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I used to watch this after school when I was about 14 or 15; enjoyed it
quite a bit.
Lawford and Henderson (both gone now) were quite good as a romantic (sort of) duet. Charles Lane was a great pick as editor.
Henderson played a female sportswriter (in 1954?) and Lawford played a "Dear Abby" type before there was a Dear Abby (in the papers, anyway).
(Caveat: my time line may be a little off, but I believe that the TV show preceded the advice column by about a year.)
Presumably, the ratings weren't good. Otherwise, I can't figure out why it did not last longer.
One memorable spot went something like this: Lawford had budgeted 45 cents a day for lunch (it was 1954). He ordered something called a "hashburger" and a drink for 35 cents and, somehow or other, wound up with 7 and a half cents for tips to the waitress and cook. The cook came out of the kitchen and wanted to see who had left him a 3 and 3/4 cent tip...
Not every father-in-law can give a wedding present to the husband of
his daughter like a television series. But when Patricia Kennedy
married Peter Lawford it seemed appropriate to insure an income so for
an actor you get him a television series.
Thus Dear Phoebe was born which had Peter Lawford going incognito as a female advice column editor. Great care had to be taken to make sure his gender never became public. Lawford's love interest was Marcia Henderson who now with female sports reporters all over the dial wouldn't get a second notice. But eyebrows were raised in the Fifties when she wrote a sports column. She was out and he was still in the closet so to speak.
Dear Phoebe could have been a groundbreaker, but it was a rather pedestrian effort with some amusement value. When this failed Joe Kennedy took care of his son-in-law with a different series, The Thin Man.
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