A show biz veteran, Audra Lindley was born into a family of actors. She got her start in Hollywood as a stand-in at an early age, and then became a stuntwoman specializing in horseback stunts. Lindley eventually moved to New York where she became a seasoned stage actress, appearing in numerous plays including Take Her, She's Mine, Long Day's Journey into Night, and On Golden Pond. Like many theater actors during the 1950s and 60s, Lindley made the move to TV soap operas, appearing in Search for Tomorrow (1962), The Edge of Night (1962), and Another World, where she played the role of meddling aunt Liz Matthews from 1964-1969. However, Lindley is best known for playing kooky, sex-starved Helen Roper on Three's Company and its spin-off, The Ropers (1977-1980), a role that garnered her a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination in 1979 (Lindley received her first Golden Globe Nomination in 1973 for her work in Bridgett Loves Birney). After The Ropers, Lindley appeared periodically on TV, most notably as Cybill Shepherd's mother on Cybill, a role she played up until her sudden death in 1997 at the age of 79 from complications related to leukemia. Lindley was married to actor James Whitmore, and had five children.
The women's liberation movement came about twenty years too late for Helen Roper, Stanley's long-suffering wife, but that's not stopping her from trying to get him to loosen up, live a little, and be a little more giving in the loving department! She enjoys having "the kids" in the building and is open to their freer way of looking at life, if only stuffy ole' Stanley could be too. Helen may seem a little kooky, with her wild kaftans and gaudy jewelry, but she knows what's going on upstairs and she's not telling Stanley. Because as much she loves him, it gives Helen a certain bit of satisfaction knowing that she's got one over on the old boy.