Monday, October 28, 2019

You wanted to know . . . about Debralee Scott of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

A TV Banter reader wanted to know about the life of Debralee Scott, who played Mary's younger sister on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Debtslee Scott: 31 going on 18, is a red-haired, freckle-faced, all-American version of everybody's favorite kid.  In person, she reminds you of Judy Garland in her "Wizard of Oz" days.  She could have been Judy's sister.

- Philadelphia Daily News, November 30, 1984

Debralee Scott was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on April 2, 1953.  The youngest of three sisters, Debra was raised in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where she was a cheerleader.  At 16, she joined her siblings, Carol Anne and Jerilyn (Jeri), in San Francisco and finished high school there.  She also attended San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater

Debralee's film debut was in 1971's Dirty Harry.  She played the corpse of the murdered Ann Mary Deacon.  She then appeared in the opening credits of 1972's Butterflies Are Free and she portrayed Falfa's girlfriend in the 1973 coming-of-age film American Graffiti.

Debra's original feature film roles were minor ones.  In 1973, however, she made a move toward larger television roles.  In 1973, she appeared in two TV movies.  She played Lenore Atkins in A Summer Without Boys, a war drama/romance, and Mary Nell Fickett in Lisa, Bright and Dark, a drama starring Anne Baxter and John Forsythe.

In 1974, Debralee portrayed Evie Mortenson in four episodes of the 1950s television high school drama Sons and Daughters.  The series was short-lived and only ten episodes were produced.  In 1975, Debralee appeared as Rosalie "Hotzi" Totzi in four episodes of the first season of the Gabe Kaplan sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.  She reprised her role as "Hotzi" Totzi in a 1978 episode entitled "The Return of Hotsy Totsy" (Season 3, Episode 26, Air Date: May 11, 1978).

Debralee with Ron Palillo on Welcome Back, Kotter

Debralee is best remembered for her portrayal of Cathy Shumway, Mary, Hartman's outlandish younger sister, in the mid-1970s cult classic Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.  The show, starring Louise Lasser in the title role, was a nightly spoof of TV soap operas.  It attracted a large following and provided Debralee with her first taste of stardom.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman ran for two seasons, from 1976 to 1977, with Debralee Sccott appearing in all 325 episodes.  Mary Hartman, a dissatisfied Fernwood, Ohio housewife, ran off with her  policeman boyfriend, but the show continued without Louise Lasser.  It was retitled Forever Fernwood and focused on the residents of the fictional Ohio town.  Forever Fernwood ran from 1977 to 1978 and Debra Lee continued playing the role of Cathy Shumway.

Below is a photo of Debralee (left) with Louise Lasser (Mary) and Mary Kay Place as Loretta Haggers on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

From 1979 to 1980, Debralee portrayed Angie's younger sister, Marie Falco, in the sitcom Angie, starring Donna Pescow as Angie, an Italian-American coffee shop server, Robert Hays as her boyfriend (later husband), Dr. Brad Benson,) and Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond fame as her mother, Theresa Falco.  Debralee's character, Marie, worked nights at a daycare centre.  The show was set in Philadelphia.

Below is a photo of Debalee with Doris Roberts (centre) and Dona Pescow (right).

After Angie, Debralee took on few television roles.  She played Hazel Adamson in the 1981 TV movie Living in Paradise, a comedy starring Eddie Albert..  She also appeared as a "restaurant woman" in a 1983 TV movie entitled Likely Stories, Vol. 2., a comedy starring Vince D'Angelo as a sleazy politician.

Debralee played the role of Mrs. Fackler in Police Academy the popular feature film comedy, Police Academy, starring Steve Guttenberg.  She also appeared as Cadet Fackler in 1986's Police Academy 3: Back in Training.  According to the Internet Movie Database (, Debralee's final acting credit is the role of a school teacher in the 1989 film Misplaced, a drama about a Polish woman who, on the eve of the Polish uprising, takes her son to America.  She then decided to work behind the camera as an agent for a New York company called Empowered Artists.

Debralee's life changed forever when her fiancéJohn Dennis Levi, a police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade New York City.

John Dennis Levi

John Dennis Levi

In 2005, Debralee Scott moved from New York to Florida to live with her ailing sister, Carol Anne, who had retired there.  Soon after arriving, Debralee collapsed into a coma.  She quickly recovered and was released from the hospital on her birthday, April 2nd.  On April 5, 2005, Debralee took a nap, then died in her sleep.  She was just 52 years of age at the time of her passing at her home in Amelia Island, Florida.  Her body was cremated.

The mother of John Dennis Levi claimed that Debralee had had a drinking problem since 9/11, and that she had developed cirrhosis of the liver.  Debralee's sister, Jeri Scott, a Beverly Hills talent agent, stated that her sibling had never gotten over Dennis Levi's death.  She said that Debralee died of natural causes.

Debralee Scott


* During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Debralee Scott  frequently appeared on games shows.  She was a celebrity guest on The $20,000 Pyramid, Family Feud and The Match Game.

Debralee on Match Game

* In 1979, Debralee played a nurse in some episodes of a real daytime soap, Ryan's Hope.

Debralee's elder sister was film producer and costume designer Scott Bushnell.  Bushnell (born Carol Anne Scott on July 18, 1937) was nicknamed "Scotty."and is remembered for her long association with filmmaker Robert Altman (She served as producer on more than 20 Alltman films).

Scott Bushnell passed away in Burbank, California on July 13, 2006.  She died of heart failure at the age of 69, just days away from her 70th birthday.

