Whether dispensing wisdom to children or setting their employers straight, these maids, housekeepers, cooks and butlers were pivotal characters on American television.
Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis made her debut in show business at age 6 earning $2.00 in a puppet show. At the University of Michigan, Anne planned to study medicine but got the acting bug from her brother who was the lead dancer in the national company of "Oklahoma" for over a year. Anne then spent six years in little theaters...
“ Alice Nelson on "The Brady Bunch" ” - theheritagetourist
“ Benson on "Soap" & "Benson" ” - theheritagetourist
Character actress Shirley Booth could play everything in all facets of show business, whether it was a smart-mouthed cashier on radio's "Duffy's Tavern", the sassy maid on TV's Hazel
or the pathetic woman in Come Back, Little Sheba
. For those who only know her through her sitcom, it might be hard to believe she was a seasoned theatrical veteran...
“ Hazel Burke on "Hazel" ” - theheritagetourist
This Arkansas native was born on 26 November 1945 to parents who owned a movie theater. He often felt that his desire to become an actor came from the fact that he spent so much time in the theater's "crying room" for babies - and listening to the likes of Tyrone Power
and others. His first "professional"...
“ Niles on "The Nanny" ” - theheritagetourist
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons
, replacing a very sick William Frawley
. Demarest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting role in the real-life biography...
“ 'Uncle' Charley O'Casey on "My Three Sons" ” - theheritagetourist
“ Geoffrey Butler on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" ” - theheritagetourist
Although she projected the typical Japanese female stereotype of humbleness, delicacy and subservience in most of her prime film and stage roles, beguiling, tiny-framed Miyoshi Umeki was nevertheless an assertive scene-stealer. This docile and deceptive-looking talent with the cropped hair and heart-shaped face radiated charm and innocence so effortlessly...
“ Mrs. Livingston on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" ” - theheritagetourist
Best known for the role of Florida Evans on the 1970s sitcoms "Maude" and "Good Times," African-American actress Esther Rolle proved to be as spirited and iron-willed off-camera as well. The gap-toothed actress with the gravelly voice was born in Pompano Beach, Florida, the 10th child of 18 born to Caribbean farming immigrants...
“ Florida Evans on "Maude" ” - theheritagetourist
Despite remaining on the periphery of character stardom all these years, New York-born character actress Shelley Morrison has had a long and varied career since the early 60s. She started out on TV in such popular shows as The Farmer's Daughter
, making a career out of an assortment of ethnic roles...
“ Rosario 'Rosie' Salazar on "Will & Grace" ” - theheritagetourist
“ Mr. French on "Family Affair" ” - theheritagetourist
Alan Napier was born on January 7, 1903 in King Norton, Worcestershire, England. Tall, distinguished-looking English character actor with aristocratic bearing and precisely modulated voice. A cousin of the former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and spent his formative years as an actor with Oxford Repertory and...
“ Alfred Pennyworth on "Batman" ” - theheritagetourist
“ As the voice of Rosie the Robot on "The Jetsons" ” - theheritagetourist
Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Philippi, West Virginia. He was a well respected actor who portrayed many different characters during his film and television career. His most notable role was Lurch, the faithful butler on the television series The Addams Family
. His most memorable dialogue as Lurch would be...
“ Lurch on "The Addams Family" ” - theheritagetourist