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George Baxter was a highly successful corporation lawyer who was always in control of everything at the office, but almost nothing at home. When he returned from the office at day's end, to his wife Dorothy, and his young son Harold, he entered the world of Hazel. Hazel was the maid and housekeeper who ran the Baxter household more efficiently than George ran his office. She was always right, knew exactly what needed doing, and pre-empted his authority with alarming, though, justified regularity. Written by
When I was growing up in New Jersey in the 60s, I remember watching the reruns of Hazel on Channel 5. It was a very good sitcom, thanks to the outstanding performance of Shirley Booth as the title character. It was her breakout TV role that won her a couple of Emmys.
Also adding to the show's success was Don DeFore as George (Mr. B) Baxter, Whitney Blake, who later went on to co-create the hit CBS sitcom One Day at a Time as his wife Dorothy aka "Missy" and Bobby Buntrock as their young son Harold. Sadly, Buntrock was killed in a car accident at the age of 21.
Not only was Hazel an outstanding maid, she was also a really good bowler. I remember the episode where she competed in a bowling tournament.
Unfortunately, I don't remember any of the fifth season episodes, where DeFore and Blake were replaced by Ray Fulmer as Steve and Lynn Borden as Barbara. Those two have rarely been heard from in years.
Coming from Screen Gems, who had a hit with another sitcom based on the comic strip Dennis the Menace, Hazel ran for five years and ended its run, not because of declining ratings but because Booth was tiring of the role. The show was in reruns for years and later disappeared. But fear not, thanks to the new digital broadcast network Antenna TV, viewers can finally see this lost gem of the 60s.
As the theme song stated early in the run "Who's the gal that's everybody's pal? It's Hazel."
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