Women Of 50's Sitcoms

by dmclaughlinabq | created - 10 Jul 2013 | updated - 10 Jul 2013 | Public

1. Eve Arden

Actress | Our Miss Brooks

Eve was born just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice Quedens, she found that the stage ...

--Our Miss Brooks-- --The Eve Arden Show--

2. Frances Bavier

Actress | The Day the Earth Stood Still

Frances Bavier was born in New York City on December 14, 1902. Her first Broadway appearance was in April 1925 in "The Poor Nut", the start of a successful Broadway career. She traveled with the USO to entertain the U.S. troops in the Pacific during World War II. Her last appearance on Broadway was...

--The Eve Arden Show--

3. Ethel Waters

Actress | Cabin in the Sky

The child of a teenage rape victim, Ethel Waters grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time. "No one raised me, " she recollected, "I just ran wild." She excelled not only at looking after herself, but also at singing and ...

--Beulah--

4. Hattie McDaniel

Actress | Gone with the Wind

After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one, directed by George ...

--Beulah--

5. Gracie Allen

Actress | A Damsel in Distress

Gracie Allen was born on July 26, 1895 in San Francisco, California, USA as Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen. She was an actress, known for A Damsel in Distress (1937), The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) and The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950). She was married to George Burns. She died ...

--The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show--

6. 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 ...

--I Love Lucy--

7. Vivian Vance

Actress | I Love Lucy

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 ...

--I Love Lucy--

8. Doris Singleton

Actress | Angel

Doris Singleton was born on September 29, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Dorthea Singleton. She was an actress, known for Angel (1960), I Love Lucy (1951) and My Three Sons (1960). She was married to Charles Isaacs. She died on June 26, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

--I Love Lucy--

9. Marion Lorne

Actress | Strangers on a Train

Forever embraced as the mumbling, bumbling Aunt Clara on the Bewitched (1964) television series, endearing character actress Marion Lorne had a five-decade-long career on the stage before ever becoming a familiar TV household name.

Born Marion Lorne MacDougall on August 12, 1883 (other sources list ...

--Mr. Peepers--

10. Norma Crane

Actress | Fiddler on the Roof

Norma Crane was born on November 10, 1928 in New York, USA as Norma Anna Bella Zuckerman. She was an actress, known for Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Studio One in Hollywood (1948) and Banyon (1971). She was married to Herbert Sargent. She died on September 28, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

--Mr. Peepers--

11. Georgann Johnson

Actress | Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

Film, TV and stage actress Georgann Johnson was a product of Decorah High School, Luther College and Northwestern University. Her father, George, was a local plumbing contractor and an amateur actor. Georgann's specialization has been in the portrayal of the all-American girl/housewife and/or the ...

--Mr Peepers--

12. Gale Storm

Actress | Between Midnight and Dawn

Born with the drab, unlikely name of Josephine Cottle on April 5, 1922, this pleasantly appealing, Texas-born, auburn-haired beauty was only seventeen months old when her father William passed away. The family moved from Bloomington (her home town) to McDade (between Austin and Houston) where her ...

--My Little Margie--

13. Joan Davis

Actress | Hold That Ghost

Widely popular comedienne appeared in some movies and on radio in the 40s and on early television. She starred in the popular television series, I Married Joan (1952), with Jim Backus as her husband and her real-life daughter, Beverly Wills as her sister.

Joan died of a sudden heart attack in 1961. ...

--I Married Joan--

14. Audrey Meadows

Actress | The Honeymooners

Audrey Meadows was born in New York City as Audrey Cotter, the youngest of four children. After she was born, her family returned to Wu'chang, China, where they worked as missionaries. Her family returned to the US and settled in New England when Audrey was age 6, and she and sister Jayne Meadows ...

--The Honeymooners--

15. Joyce Randolph

Actress | The Honeymooners

Joyce Randolph was born on October 21, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as Joyce Sirola. She is an actress, known for The Honeymooners (1955), Everything's Jake (2006) and The Doctors and the Nurses (1962). She was previously married to Richard Charles.

--The Honeymooners--

16. Harriet Nelson

Actress | The Falcon Strikes Back

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 ...

--The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet--

17. Janet Waldo

Actress | The Jetsons

Janet Waldo provided the quintessential voice of the swooning, overly dramatic teenager for numerous generations -- from the 1940s swinging babysitters to the 1960s groovy chick. A bouncy, perennially-youthful brunette, she was born in Yakima, Washington, and began entertaining in church plays as a...

