By Lynette Rice
Updated May 07, 2011 at 05:15 AM EDT
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Sada Thompson, the TV and stage actress best known for playing a no-nonsense mom in the ABC drama Family, died of lung disease, the Los Angeles Times reports. The actress, who lived in Southbury, Conn., was 83.

Thompson earned four Emmy nominations — and won in 1978 — for her memorable role as Kate Lawrence on Family. The immensely relatable drama, which also starred Meredith Baxter and Kristy McNichol, aired on ABC from 1976 to 1980.

Baxter, who played Thompson’s older daughter Nancy in the series, released this statement to the Times: “It saddens me greatly that she’s gone. She was a formidable teacher and a wonderful woman. I admired her greatly.”

Thompson also earned Obie and Drama Desk awards for her role in “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” which opened off-Broadway in 1970. She made numerous TV appearances after Family made her a household name, including guest-starring roles in The Love Boat, Father Dowling Mysteries, Cheers and Law & Order.