SOURCES: Alchetron: The Free Encyclopedia (, "Debralee Scott;"  Los Angeles Times, "Debralee Scott, 52, Actress Appeared in Films, 1970s TV Series," April 9, 2005; Internet Movie Database (; Wikipedia

- Joanne

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Y&R Report (October 26. 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless


Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

Well fans, it's been revealed.  Jack and Traci dug into the past and discovered a long ago secret regarding their mother and Stuart Brooks.  Dina gave birth to son by Stuart.  That son is Theo Vanderway's father.  So, Dina's grandson is none other than that scuzzy Theo Vanderway.  How ironic that he and Kyle should both turn out to be granddaughters of Dina.  This has huge implications. It gives Theo a connection to the Abbott family, which he'll be only to happy to use to his advantage.  Theo's father, Eric Vanderway, will arrive on the scene soon.  Once he learns that Dina is his mother, he'll want to see her before she dies.  

Kyle will certainly not be amused when he learns the truth about Theo and how they are related by blood.  Lola will probably want to welcome him into the family, which will cause a rift between her and Kyle.

Adrian Rosales (Jay Montalvo) is back for a reason.  Adrian fancies himself as some kind of Don Juan, doesn't he?  He's really just a third-rate Casanova.  Women on soaps are often accused of being gold diggers.  Well, Adrian is a male gold digger.  It will be interesting to see which Genoa City woman he will try to latch on to.  At first, I thought he might go after Sharon (Sharon Case).  If he ingratiated himself into Sharon's life, that would definitely cause an even larger rift between him and Rey and Lola.  It would create an enormous conflict because Rey and Sharon are going to give their relationship another try - unless Adam gets in the way.  I don't think it's going to happen now because Sharon appears too busy juggling her time between Rey and Adam to allow Adrian into her life.  

Rey will regret giving his approval to Sharon's helping out Adam's son, Connor.  Sharon can not seem to stay away from Adam, no matter how hard she tries.  Rey's approval will only draw her closer to Adam.  She is playing with fire.

Another target for Adrian may be Jill. She has loads of money and she has hooked up with some unsavoury men in the past, especially her conman former husband, Colin Atkinson.  One would think, however, that Jill would have learned her lesson by now, although she may be too overwhelmed by Adrian's charming manner.  Remember, she craves male attention and has a difficult time resisting.  Yet, I don't think Jill will make the same error in judgement this time around.  She went through too much with Colin.

It's not surprising that Abby and Dr. Nate have broken up.  Those two were on different wavelengths and their relationship was going nowhere.  So, it appears that Nate will eventually become involved with Elena.  They are both doctors and they seem to get along well.  What about Devon, though?  Elena is still his girlfriend, but probably not for much longer.  I think she will become increasingly frustrated with his deceased wife's look-alike, Amanda Sinclair, and his  problems concerning Katherine Chancellor's will and his inheritance.  I wonder if Amanda will stick around once the will issue is definitely settled.  Will Devon fall for his dead wife's look a-like?  By the way, this storyline has too many holes in it to mention.  Devon is not stupid, so why didn't he hire his own lawyer and handwriting export?

As for Abby, I wonder if she'll become involved with Theo at some point.  She has always displayed poor judgement in men and she has been attracted to rebels and bad boys.  Although she doesn't like Theo now, that could change.  However, Theo seems to have his sights set on Lola.  I'm not sure what his end game is.  Is he actually attracted to Lola or is he just trying to break up her marriage to Kyle?

Speaking of Mrs. C., I never never believed that she would leave all that money to Candy Cane
Ashby.  As much as she loved Cane, it's highly doubtful that she would have left him the bulk of her estate.  Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin.  It doesn't add up unless Jill is right about Colin being behind it all.  It's something her con man ex would do.  He would want his son, Cane, to have all that money so he could get his grubby hands on some of it.  Chance probably has nothing to do with it.

Summer just can't get over Kyle.  It's so obvious that she's still hung up on the guy.  This means big trouble for Lola, who seems to be bonding with scummy Theo.


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 
My email address:

Here are some comments I received in an email from Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.

I don not like the actor playing Adrian Rosales and hope he gets involved with no one and exits soon.  Sharon gets involved with anyone wearing pants.  So sure, if she goes back to Rey, it's fine with me.  Cane has had a nothing role since Lily left, so I am not surprised that he's been let go.  I thought he was getting involved with Traci but that didn't work out.  I feel sorry for the actor being let go after 13 years, but that's the business.  He has never been one of my favourites and sometimes I have problems understanding what he is saying.

I predicted that Dina would have had some involvement with Mr. (Stuart) Brooks.   I thinks it's ridiculous that they brought Mishael Morgan back, so I guess she will turn out to be Hilary's twin. 
Mark Grossman is an awesome actor and he plays his Adam role so well.  The actor playing low-life Theo suits the role.  That's my opinion and I am sticking to it . . .

Thanks for your thoughts, Carly.  Now, here's my opinion and I am sticking to it too - unless I'm truly convinced otherwise.  I am pleased that Adrian (Jay Montalvo) is back in Genoa City.  He is shaking things up and will make the story interesting.  Yes, he is a scoundrel, but he livens up the show.  As for Sharon, I agree that she has been going from man to man.  However I have always thought she belongs with Nick.  The writers broke them up because it's difficult to find storylines for happy couples on a soap.

Your prediction about Stuart Brooks was right on the money.

