunny MacDougal, has passed away at the age of 93, leaving us to mourn one of the series’ most iconic Queen Bees.

Sternhagen was a celebrated stage actress having received two Tony Awards and three Emmy nominations over the course of her 60-year career as an actress. She starred in several small screen series, including ER, The Closer and Cheers. However, it was Sex And The City that saw her gain multi-generational fame for her portrayal of Bunny MacDougal, the villain-esque mother-in-law to Charlotte York (portrayed by Kristin Davis).

The character became beloved for her representation of ‘old money’ in New York, champion dust-ruffle decor and spitting out lines like “don’t hustle me, young lady. This is Chanel.”

Frances Sternhagen as Bunny MacDougal.

The character of Bunny saw a resurgence in popularity via the podcast Sentimental And The City, where hosts Caroline O’Donoghue and Dolly Alderton, who adored Sternhagen’s delivery of Bunny’s upper-class manners. 

The popular Every Outfit On Sex And The City Instagram also posted an image of Frances as Bunny, captioning: “Today we lost an absolute legend 💔 Rest in peace Frances Sternhagen, who embodied Charlotte’s Chanel-clad, martini-guzzling nemesis like no one else could. Bunny MacDougal forever.”

Sternhagen earned an Emmy nomination for her guest starring role on Sex And The City.

Throughout her career, Sternhagen received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her guest appearances in Sex And The City and Cheers, where she played Cliff’s (John Ratzenberger) mother. For Sex And The City, Sternhagen was nominated for the episode where she walks in on her son Trey (Kyle MacLachlan) and Charlotte having sex. 

Bunny was a fan of dust ruffles, mallards and martinis.

Sternhagen was born in January 13, 1930. She passed away on November 27, 2023 in her New York home of natural causes. 

Frances was married to actor Thomas A. Carlin from 1965 to his death in 1991. They are survived by six children, many of whom are also in show business.

Son John Carlin confirmed his mother’s death on Instagram, writing she was “beloved by many”. 

“On Monday night, Nov 27, she died peacefully at her home, a month and a half shy of her 94th birthday. I will post more soon, but for now I just want to give thanks for the remarkable gift of an artist and human being that was Frances Sternhagen,” he wrote. “She was beloved by many. I’m very lucky I was able to call her my mom, my friend, my song and dance partner. We were together last week, and we spoke Monday afternoon, said how much we loved and missed one another.”

“Fly on, Frannie. The curtain goes down on a life so richly, passionately, humbly and generously lived,” he finished the message.

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