Television Female Legends

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1.
Lucille Ball
Actress, I Love Lucy
The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their grandparents...
 
2.
Betty White
Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess (Cachikis), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive. She is of Danish, Greek, English, and Welsh descent. Although best known as the devious Sue Ann Nivens on the classic sitcom Mary Tyler Moore and the ditzy Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls...
 
3.
Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a clerk. Her maternal grandparents were English immigrants, and her father was of English, Irish, and German descent. Moore's family relocated to California when she was eight. Her childhood was troubled...
 
4.
Elizabeth Montgomery
Elizabeth Montgomery was born into show business. Her parents were screen actor Robert Montgomery and Broadway actress Elizabeth Allen. Elizabeth graduated from the Spence School in New York City and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After three years intensive training, she made her...
 
5.
Carol Burnett
The entertainment world has enjoyed a five-decade love affair with comedienne/singer Carol Burnett. A peerless sketch performer and delightful, self-effacing personality who rightfully succeeded Lucille Ball as the carrot-topped "Queen of Television Comedy," it was Burnett's traumatic childhood that set the stage for her comedy...
 
6.
Marlo Thomas
Many well-known and highly identifiable actresses have tried and failed to make the arduous crossover from fizzy TV sitcom star to mature, dramatic artist. Usually, it was their hardcore fans who refused to accept them in any other light. Sally Field and Elizabeth Montgomery come to mind first as two actresses who somehow managed to make the none-too-easy adjustment...
 
7.
Donna Reed
Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town - a population of less than 3,000 people - Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young girls in western Iowa...
 
8.
Vivian Vance
Actress, The Lucy Show
She was born Vivian Roberta Jones, with a brother and four sisters. After the family moved from Cherryvale to Independence, Kansas, she studied drama under Anna Ingleman and William Inge. Their next move, to Albuquerque, New Mexico brought her to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, which provided her the money she needed to study under Eva Le Gallienne in New York...
 
9.
Doris Day
One of America's most prolific actresses was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Sophia (Welz), a housewife, and William Joseph Kappelhoff, a music teacher and choir master. Her grandparents were all German immigrants. She had two brothers, Richard, who died before she was born and Paul, a few years older...
 
10.
Bea Arthur
Actress-comedienne Bea Arthur was born on May 13, 1922 in New York City to a Jewish family. She grew up in Maryland, where her parents ran a dress shop. At 12 years old, she was the tallest girl in her school at 5'9". She earned the title "wittiest" girl in her school, and Bea's dream was to be in show business...
 
11.
Barbara Eden
Barbara Eden was born as Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, went on and become one of America's most endearing and enduring actresses. A graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. Eden would go on to study at San Francisco's City College as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre...
 
12.
Cloris Leachman
Actress, The Croods
The record-breaking actress set a record when at age 82, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa to Berkeley Claiborne "Buck" Leachman and the former Cloris Wallace. Her father's family owned a lumber company, Leachman Lumber Co. She is of Czech (from her maternal grandmother) and English descent...
 
13.
Florence Henderson
Florence Henderson was considered by protocol executive Jerold Franks, CSA to be "...one of the most generous stars I have ever worked with." Los Angeles, New York and all parts of the country, Florence has helped raise millions of dollars for various charitable organizations. Jerold Franks, friend and confidante to actress Mary Martin as well as producer of Ms...
 
14.
Sally Field
Actress, Forrest Gump
Sally Margaret Field was born in 1946 in Pasadena, California, to actress Margaret Field (née Morlan) and salesman Richard Dryden Field. Her parents divorced in 1950 and her mother then married stuntman Jock Mahoney, and they had a daughter, Princess O'Mahoney. She also has a brother, Richard Field. Sally attended Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California...
 
15.
Angela Lansbury
British character actress, long in the United States. The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States as the Second World War began. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated for an Academy Award for her first film...
 
16.
Farrah Fawcett
Actress, Logan's Run
Farrah Fawcett is a true Hollywood success story. A native of Texas, she was the daughter of Pauline Alice (Evans), a homemaker, and James Fawcett, an oil field contractor. She was a natural athlete, something that her father encouraged, and she attended a high school with a strong arts program. She attended University of Texas in Austin...
 
