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Soleil Moon Frye,
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Popular 1980s sitcom based on the Gwen Davenport novel "Belvedere," which in turn was thrice adapted to the big screen. Like its earlier novel and big-screen brethren, "Mr. Belvedere" featured British butler Lynn Belvedere, who takes a job as a live-in nanny for a typical American family and records their everyday experiences in his diary for future use in writing a novel. In the 1985 small-screen version, the Owens family served as that "typical American family" and the source of fodder for Belvedere, who had previously worked as a gentry for Winston Churchill and had connections to British royalty. Family patriarch George (played by sportscaster Bob Uecker) was, in an example of art imitating life, a sportswriter; the matriarch was Marsha, a law student. The couple, who had settled in suburban Pittsburgh, had three children: awkward teenager Kevin; precocious, easily-embarrassed Heather; and mischievous prankster Wesley. George was initially uncomfortable hiring the worldly ...Written by
Brian Rathjen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the more enjoyable family shows of the 80s, this one had a twist. One snowy December night, Englishman Lynn Belvedere shows up at the Owens residence looking for work as a housekeeper. He's heard theyre in need of someone to help out and all take an instant liking to him, except macho head of the household, George (Uecker). The two have their friendly moments over the years, but mostly butt heads most of the run of the show. They had great chemistry over the years, considering we're talking a trained theatrical actor (Hewett) and an ex baseball player (Uecker) playing the parts. But the core of the show was the relationship between Belvedere and the youngest child, Wesley. Played terrificly by Brice Beckham, the two worked so well off each other, the older uptight codger and the rambunctious, wild pre-teen. Together both of them had a lot of great moments over the shows 6 year run, the strongest probably being the final episode of year 5. Belvedere, in a coma after a car crash set in motion by Wesley, lies motionless as Beckham delivers an emotional, expertly acted passage of dialogue of how sorry he is. One of many notable spots from the six seasons. Others featured were Ilene Graff as mother Marsha, Rob Stone as older brother Kevin, and the gorgeous (ok so I had a big crush on her) Tracy Wells as middle child Heather. The show had several tough spots over the years, being yanked a number of times and then brought back to fill the Friday night gaps on ABC. But they managed to crank out over a 100 episodes and have a respectable farewell, with Belvedere ultimately getting married and leaving the family. Some good ones to look for are Wesleys night alone when lies pile up the next day, Belvedere and George delivering a baby, and a great tornado episode set in the family basement. Though not a ratings monster, Mr. Belvedere will always be recognizable and was one of the more underrated shows of recent years.
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