You may not be far off when mention Amanda turning out to be Hilary's twin.  Lily was shocked when she saw Amanda because she had expected to meet someone who greatly resembled Hilary, not someone who looked exactly like her.

I also like Mark Grossman and I think he's becoming more popular.  That's a testament to his skill as an actor.  It's not easy to win over the fans when you start off playing such an unsympathetic role.  It seems that the writers have begun to redeem Adam lately.  Suddenly, he'a decided to drop his vendetta against the Newman family and he is trying to be "father of the year." to Connor Newman.

Has Vistor Newman mellowed?  Has he gone soft?  I spoke to regular Y&R Report contributor Helen from Scarborough, Ontario.  Helen thinks that Victor gave in to Victoria too easily, that he would never have handed over the reigns of Newman Enterprises just because Princess Victoria threatened to reject him as a father if he refused.  Victor knows that Victoria would never carry out that threat, argues Helen.  He knows his princess would never abandon him.  So, why did Victor do it?  He's ill, of course, but that's never stopped him before, and he's not the type to retire.  Does "The Moustache " have an agenda, some other plan?  Maybe not, but I wouldn't rule it out.  He always has a scheme and he doesn't like to relinquish control over his family.  

I realize that Y&R is trying to attract a younger demographic, but I hope they are not going to transform Victor's character into a retired grandfather, fawning over his grandchildren and teaching them how to play chess.  The writers need to give Victor some teeth again.  I'm sure Eric Braeden would agree.  He's not the retiring type either.


Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby) fired from Y&R

There was some very sad news last Tuesday (October 22) for fans of Daniel Goddard (Etthan "Cane" Ashby).  The debonair Australian was let go from the show after 13 years.  On Twitter, Daniel wrote:"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that I will no longer be part of the cast of ' The Young and The Restless'.  I am as shocked and gutted as you are.  I am forever grateful for the 13 years I have been part of the Y&R family but sadly it seems that without Neil and Lily . . . there just is no Cane."

It does seem strange that Y&R would let Daniel go at this time.  He is deeply involved in the storyline about Devon's inheritance and Lily (Christel Kahlil) has returned to the show.  It doesn't seem to be for lack of storyline.  There may be more to this.

It was good to see Lily back.  I enjoyed her reaction to the Hilary look-alike.

Reason to believe Judith Chapman will be back as Gloria

We haven't seen Gloria Bardwell around Genoa City for a while, since October 2018.  There seems to be reason to believe, however, that Judith Chapman, who plays Gloria, has returned to the show.  Christian LeBlanc, who portrays Gloria's son, Michael Baldwin, may have let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview with Global TV.  When asked whom he most liked working with on Y&R, he replied, "My favorite is to be in one of those groupings with Michelle (Stafford) or Greg (Rikaart), and today I worked with Kevin, Chloe and Gloria."

It would not be surprising to see Judith back on Y&R and Gloria back in Genoa City.  After all, Judith left her role as Diana Colville on General Hospital in March of this year. Gloria's son, Kevin, is back in town and Jabot needs a new executive secretary, which means Gloria would be interacting with Kyle and Billy Boy, who are now co-CEOs of the company  Knowing Gloria, it wouldn't be long before she became involved in the lives of Kyle and Billy.  Maybe she would get involved with Adrian.  They'd make quite a pair.


Although Daniel Goddard (Cane) is in the middle of a big storyline regarding Devon's inheritance, he has been let go from Y&R.  His firing is sudden and surprising.  Fans, it's time for you to weight in.  How do you feel about it?  Does it bother you?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

What do you think about Daniel Goddard's firing?

I think it's so unfair. He's been with Y&R for 13 years. He deserves better than that.
I like him and I am very disappointed.  
I am not a fan of his. It doesn't bother me at all.
It's a cut-throat business.
I don't know.
Please Specify:


The eighth annual annual Toronto OpportunitiTea high tea in support of the March of Dimes Canada will take place at the Royal York Hotel on December 8th, 2019.  The event features Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) and her actor friends from The Young and the Restless - Christian LeBlanc  (Michael Baldwin), Sharon Case (Sharon Newman), Mark Grossman (Adam Newman) and Christel Khalil (Lily Winters).  For more information on this event, click on the link below.  By the way, I will be attending and I am really looking forward to meeting Mark Grossman for the first time ( I have seen the others before and they are wonderful.

For more information on this event, click on the link beliw,

That's all for now.  Don't forget that  next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 9, 2019.  Get ready for Halloween in Genoa City and the November Sweeps everyone!

- Joanne

Monday, October 21, 2019

You wanted to know . . . About child star Bobby Driscoll and his tragic death

A TV Banter reader wanted to know about the life of child actor Bobby Driscoll.  

Bobby Driscoll in 1950

"Paperback mysteries usually end this way, not Disney fairy tales."
- Lynettte Rice (on the death of Bobby Driscoll)
Entertainment Weekly, January 22, 2019

Look at that angelic face and those soulful eyes!  Sadly, the fresh-faced youngster in the above photo died penniless and alone after years of drug addiction.  The tale of Bobby Driscoll is indeed a tragic one.  Bobby, whose movie and television career spanned 17 years (1943 to 1960), was born Robert Cletus Driscoll in Grand Rapids, Iowa on March 3, 1937.  He was the only child of insulation salesman Cletus Driscoll and his wife, Isabelle (née Kratz), a former teacher.  Both Cletus, who died in 1969, and Isabelle, who passed away in 1972, outlived their son.

