Stanley's last Broadway appearance was in The Apple Doesn't Fall... in 1996. She had previously been seen on Broadway in What's Wrong With This Picture?, Fools, The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Glass Menagerie (as standby for Maureen Stapleton), and the original production of Fiddler on the Roof (as a replacement in the role of Yente the Matchmaker). Off-Broadway, she was seen in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play.
Her recent movies include Down With Love and the animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire (for which she provided the voice of Wilhelmina Packard). Aside from Barney Miller, she was featured in such TV shows as My Two Dads, Nurses, The Simple Life, and Fish (a Barney Miller spinoff).
Born in Chicago, Stanley studied at Northwestern University. She is survived by her husband Martin Newman, two children, and two grandchildren.