Parks and Recreation Scene Stealer Helen Slayton-Hughes Dead at 92

Helen Slayton-Hughes, a prolific character actress who played Ethel Beavers on Parks and Recreation, has died at the age of 92.

Slayton-Hughes’ family confirmed the news in a Facebook post: “To the friends and fans of our beloved Helen, Helen passed away last night. Her pain has ended but her fierce spirit lives on. Thank you for the love and support of her and her work.”

She got a late start in Hollywood, not earning her first film or TV credit until she was 50 years old. But she compiled an impressive resume of comedic roles, with appearances on New Girl, Arrested Development and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, along with dramas like The West Wing and NYPD Blue.

But she was best known as saucy court stenographer Ethel Beavers on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. She debuted in Season 3, going on to appear in 11 episodes, including the 2015 series finale, where Ethel confessed to a decades-long affair with the town’s newly deceased mayor.

Aubrey Plaza, who co-starred with Slayton-Hughes on Parks and Rec, shared a sweet tribute to the late actress on Instagram: “It was always Ethel Beavers. Always. Rest in Peace Helen. You were so loved and admired and I wanna be you when I grow up.”