Soon after Bobby's birth, the Driscoll family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where they remained until 1943.  They then relocated to Southern California after a doctor advised Cletus that the climate there would be better for his work-related pulmonary ailments.

 At the age of five, Bobby was discovered by chance at a barber shop in Altadena, California, north of Pasadena.  The barber helped launch Bobby's movie career.  In a 1954 interview, 17-year--old Bobby described the beginnings of his acting career this way: "My dad used to take me to a barber [sic] in Pasadena whose son was in the movies.  The barber liked me, so he spoke his son and his son spoke to his agent and his agent spoke to his director who was arranging a tryout for a part with Margaret O'Brien in the 1943 film Lost Angel."  As it turned out, Bobby was chosen for the part, an uncredited minor role as a young train passenger.

Bobby Driscoll's brief role in Lost Angel, was followed b his appearance in the film, The Fighting Sullivans (1944), a World War II drama in which he played Al Sullivan, the youngest of the Irish-American Sullivan brothers growing up in Iowa during the Great Depression.  A few years later, Walt Disney selected Bobby for the plum role of Johnny in 1946's Song of the South.  He then became the first actor ever signed to a long-term contract by Disney's animation department.and went on to star in some of Disney Studios' most popular Disney films at the time, such as So Dear to My Heart (1949) and Treasure Island ((1950).

Bobby in The Fighting Sullivans (1944)

Disney figured most prominently in Bobby's career, but he won a special Oscar for his performance in a non-Disney film, The Window, which was released in 1949.  On March 23, 1950, 13-year-old Bobby was presented with a Juvenile Academy Award by Donald O'Connor.  Soon after receiving his Oscar, he was cast as Peter Pan in Walt Disney's animated version of the J.M. Barrie classic.

Bobby Driscoll appeared on Walt Disney's first television production, in a holiday special called One Hour in Wonderland.  It aired on NBC on Christmas Day, 1950 and was sponsored by Coca-Cola.  In addition to Bobby, the special featured Walt as host with actress Kathryn Beaumont, known for her voice work in Disney films, and ventriloquist Edger Bergen and puppet Charilie McCarthy, who performed in radio ads for Coke.  The show was actually a promotion for Disney's upcoming feature film, Alice in Wonderland, in which Kathryn provided Alice's voice.

Bobby and Kathryn Beaumont in One Hour in Wonderland

Bobby lived a charmed life under Disney's wing, until adolescence hit.  At the age of 16, he suffered from a severe case of acne and his voice was no longer smooth enough for voice-overs.  Shortly after the release of Peter Pan in late March of 1953, Bobby's contract with Disney studios was abruptly terminated.  His mother then removed him Hollywood Professional School and sent him to the public Westward University High School.  At Westward, his grades dropped and he began using drugs.  He claimed that the other students  wouldn't accept him, At Bobby request, his parents returned him to Hollywood Professional School, where he graduated in 1955.  In 1956, Bobby was arrested for the first time for possession of marijuana, but the charges were dismissed.  By the age of 17, he was using hard drugs.

During the 1950s, Bobby Driscoll appeared on a number of television shows, but by the mid '50s, with his career on the wane, he was mostly cast in guest spots on anthology series such as Jane Wyatt Presents the Fireside Theatre (1956) and Zana Grey Theater (1956).  In 1957, Bobby only had two television roles.  He portrayed the loyal brother of a criminal in an episode of M Squad, a detective series starring Lee Marvin.  He also played a submarine officer in an episode of the World War II docudrama drama series The Silent Service.

Bobby's final TV acting role was on Rawhide, a popular Western series starring Clint Eastwood.   He portrayed Billy Chance in a 1960 episode of the show entitled "Incident of he Captive" (Season 3, Episode 9, Air Date: December 16, 1960).  Bobby also guest-starred in an earlier episode of Rawhide in 1959 called "Incident of Fear in the Streets" (Season 1, Episode 17, Air Date (May 8, 1959).  For his two Rawhide appearances, he was credited as "Robert Driscoll," in an an attempt to sound more adult, so he could distance himself from his childhood roles.and the perception that he was still Disney's kid actor (his family and friends began referring to him as "Bob" in the early 1950s).

Below is a photo of Bobby in his last television appearance from the "Incident of the Captive" episode of Rawhide in 1960.

In June of 1960, Bobby was arrested for disturbing the peace and assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly "whacking a heckler with a pistol," according to newspaper reports. The heckler and her boyfriend had taunted him and Bobby had taken the gun from a car he was washing in Topanga Beach near Malibu, California.  Felony assault charges were dropped.because the district attorney failed to file a complaint.  However, in 1961, Bobby was arrested for robbery, assault and narcotics possession.  This time he was sentenced as a drug addict and he was incarcerated at the Narcotic Rehabilitation Center of the California Institution for Men in Chino, California.  When he left Chino in 1962, he was unable to find employment in the acting profession and his downward spiral continued.  He was rejected by the entertainment industry because of his record as a drug addict and a convict.  An embittered Bobby declared, "I have found that memories are not very useful.  I was carried on a silver platter - and then dumped into the garbage."

In 1965, Bobby Driscoll moved to New York City with hopes of appearing on Broadway.  His life, once held so much promise, eventually degenerated into a horror story and  his attempts to revive his acting career proved unsuccessful.  Nevertheless, he joined Andy Warhol's Greenwich Village art community, known as The Factory and concentrated on his artistic talents.

