As TMZ reported on Thursday, July 16, Ferrell was transferred to a long-term care facility following weeks of hospitalization in an intensive care unit. She was admitted in May with an illness potentially related to an infection she suffered in late 2019, or early 2020. While in the ICU, Ferrell went into cardiac arrest.
Based a statement from Ferrell's husband, Arnie Anderson, the report detailed that Ferrell was then being housed in a respiratory unit and had been placed on a respirator and dialysis.
Ferrell is survived by Anderson, her daughter, Samantha, and two step-daughters.
Ferrell portrayed Berta, a sassy, wise-cracking housekeeper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men beginning in 2003. She appeared on all 12 seasons the show was on air, in 212 episodes in total.
Ferrell's character doted on series lead Charlie Sheen, who portrayed the hedonistic, womanizing musician Charlie Harper, and showed great disdain for Jon Cryer's supporting character, Alan, Charlie's younger, out-of-luck divorcee brother. Alan was forced to move into Charlie's Malibu mansion with his young son, Jake (Angus T. Jones), as a result of splitting with his wife.
Ferrell was twice nominated for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, losing to Doris Roberts for Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005 and Jaime Pressly for My Name is Earl in 2007. In a 2014 interview with The A.V. Club, she confirmed Berta was only supposed to appear in a two-episode arc before quitting because of Alan and Jake's presence.
"Then they called me in to do a third show, and when they did, they said, 'I'm going to bring her back.' And I went, 'Well, I really hope you do, because I really like her.' And they said, 'I like her, too.' So that first year, I think I did eight or nine shows — I was a guest star all year — and then the beginning of the second season, he just put me in the house. He liked me in the house. And I loved being in the house," Ferrell said.
In addition to her role on Two and a Half Men and other television credits, Ferrell appeared in numerous feature films. She appeared in 2002's Mr. Deeds as Jan, a retired rodeo clown who worked in a pizzeria and was a good friend of the film's man character, Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler).
Prior to that, Ferrell appeared in a supporting role in 2000's Erin Brockovich, alongside Julia Roberts in the title role. Ferrell portrayed Brenda, charged with telling Erin she was fired by her boss, Ed Masry (Albert Finney), for missing work for a week, which made for a memorable confrontation.
Before working together on Erin Brockovich, Ferrell and Roberts both appeared in 1988's Mystic Pizza. The former played the role of Leona, owner of the titular restaurant at which sisters Kat (Annabeth Gish) and Daisy (Roberts) worked with their friend, Jojo (Lili Taylor), in the coming-of-age tale.