Her death was confirmed by her family in a Facebook post on Thursday (December 8). No cause of death has been given.
The statement read: “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.”
Born in 1930, Slayton-Hughes’ acting career didn’t begin in earnest until she was 50 years old, appearing in 1980 film Mafia On The Bounty.
Since then, she has appeared in a host of much-loved sitcoms including New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Arrested Development as well as a roles in The West Wing and True Blood.
Her most famous role came as delightfully grumpy administrator Ethel Beavers on Parks and Recreation, appearing in 11 episodes between 2011 and 2015.
See her best bits from that show alongside the tribute from her family below.
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. Rest sweet one.-With love: The Hughes family
Posted by Helen Slayton-Hughes on Thursday, December 8, 2022
After news of her death was announced, the official Parks And Recreation Twitter account wrote: Rest in peace, Helen Slayton-Hughes. Ethel Beavers will forever be in our hearts.”
Rest in peace, Helen Slayton-Hughes ❤️ Ethel Beavers will forever be in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/eofVlrCtns
— Parks and Recreation (@parksandrec) December 9, 2022
One of the show’s stars, Adam Scott, also paid tribute on Instagram, writing: “Lots of love to Helen Slayton-Hughes, her family, and to Ethel Beavers. All your friends in Pawnee will miss you.”
Aubrey Plaza, who played April Ludgate on the show, added: “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.”