Janet MacLachlan was a well-regarded stage, television, and feature film actress, probably best known for her significant supporting part as a sympathetic schoolteacher in Martin Ritt's acclaimed 1972 film, "Sounder. " She studied acting with Sidney Poiter, and later at the Herbert Berghof Acting Studio and the Little Theatre of Harlem. She gained confidence and made a strong impression with audiences on and off Broadway in the late 1950s and early 1960s before moving to Los Angeles where she worked steadily in television, including small parts on the action sereis "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E," "The Fugitive," and the crime drama series "The Mod Squad," to name just a few. Three of her most prominent roles were as Bill Cosby's girlfriend on the comedy series "I Spy," as Lt. Charlene Masters on an episode of the cult-classic series "Star Trek," and as housekeeper Polly Swanson on the comedy spinoff "Archie Bunker's Place." She made her feature film debut in "Up Tight!," a Black Power-fueled remake of the John Ford classic "The Informer." But unlike a lot of African-American actresses working in the 1970s, she was able to steer clear of acting in blaxploitation films, focusing instead on serious drama. Her insistence on not furthering black stereotypes led to her co-founding of the Media Forum, a group of industry people focused on ridding film and television shows of negative portrayals of African-Americans. MacLachlan died at age 77.