Bobby left The Factory and the avant-garde art scene in late 1967 or early 1968 and vanished into Manhattan's underground.  He was destitute and desperate.  On March 30, 1969, two children playing in an abandoned Greenwich Village tenement in New York City made a gruesome discovery.  They found the body of a young man on cot, surrounded by beer bottles and religious pamphlets.  The man had no identification and his body went unclaimed.  A medical examination determined that he had died of heart failure, the result of longtime drug abuse.  Authorities were unable to positively identify the man and photos of him were not recognized in the neighbourhood.  Thus, he was buried as a "John Doe"in a pauper's grave in New York City's Potter's Field on Hart Island.

In October of  1969, Bobby's mother tried to locate her son with the assistance of  officials at Disney studios.  She wanted to contact him so that he could be reunited with his father, Cletus, who was dying.  This led to a fingerprint match at the New York City Police Department.and the location of Bobby's burial on Hart Island.  Bobby Driscoll,was just 31 years old at the time of his ignominious death.  Although his name is included on his father's gravestone in Oceanside, California, his remains are still on Hart Island. 

Bobby's passing was not reported to the public until 1971, just as his first Disney film, Song of the South, was about to be re-released.  When the press tried to locate the film's major stars, Bobby's mother revealed the horrible fate that had befallen her only child.  She took comfort from police and medical reports that showed there were no puncture marks on his body and there were no traces of heroin.


On December 3, 1956, Bobby Driscoll, age 19, married his girlfriend, Marilyn Jean Rush.  They eloped to Mexico due to the objections of their parents.  However, they wed again in a Los Angeles ceremony in March of 1957.  The couple had three children (two daughters and one son) but divorced in 1960.

Bobby and Marilyn Jean

* In 1954, Bobby was awarded a Milky Way Gold Star Award for his achievements on television and radio.

* In 1960, Bobby received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bobby in later years

SOURCES: Entertainment Weekly, "Oscars Flashback: The tragic life and death of former Disney star Bobby Driscoll," by Lynette Rice, January 22, 2019; The Walt, "Once You've Grown Up You Cam Never Come Back," November 14, 2011;, "Tragic Story of Bobby Driscoll: from Early Stardom to an Unmarked Pauper's Grave," by Jaimie-lee Prince, June 1, 2019, Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Whatever happened to Mary Crosby after she shot J.R.?

"My only regret is that Daddy isn't here to share the tremendous joys of my life right now.  But other than that I am very clear on his death.  Daddy died while he was still very much a man, while he still had control of the lives of the people he loved."

Mary Crosby spoke those words in an interview with McCalls magazine in 1980.  She was only 20 years old at the time and riding high as a star on the wildly popular prime time soap opera, Dallas.  Bing Crosby never lived to see his daughter's television stardom.  He passed away 42 years ago, on October 14, 1977.  The 74-year-old collapsed and died instantly.after suffering a massive heart attack near the clubhouse of a golf course in Madrid, Spain

 After Bing's death, his eldest son, Gary, wrote a very critical book about his father, entitled Gong My Own Way.  In Gary's memoir, the legendary crooner was depicted as cold, distant and physically abusive.  Gary's younger brother, Philip Crosby, strongly defended their father.  He said that Bing had been a "great father" and that Gary's claims were exaggerated.

Bing was larger than life and he left an indelible mark on his family.  As Mary stated, he had control of the people he loved.  He was very patriarchal and held to strict standards of morality.  In a 1977 interview with Barbara Walters, Bing declared that he would disown his only daughter if she lived with a man outside of marriage.  At the time, 17-year-old Mary was "damn near living with," as she put it, singer-songwriter Eb Lottimer.  Soon after Bing's death, Mary and Eb moved into a mountaintop home in Malibu, California.

Mary Frances Crosby was born in Los Angeles, California on September 14, 1959.  She is the only daughter of famed entertainer Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby and his second wife, retired singer-actress Kathryn Grant.  Bing's first wife, singer, danger Dixie Lee, died of ovarian cancer in 1952 at the age of 42, leaving him a widower with four sons.  In 1957, he wed Kathryn.

Mary, the couple's second child together, was a precocious child.  At the age of two, she became one of the youngest children in the United States to pass the Red Cross beginner's swim test.  By three, she could read and write. She received her Actor's Equity Card at the age of four and made her stage debut with her mother in a Bay area production of Peter Pan at six.  She entered the University of Texas at Austen.when she was just 15.

Mary made her first professional appearances in in he father's popular Christmas TV specials, along with her siblings (Bing had four sons with is first wife, Dixie Lee (1909-1952) - Gary, Philip, Dennis, Lindsay - and two sons with Kathryn Grant (1933- ) - Harry Crosby III and Nathaniel.  Of her relationship with her dad, Mary told People magazine in 1980, "He just didn't know what to make of a girl in the family.  She reminisced about how "he used to take me to ball games and fishing and hunting."

Below is a photo of Bing and Kathryn and their three children.  Mary is seated to the right of Bing.

In 1967, Mary made her acting debut as "Joan" in a episode of The Danny Thomas Hour, entitled "The Demon Under the Bed" (Season 1, Episode 5, Air Date: October 9, 1967).  She was 8 years old at the time and appeared along with her father.  In a rare television dramatic role, Bing played a fading film star Charlie Castle, who was faced with losing his voice.  It is interesting to note that Dynasty star Joan Collins also appeared in that same episode.

By 1978, Mary had a guest spot in an episode of Starsky and Hutch.  She followed that with the role of Patricia North in the 1978 television miniseries Pearl, a war epic surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and starring Robert Wagner, Angie Dickinson and Dennis Weaver.   Then came an appearance on an episode of the crime drama CHiPs entitled "Pressure Point" (Season 2, Episode 16, Air Date: January 20, 1979).

