Bibi Osterwald
Bibi Osterwald
Veteran stage and screen actress Bibi Osterwald appears as Mrs. Penrose in the episode titled "The Catered Affair" in Season 3 of Three's Company.
Personal Information
Birth name: Margaret Virginia Osterwald
Born: (1918-02-03)3 February 1918
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Died 2 January 2002(2002-01-02) (aged 83)[1]
Deathplace: Burbank, California
Career/Family Information
Years active: 1944 to 2002, her death
Spouse(s): Justin Arndt, ?-2002, her death
Children: Christopher Arndt (Son)
two grandchildren
Character information
Appeared on: Three's Company in guest appearance
Character played: Mrs. Penrose
Three's Company Script

Margaret Virginia "Bibi" Osterwald (3 February 1918 (some sources list birth year as 1920 or 1921) - 2 January 2002) appeared as Mrs. Penrose in the episode titled "The Catered Affair" in Season three of Three's Company. A veteran actress whose career spanned five decades, during her years in film, theater and television. Osterwald often played a bevy of crusty characters, spinsters, housewives and grandmother types. Osterwald attended Catholic University in Washington, DC.


Theatre acting works

Osterwald made her debut on Broadway in the wartime revue Sing Out, Sweet Land (1944), called “A Salute to American Folk and Popular Music,” with a book by Walter Kerr and music arrangements by Elie Siegmeister. Also in the cast were the likes of notable stage/screen actors Alfred Drake and Burl Ives. In 1946 she had several roles in another revue, Three to Make Ready, appearing on stage with actors Ray Bolger and Arthur Godfrey.

Though best known for her stage work in comedies, Bibi played Madame Elizabeth in the play Look Homeward, Angel (1957). Based on Thomas Wolfe’s novel of the same name, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and had a healthy run of 564 performances. She returned to musical comedy in 1962, playing Miss Lumpe in the short-lived A Family Affair.

From 1964-71 she served as an understudy and standby for the title role in the hit Broadway production Hello Dolly! playing the part 122 times, filling in for the likes of Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Phyllis Diller, Martha Raye, Ethel Merman and others. During the 1980s she played Maggie Jones in the national touring company of 42nd Street.[2]

TV career

Bibi's television work dated back to the 1940s, and included Front Row Center, The Imogene Coca Show, Naked City and As the World Turns. During the 1970s and 1980s, she made frequent guest appearances as a genial, grandmotherly character on shows like ABC-TV's The Love Boat, and Three's Company, NBC-TV's St. Elsewhere and the CBS-TV sitcim Newhart.


Bibi died in Burbank, California 2 January 2002, succumbing to lung disease. [3]

Bibi was survived by her husband Justin Arndt, a son Christopher, a daughter-in-law Maureen and two grandchildren.


  1. Simonson, Robert (January 14, 2002). "Actress Bibi Osterwald, Original Dolly Standby, Is Dead at 81". Playbill.
  2. Bibi Osterwald - Masterworks Broadway, accessed May 2, 2013
  3. [ and-tv-actress.html "Bibi Osterwald, 83, Stage and TV Actress dies"]. New York Times. January 2, 2002. and-tv-actress.html. Retrieved May 2, 2013.

External links