Susie is secretary to handsome talent agent Peter Sands and keeps getting messed up in (and messing up) his private life. She's assisted (usually) by receptionist Vi and semi-rival Sylvia. ...
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Susie is secretary to handsome talent agent Peter Sands and keeps getting messed up in (and messing up) his private life. She's assisted (usually) by receptionist Vi and semi-rival Sylvia. Cagey is Peter's business rival. The show alternated Sunday nights with "The Jack Benny Show." Written by
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Under the title "Susie", this was shown again in syndicated reruns in the 1960's, sometimes in rotation with "The Ann Sothern Show" (when the entire series "Susie" ended, episodes of "The Ann Sothern Show" would begin, then after they had ended, "Susie" began again, from its first episode to its last). See more »
Television provided a lease on life for the careers of so many players in the second tier in Hollywood. As fewer films were made many had to go to television for work.
One of the luckiest in that regard was Ann Sothern who had series experience of a sort when she starred in the long running Maisie series of films. Sothern found herself a role that perfectly suited her personality, Susie McNamara Private Secretary to theatrical agent Don Porter and all around girl Friday. It was like Maisie Revere had given up the life of a wandering showgirl and took typing and stenography and became a secretary.
Sothern's character has been compared to Lucille Ball, but I think there was a world of difference. Sothern never did harebrained stuff like Lucy Ricardo did. She always zealously guarded the interests of her boss and never had to be rescued from the consequences of a plan. Her's usually worked.
The Ethel Mertz of the story was Ann Tyrell who was the switchboard operator. Tyrell sometimes bordered on the hysterical waiting to see if a Sothern scheme would work. She also had the longest neck I've ever seen, it's one of the things I remember well as a kid seeing this show.
The comic villain was Jesse White as rival bottom feeding agent Cagey Calhoun. As Michael Francis Calhoun was nicknamed 'Cagey' he in turn called her 'Foxy' the only one whoever did. White always thought he was so clever and lost as many times as Wile E. Coyote.
Wit and character were the hallmarks of Private Secretary which would be great if it were revived for the 21st century. It's timeless.
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