Maxine Stuart's stage, film and television career spanned more than six decades, including a recurring role on the soap opera "The Edge of Night" and a guest spot on a memorable episode of "The Twilight Zone."
But she was equally well known to readers of Helene Hanff's nonfiction books "84, Charing Cross Road" and "Underfoot in Show Business" as Hanff's deliciously dizzy sidekick in their attempts to make it on Broadway in the 1930s and '40s.
Ms. Stuart, who died June 6 at 94, makes several cameo appearances in "84," as the book is known to its ardent fans. First published in 1970, it is an epistolary memoir of Hanff's long correspondence with the staff of a London bookshop. (In the 1987 film version of the book, starring Anne Bancroft as Hanff, Ms. Stuart is played by Jean De Baer. Hanff died in 1997.)
In "Underfoot," Ms. Stuart is a genuine co-star. That book, published in 1962, recounts Hanff's years in New York City as a struggling playwright in tandem with Ms. Stuart's as a struggling actress.
The warm, adventurous, impecunious friendship of the two young women began in the late 1930s in the backstage ladies' room of the Morosco Theater, after Hanff saw one of the many flops in which Ms. Stuart seemed condemned to appear.
Maxine Shlivek was born on June 28, 1918, in Deal, N.J., and reared in Lawrence, on Long Island, and New York City.
Her film credits include "Days of Wine and Roses" (1962) and "Private Benjamin" (1980). On television, she portrayed the stenographer Grace O'Keefe on "The Edge of Night."
Ms. Stuart was seen on dozens of other shows, including "Perry Mason," "Dr. Kildare," "Chicago Hope" and "The Wonder Years," for which she received a 1989 Emmy nomination as Kevin's piano teacher.