17.
Valerie Harper
Actress, Rhoda
Making people laugh is only one facet of Valerie Harper's career, which extends from the stage to television and feature films. A native of Suffern, New York -- "I was born to suffer" -- Harper began her career as a dancer with the corps de ballet at Radio City Hall during its spectacular heyday. She gradually moved into acting...
 
18.
Harriet Nelson
Harriet Nelson will always have a secure place alongside Barbara Billingsley and Jane Wyatt in the "TV's Golden Age Mom Hall of Fame." For fourteen years, she, husband Ozzie Nelson, and their two boys, David Nelson and Ricky Nelson, were the quintessential role models of the '50s ideal nuclear family...
 
19.
Patty Duke
Patty Duke was born Anna Marie Duke on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York, to Frances Margaret (McMahon), a cashier, and John Patrick Duke, a cab driver and handyman. She is of Irish, and one eighth German, descent. Her acting career began when she was introduced to her brother Ray Duke's managers...
 
20.
Agnes Moorehead
Actress, Bewitched
Of Irish/English ancestry, Agnes was born near Boston, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (her mother was a mezzo-soprano) who encouraged her to perform in church pageants. Aged three, she sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on a public stage and seven years later joined the St. Louis Municipal Opera as a dancer and singer for four years...
 
21.
June Lockhart
Actress, Lassie
Born in New York City on June 25, 1925, the daughter of actors Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart made her professional debut at age eight in a Metropolitan Opera production of "Peter Ibbetson", playing Mimsey in the dream sequence. In the mid-1930s, the Lockharts relocated to California...
 
22.
Barbara Billingsley
Born Barbara Lillian Combes, she attended Los Angeles Junior College in the mid-1930s and then moved to New York City, where she worked as a model. In 1945, she received a contract from MGM, and she appeared in several films during the late 1940s and 1950s, sometimes without screen credit. In the 1950s...
 
23.
Eva Gabor
Eva Gabor was born on February 11, 1919 in Budapest, Hungary, to Jolie Gabor (née Janka Tilleman) and Vilmos Gabor (born Farkas Miklós Grün), a soldier. Her older siblings were Magda Gabor, an actress, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, an actress and socialite. Her parents were both from Jewish families...
 
24.
Yvonne De Carlo
Actress, The Munsters
Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite...
 
25.
Carolyn Jones
Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn suffered from severe asthma...
 
26.
Rue McClanahan
A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear for roles on All in the Family and later Maude. For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden Girls. She hit her comedic stride as a sharp tongued oversexed Southern belle on The Golden Girls.
 
27.
Shirley Jones
Shirley Mae Jones was born 31 March, 1934 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. She was named after Shirley Temple. Her father owned the local brewery. When she was 20, she went to New York with her parents and, within a week, became the first and only actor signed to a personal contract by Rogers and Hammerstein...
 
28.
Marion Ross
Actress, Happy Days
The lovely, continuously upbeat and iconic All-American mom from the classic Happy Days TV sitcom had fervent desires of becoming an actress while growing up in her obscure Minnesota town. Born Marian Ross (with an "a") in 1928, she grew up in her native state and, at one time, worked as a teenage au pair in order to earn money for drama lessons at the MacPhail Center in Minneapolis...
 
29.
Jane Wyatt
Born in Campgaw, New Jersey, Jane Waddington Wyatt came from a New York family of social distinction (her father was a Wall Street investment banker and her mother was a drama critic). Jane was raised from the age of three months in New York City and attended the fashionable Chapin School and later Barnard College...
 
30.
Estelle Getty
She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman-like one-liners...
 
31.
Vicki Lawrence
Famed actress, comedian, singer, and dancer Vicki Lawrence has appeared in television shows, and in nightclubs. Her career included shows with such popular actors as Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, and Tim Conway. Lawrence was born Vicki Ann Axelrad in Inglewood, California, to Ann Alene (Loyd) and Howard Axelrad...
 
32.
Bea Benaderet
Bea Benaderet had a remarkable career in radio and television. In the earlier days of radio, before television, she provided the voice for numerous names of characters on the radio, on shows like "Fibber McGee and Molly," "My Favorite Husband" with Lucille Ball & the Jack Benny Show. She was...
 
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35.
Linda Evans
Actress, Dynasty