Mary regretted her next career choice, a role in the 1979 miniseries Brothers and Sisters.  In 1980, she told People magazine, "I did a horrendously awful series for NBC, which bombed.  People wouldn't even let me read for parts for six months afterward."  However, the experience helped to pave her way to success. When her career stalled, she contacted Dallas producer Leonard Katzman, whom she has credited for rescuing her career and helping her establish her own identity. 

Yet, despite being the daughter of Bing Crosby, Mary was not that well known before Dallas and was even confused with actress Cathy Lee Crosby, co-host of That's Incredible! (no relation).  Although she was originally hired for seven Dallas episodes, "they liked me so much that I was lucky to stick around for a year and a half.  It changed my life in a wonderful way."

From 1979 until 1981, Mary Crosby portrayed Kristen Shepard, the conniving sister-in-law/mistress of ruthless Texas oil baron J.R.. Ewing (Larry Hagman).  Mary's character will be forever enshrined in television history as the one who shot J.R.  The "Who Shot J.R." cliffhanger was a marketing bonanza.  There were 'Who Shot J.R." T-shirts and buttons and there were bets on who committed the dirty deed.

On the evening of November 21, 1980, millions of Dallas viewers around the world sat glued to their television sets to find out the answer to TV's  greatest "whoduunit."  They wanted to know who had gunned down the villainous J.R. and left him for dead on the floor of his office.  The unknown assailant turned out to be Kristin, who had shot him in a fit of anger and later claimed to be pregnant by him.  In the October 1981 season opener of Dallas, Kristen's dead body was found floating in the Ewing family's swimming pool at their Southfork Ranch.

In 1991, Mary reprised her role as Kristen on the final episode of the original series.  The episode is entitled "Conundrum" (Season 14, Episode 22, Air Date: May 3, 1991).  In the episode, a drunk and dejected J.R. is shown what the world would be like if he was never born.  In this alternate universe, Kristen is a con artist who appears to J.R. in a vision.   Of her character, Kristen, Mary told People magazine that "Kristen was really a high-class whore, but my parents taught us that we should play whatever was offered and learn from every opportunity."

After the death of Kristen, Mary left Dallas with the hope of using her Dallas stardom to catapult her career to greater heights.  It never happened that way.  In an exclusive interview with Britain's Daily Mail online , Mary admitted that after Dallas, "I made that classic mistake - having my 15-minutes of fame and thinking I could afford to wait around for more arty roles.  So I put myself out of commission and waited for work that was less available to me."

When her run on Dallas ended, Mary guest-starred on such TV series as Hotel (three episodes, 1984-1985),  In the Heat of the Night (1989), Murder, She Wrote (two episodes (1991-1992), Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1994), Burke's Law (1995) and Dream On (1995).  From 1995 to 1996, Mary appeared as Claudia Van Eyck in three episodes of Beverley Hills, 90210.  She also appeared as Alya Ransom  in a 1997 episode of Orleans and as Sheryl Weathersby in a 1997 episode of Mike Hammer, Private Eye.

Mary starred as Karen Lancaster in the 1985 ABC miniseries Hollywood Wives and she portrayed Isabel Hazard in the 1986 American Civil War miniseries North and South, Book II.  She also appeared in television movies such as Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them (1994) and Sharing the Secret (2000).

Mary Crosby has been married twice.  Her first husband was singer-songwriter Edmund "Eb" Lottimer (born June 21 1951), whom she wed at the age of 19, on November 24, 1978.  They married in a non-sectarian ceremony of their own design and her mother did not attend because, according to Mary, she was performing in a play.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1998.

Mary with Eb Lottimer
In 1998, Marry tied the knot for a second time with Mark Andrew Brodka, a California attorney specializing in real estate and personal injury law  Mary and Mark wed at the Crosby family ranch with 60 people in attendance.  The couple have two sons, Brent and Christopher, and Larry Hagman, who walked Mary down the aisle at her wedding, was named their godfather.

Mary and Mark reside in Malibu, in a rustic area above Pacific Coast Highway.  In 2013, they tentatively settled a long-running law suit with their neighbour, Susan Demers.  In 2010, Brodka  began the litigation process by suing Demers, a horse trainer, and her friend, Martha Gwinn.  The law suit concerned Demers' right of to travel across their land to reach a federal park in order to ride horses there.


* In 1980, Marry Crosby appeared as Kristen Shepard in an episode of Knot's Landing, a spin-off of Dallas.  The episode is entitled "Kristen" (Season 2, Episode 5, December 18, 1980).  In the episode, Kristen arrives in Knot's Landing following her arrest for drug possession.

* Mary's first husband, Eb Lottimer, became a fairly successful actor, director and writer.  He has made appearances on many TV series and is known for writing and directing the 1998 indie film Divorce: A Contemporary Western, which is a somewhat autobiographical work about his breakup with Mary.  More recently, he played a bank manager in the 2015 film Sicario and an Air Force colonol in the 2017 film The Space Between Us.  Eb hasn't remarried.

* All of Bing Crosby's sons with Dixie Lee have passed away. Singer/actor Gary Crosby died of lung cancer on August 24, 1995.  He was 62 at the time of his passing. Philip Crosby, also an actor and a singer, died of a heart attack on January 13, 2004 at the age of 69.  Philip battled alcoholism throughout his life.  Sadly, Lindsay and Dennis Crosby both committed suicide.  Lindsay died on December 11, 1989 at the age of 51.  Dennis died on May 4, 1991.  He was 56.

