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Big Chuck

July 1, 2013

Moms, girlfriends and wives of TV history


Dear Gloria Henry played Jay North’s mother on “Dennis the Menace” the entire run of the show, 1959 to 1963. Until recently, she was making appearances at movie and television memorabilia shows signing autographs and posing for photographs. As Mrs. Mitchell in the series, she had to keep track of her whirlwind son, Dennis, and her confused pipe-smoking husband, Henry, all the while keeping a wary eye out for that crusty pain in the butt next door, Mr. Wilson.

Kathy Williams was the glamorous wife of Danny Williams, the nightclub performer in the show “Make Room for Daddy.” Danny Thomas was the star, of course, but beautiful Marjorie Lord held her own as his Irish wife. Many forget that she replaced actress Jean Hagan on the program. Hagen was dissatisfied with her role and left the series three years in. Lord was hired to play a on the show. The Lebanese Danny eventually fell in love with his Irish nurse, married her and the rest was sitcom history. Lord is the mother of actress and Academy Award-nominee Anne Archer

Barbara Hale was a dark-haired beauty queen who co-starred as Della Street in the “Perry Mason” series. More than any other actress, Hale turned her role into a steady paycheck. As legal secretary Street, Hale handed Raymond Burr his hat, coat and briefcase in more than 250 episodes of the crime show.

There are other “great dames” from the television shows of my black and white youth but these legends are still here and continue to live on. Can you imagine a birthday party with all of these ladies getting together this summer for cocktails and gossip? There would have to be plenty of candles on their individual cakes. Ms. Davis will be 87 this year, both Randolph and Lockhart will be 88, Hale will be 91, Neill 92 and the beautiful Marjorie Lord will be 95!

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