--The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet--

18. Dorothy Abbott

Actress | Dragnet

Perennial starlet Dorothy Abbott was a sexy, vivacious, wide-smiling model, showgirl and actress who could brighten up a room. Unfortunately, her cinematic offerings wound up being pretty minimal and her last years were marred by depression and, ultimately, a tragic end.

She was born Dorothy E. ...

--The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet--

19. Marjorie Lord

Actress | Chain Gang

Poised and lovely Marjorie Lord started her long and varied career on the Broadway stage and in "B" films as a sweet-natured ingénue.

Lord was born Marjorie F. Wollenberg in 1918 in San Francisco, California, to Lillian Rosalie (Edgar) and George Charles Wollenberg. Her family transported themselves...

--Make Room For Daddy--

20. Sherry Jackson

Actress | The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima

Gorgeous, chestnut-maned Sherry Jackson began her promising career as a pleasant-looking child actress. She and brother Robert were the stepchildren of television writer/director/actor Montgomery Pittman, who died of cancer in 1962. There's a rumor that Idaho-born Sherry was discovered by a talent ...

--Make Room For Daddy--

21. Angela Cartwright

Actress | The Sound of Music

Born in England, Angela is the younger sister of actress Veronica Cartwright. As a child she was cast as the cute little stepdaughter, Linda Williams, on Make Room for Daddy (1953). She was on the show from 1957 to 1964. After that, she was cast as Brigitta in the popular Julie Andrews movie The ...

--Make Room For Daddy--

22. Jean Hagen

Actress | Singin' in the Rain

Jean Shirley Verhagen (later shortened to Hagen) was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 3, 1923. Her father was a Dutch immigrant. Hagen and her family moved to Elkhart, Indiana when she was twelve; she subsequently graduated from Elkhart High School. Afterwards, she graduated from Northwestern ...

--Make Room For Daddy--

23. Mary Wickes

Actress | Sister Act

From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that ...

--Make Room For Daddy--

24. Phyllis Avery

Actress | The Red Skelton Show

Blue-eyed, blonde, demure-looking 50s leading lady, the daughter of screenwriter Stephen Morehouse Avery and his wife Evelyn. Phyllis was said to have spent her childhood in France and in California. After graduating, she studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and first appeared on...

--Meet Mr. McNutly aka The Ray Milland Show--

25. Ann Sothern

Actress | The Whales of August

Ann Sothern's film career started as an extra in 1927. Originally a redhead, for the comedy roles she began to get she bleached her hair blond. After working at MGM and on Broadway, Ann was signed by Columbia Pictures for Let's Fall in Love (1933). The next year she would work with Eddie Cantor in ...

--Private Secretary--

26. Spring Byington

Actress | You Can't Take It with You

The possessor of one of Hollywood's gentlest faces and warmest voices, and about as sweet as Tupelo honey both on-and-off camera, character actress Spring Byington was seldom called upon to play callous or unsympathetic (she did once play a half-crazed housekeeper in Dragonwyck (1946)). Although ...

--December Bride--

27. Verna Felton

Actress | Sleeping Beauty

Verna Felton had extensive experience on the stage and in radio before she broke into film and television. Her trademarks was her distinctive husky voice and her no-nonsense attitude. She was quite in demand for voiceover work, as evidenced by her roles in Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (...

--December Bride--

28. Jane Wyatt

Actress | Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

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...

--Father Knows Best--

29. Elinor Donahue

Actress | Pretty Woman

Tap dancing at the age of 16 months, pert and pretty Elinor Donahue has been entertaining audiences for six decades. Born Mary Eleanor Donahue in Tacoma, Washington in 1937, she appeared as a radio singer and vaudeville dancer while still a mere toddler, then was picked up by Universal Studios at ...

--Father Knows Best--

30. Barbara Billingsley

Actress | Airplane!

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 ...

--Leave It To Beaver--

31. Phyllis Kirk

Actress | Crime Wave

Of Danish descent, and born in Syracuse, New York, Phyllis Kirk worked as a waitress and a perfume counter clerk before she began a modeling career. Stage roles ensued before Hollywood beckoned. She was a contract player at MGM and then Warner Brothers, where in her most famous role she was stalked...

--The Thin Man--

32. Donna Reed

Actress | From Here to Eternity

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 ...

--The Donna Reed Show--

33. Shelley Fabares

Actress | The Donna Reed Show

Vibrant, increasingly lovely teen fave Shelley Fabares withstood the test of time by transitioning successfully into adult parts unlike many of her 1960s "teen queen" peers who faded quickly into the memory books. She was born Michele Marie Fabares on January 19, 1944, in sunny Santa Monica, ...

--The Donna Reed Show--



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