Edith Fore Heart Failure, Edith Fore, 81, the Mount Ephraim resident who turned a hip injury into the famous television commercial line “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” died Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden.
The cause of death was heart failure following multiple illnesses, said her daughter, Patricia Fore Logan. Mrs. Fore had suffered from osteoporosis for many years.
A native of Scranton, she lived in Mount Ephraim for 43 years before moving to Collingswood Manor two years ago.
Mrs. Fore became nationally known when she was featured in commercials for Lifecall America Inc., a medical-alert system. The first commercial, which appeared in July 1990, was a reenactment of a 1989 fall that Mrs. Fore took in her Mount Ephraim home.
“She was walking toward the front door and tripped over her own foot, and her head was bleeding,” said her daughter. “She pushed the Lifecall monitor button, and they responded through the hallway monitor asking her what had happened.
“She responded, ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.’ ” The 1989 fall led to her fame in commercials, radio talk shows, television and comedy appearances
Still, her rise to fame was not automatic. Mrs. Fore was one of several Lifecall customers asked to audition for the commercials, her daughter said.
Born and raised in Scranton, Pa., Mrs. Fore was originally named Italia Americana DeVirgilis, but a teacher put down her name as Edith when registering her for school, her daughter said.
A graduate of Central High School in Scranton, Mrs. Fore earned her nursing certificate from State General Hospital School for Nursing in Scranton in 1938.
She was a school nurse for many years. She worked in Audubon Park and later in Westville until retiring 14 years ago.
Mrs. Fore was a member of a local fund-raising chapter of Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, and she also raised funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mount Ephraim and its mothers’ class for 45 years.
Mrs. Fore enjoyed watching ice hockey and was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, watching their games from the intensive-care unit.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, George C. 3d; and four grandchildren. She was the widow of George Fore, who died in 1988.
Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. today at the First United Methodist Church, Eighth and Centre Avenues, Mount Ephraim.