Actress Heather North, recognized for her role as Daphne on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, has died at the age of 71. The news was confirmed by Jodie Mann, a family friend. North reportedly died after a long illness on November 30 at her home in Studio City, California. At this time, the exact illness has not been disclosed.
Heather North began her career in the 60s with small roles on various TV shows such as Paradise Bay and The Fugitive. She got her biggest break when she took over as the voice of Daphne, the redheaded girl of the gang, on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, in the second season in 1970. She would continue to voice the role of Daphne in various Scooby-Doo projects for 33 years. Her final credited role is as Daphne in 2003's Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico. Seventeen writer Stacey Grant had this to say following the news of North's passing.
"Heather North, the longtime voice actress of Daphne from #ScoobyDoo, has reportedly died. Thanks for teaching me '70s slang, Daph."
In addition to her role as Daphne, Heather North is also known for starring alongside a young Kurt Russell in Disney's The Barefoot Executive in 1971. In the movie, She plays Russell's love interest, with the plot centering on an ambitious mailroom clerk and a chimpanzee who can predict which TV shows will be successful. North also had a role on NBC's long-running soap opera, Days of Our Lives. During her several year stint on the series, she met her husband, H. Wesley Kenney, who was an Emmy-winning producer. He's also known for helming the progressive series All in the Family, in addition to his work directing soap operas. The two were married until his death in 2015. Comedian Akeem Lawanson had this to say about North on Twitter.
"Rest In Peace to Heather North (71), the voice of Daphne. We lost an amazingly talented woman today, with an iconic voice."
Though known best as Daphne, Heather North had a long career and has more than 35 acting credits to her name, both in front of the camera and as a voice actress. Some of her other notable roles, aside from Scooby-Doo and Days of Our Lives, include the movie Git!, which was released in 1965. She also appeared on classic TV shows, such as Green Acres, The Monkees, Gidget, and My Three Sons. She also had a brief run on Broadway in the 1967 play The Girl in the Freudian Slip, starring alongside Marjorie Lord and Alan Young.
Heather North is survived by her son, Kevin, daughter-in-law, Stephanie, her stepdaughter, Nina, stepson, Wes Kenney, six step-grandchildren and nine step-great-grandchildren, per Deadline. RIP, Heather North. You can check out some social media reactions to the news of North's passing for yourself below.