* On October 17, 2000, Mary's mother, Kathryn, married Maurice William Sullivan.  On November 4, 2010, Kathryn was seriously injured in a car accident in the Sierra Nevada.  Her 85-year-old second husband was killed in the the single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 50 east of Placerville, California.

* Mary remained friends with Larry Hagman, who also lived in Malibu, until his death of cancer in 2013.  She told the Daily Mail that "Dallas was a different life, and such an incredible experience, but the greatest gift from the experience was Larry and his wife, Maj."

Below is a 1980 press photo of Mary with Larry Hagman.

Mary Crosby in 2014

SOURCES: McCalls, "My Father, Bing Crosby," by Sheila Weller, July 1980.  Patch, Mary Crosby, Malibu Neighbor Settle Long Running Lawsuit, by City News Service, Neighbour, March 15, 2013; People magazine, "Mary Crosby, Bing's Little Girl, Creates a Family Flap Over Her Plans to Marry Her Live-in Boyfriend," by Alan Markfield, November 13, 1978; People magazine, "She Shot J.R.!," by Sue Reilly, December 8, 1980; Daily Mail, "Exclusive: The 'Dallas' actress 'Who shot J.R. - Mary Crosby (daughter of Bing) - reveals how producers tricked the cast by having everyone shoot the show's most famous episode," by James Desborough and Emma Paterson, November 20, 2015; International Movie Data Base (; Wikipedia

- Joanne

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Y&R Report (October 12, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless


Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

"The Great Victor Newman" has resigned as CEO of Newman Enterprises.  He has decided to hand over the reigns of the company to his daughter, Princess Victoria Newman.  He has told Victoria that she "is a Newman and she is tough."  Everything is coming up roses for Victoria.  Her life is a bowl of cherries right now.  She's got everything she ever wanted.  She's now CEO of Newman Enterprises and she has a happy family life with Billy Boy Abbott.  Billy is behaving in a more stable manner and he is getting therapy.  These are heady days for the princess, but it can't last, though.  Nobody can be blissfully happy for too long on a soap.  There are bound to be clouds on the horizon.  Already, Victor has demanded to know why Billy tried to run over Adam.

Victoria finally stood up to Daddy and she actually threw a letter opener at that infernal portrait of her father.  There may be a reason why Victor gave in so easily to his daughter's ultimatum that she would cut him out of her life if he did not allow her to remain CEO of Newman Enterprises.  Yet that portrait remains on the wall as a reminder of Victor's power and control.  Victoria may be sitting in the CEO chair for now, but the battle is far from over.  Her position is not as secure as she thinks it is.

Adam is still poses a big threat to Victoria's happiness. He may be back in Las Vegas, but he won't stay there.  I wouldn't be surprised if he attempts to bring Victoria down and unseat her as head honcho at Newman.  Of course, Phyllis will encourage him to do so because she is just thirsting for revenge against Victor and his family.  There's also the mystery surrounding Chance.  We don't know what is going on with him and why he was hanging out in Vegas with Adam.  We don't know why he challenged Mrs. Chancellor's will either.  We don't even know where Chance is right now.  Has he been kidnapped?  Has he been forced to do things against his will?  Also, who knocked out Cane after he attempted to locate Chance?  Did Adam have anything to do with it?  There are so many questions, but we should have some answers soon.

It's difficult to imagine Victor on the sidelines. Don't expect him to give up all his power and influence.  He lives to be in control.  He won't be able to simply retire and travel around the world with Nikki.  Remember when he asked if he would have to play golf now.  That was hilarious.

Lola and Kyle have been doomed from the start.  It's obvious that they will not survive as a couple. I can already see trouble in paradise.  Theo has been hanging around Lola and he seems to want to win her trust and make her like him.  I don't think Lola would betray Kyle, but Theo the Troublemaker is out for revenge.  He may set Lola up and trick Kyle into believing that Lola is having an affair with him or else Lola's s sympathy for Theo will drive a wedge between her and Kyle.  Either way, Summer will be waiting in the wings.  Snowflake is definitely not over Kyle and the two have been quite close lately as they work together at Jabot. Meanwhile, the previews have shown us that Lola may be pregnant.  If so, will she lose the baby and blame Kyle for it?

Jack has appointed Billy Abbott and Kyle to be joint CEOs of Jabot.  He will probably come to regret asking those two to share running the company.  It probably won't work out because Billy and Kyle each have their own ideas and neither one wants to be upstaged by the other.  Kyle may try to get along with Billy, but both men are competitive and both want to call the shots.  Neither wants to answer to the other.  So, it appears that Jack made an error in judgement.  He should have just appointed one of them to be in charge or he should have remained CEO himself.

Dina hinted that she once had a romantic connection with Genoa City newspaper publisher Stuart Brooks. Longtime Y&R viewers will remember Stuart, who was  portrayed by Robert Colbert.  He was the patriarch of the Brooks family, one of the original families on the show. Stuart died and Colbert left Y&R in 1983.  I wonder why the writers have made a connection between Dina and Stuart.  Could it be that they had a secret child together, an unknown sibling to Jack, Ashley and Traci?  By the way, Robert Cobert is now 88 years old and retired.

Robert Colbert as Stuart 

Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) expecting first child

Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell is pregnant with her first child.  The baby is due in March of 2020.  Elizabeth married husband Rob Meder in a beachside wedding this past summer.  They became engaged last Christmas Day.

