A prolific, though largely unsung performer of stage and screen, Randee Heller was a consummate character actress who essayed hard-working, often brassy women, including numerous mothers, teachers, and the occasional judge. But it took a good 40 years to earn her breakout role playing the ancient Miss Blankenship on "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007- ). A veteran of Broadway in the 1970s, Heller moved to Los Angeles at the end of the decade and worked steadily on television and in films, including a turn as one of the first lesbian television characters on "Soap" (ABC, 1977-1981) and as Ralph Macchio's mother in "The Karate Kid" (1984) and "The Karate Kid, Part III" (1989). Decades of small and silver screen appearances followed before she landed the role that brought her to national prominence, playing the elderly, shamelessly inappropriate Miss Blankenship, whose short tenure as Don Draper's secretary brought a sense of madcap comedy to the often gravely dramatic series. Heller's turn earned her a devoted fan base, and proved once again that persistence and talent paid off for those willing to wait.