Elizabeth announced the good news by posting a picture of an Instagram photo of her baby bump with the caption, "No, that's not a belly full of bagels, it's a belly full of bagels and a baby!"


Sharon and Rey are on the verge of getting back together again.  Rey obviously wants her back.  However, Sharon is taking her time.  She doesn't want to rush back into the relationship. Should the couple reconcile?  Are they right for each other.  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Should Sharon and Rey get back together?

Yes, they make a good couple and they make each other happy.
No, it would be a mistake because Adam will always come between them.
No, Sharon should take some time for herself and not be involved in a relationship for a while.
Sharon should get back together with Nick. They make a better couple and they have a history.
Sharon should find someone new.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with SurveyMaker


The eighth annual annual Toronto OpportunitiTea high tea in support of the March of Dimes Canada will take place at the Royal York Hotel on December 8th, 2019.  The event features Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) and her actor friends from The Young and the Restless.  For more information on this event, click on the link below.  I will be attending.

Readers, I would appreciate your feedback

If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, October 26, 2019.  A Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers (Monday, October 14th).

- Joanne

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Internet TV Digest #13


This is the 13th of an occasional feature on TV Banter called Internet TV Digest.  Internet TV Digest contains recent news, information and discussion about online television.

Internet TV Digest

What's coming to Netflix this October

Netflix has a history of adapting Stephen King's horror novels and is ready to launch another.  On October 4th, it will release In the Tall Grass, a film about two little children who go out into a field of grass and are unable to find their way out.  It stars Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveria, Harrison Gilbertson, Avery Whitted and Rachel Wilson.

On October 4th, Netflix will also release Season 5 of Peaky Blinders, a British crime drama starring Cillian Murphy.  The series premiered on the BBC in September of 2013.  It is primarily set in Birmingham. England and it follows the exploits of the Shelby crime family in the aftermath of World War I.  In Season 5, Cillian Murphy's character, crime boss Thomas Shelby, is headed for Parliament.

Another October 4th Netflix release will be Season 1 of a science fiction series called Raising Dion.  It is about an eight-year-old boy who discovers he has superpowers.  It is up to his widowed mother, Nicole Reese (Alisha Wainwright), to raise her superhero son Dion (Ja'Siah Young) properly and help him deal with his special gifts.  The series is based on the 2015 comic and short film of the same name.  Raising Dion will run for nine one-hour episodes.

Ja'Siah Young as Dion in Raising Dion

Weekly episodes of Rythm + Flow will begin on October 9th.  This three-week event is the first of its kind for Netflix. It is the streaming service's first genuine competition and first hip hop competition.  The series features Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and Tip.

Coming for Halloween will be a Netflix film titled Eli.  It is the story of a boy receiving treatment for a life-threatening disease, an auto-immune disorder.  The boy discovers that the house where he's living isn't safe.  Eli's release date is October 18th.

The Laundromat, a film starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Jeffrey Wright and Sharon Stone, is a comedy about insurance fraud in Panama City.  It is also set to be released on October 18th.

On October 25th, Netflix will release Dolemite is My Name, a film starring Eddie Murphy.  Eddie has the role of an eccentric character in this biographical comedy.  He plays filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore (1927-2008), best known for portrayal of Dolemite in his stand-up comedy routine and in the 1975 film Dolemite.

Amazon frozen out of new Disney streaming service

The forthcoming Disney + streaming service recently released its list of supported platforms.  Fire TV Sticks and Cube and other devices were conspicuously absent from the list of the new service's supported devices.  Amazon fans will also be disappointed that the Fire tablets are excluded from the list, since Amazon Fire TV is a convenient way to watch streaming content on your television.

Disney has offered no explanation as to why it omitted Fire TV devices., although Amazon and Disney have an uncomfortable history.  Disney + is scheduled to launch on November 12, 2019, so there is time to rectify the situation.  If that doesn't happen, iPad may be the only tablet that Disney + works on.

SOURCE: Tom's Guide (, "House of the Mouse Turns on Amazon")

Netflix stock prices dropping

"The only price dropping as fast as new streaming subscription deals from Disney and Apple is the stock price of streaming giant Netflix."

- George Manessis
CNBC, September 24, 2019

On September 20, 2019, Netflix (NFLX) shares dropped more than 5 per cent, to close at $270.75.  This occurred after Nexis CEO Reed Hastings conceded that his company will face stiffer competition with the November launch of Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus.  In a speech at the Royal Television Society Conference in  Cambridge, England, Hastings stated, "While we've been competing with many people in the last decade, it's a whole new world starting in November . . . between Apple launching and Disney launching, and of course Amazon's ramping up."  "It'll be tough competition," he declared."  "Direct-to-consumer (customers) will have a lot of choice."  Hastings also mentioned NBCUniversal's Peacock service, set to premiere in April 2020, as a potential rival

Reed Hastings

SOURCES: CNBC, September 24, 2019; Variety, September 20, 2019

What is Pluto TV?

Pluto TV is a live TV streaming service.  As of March 2019, it is owned by Viacom. Pluto offers more than 100 channels and thousands of free movies.  It doesn't cost anything.  So, what's the catch?  Well, the price is right as long as you can tolerate the 30-second ads which interrupt your viewing at inopportune times, such as during a crucial scene in a film.  Not only that, but there can be four of those commercials in a row.  Somewhere along the line, there is a price for every streaming service.

SOURCE: Digital Trends (, September 10, 2019

- Joanne