Saturday, September 24, 2022

Y&R Report (September 24, 2022). 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.

Hi fans,
I'm back from my summer break and it's time to discuss our favourite soap again.  The Young and the Restless is entering its 50th season on television.  It first went on the air on March 26, 1973,and it has been the number one daytime drama for 35 consecutive years,
On Friday, September 30th on CBS (Thursday, September 29 on Global TV), the show will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will premiere with a brand new logo to mark the occasion.  So, don't forget to set your PVR.  There will be surprises and exciting days ahead.
The Diane-Phyllis feud continues.  I am not a big fan of Phyllis, but I think Diane is far more devious.  Phyllis has no self-control or discipline, especially when Diane is around.  She just loses control.  She can't help herself.  Phyllis wears her heart out on her sleeve.  Diane, on the other hand, is more manipulative.  She can fake remorse and pretend she is really doing her best to change.  She constantly claims that all she want to do is establish a good relationship with her son Kyle and her grandson Harrison.  We all know that her real goal is to get her hooks into Jack Abbott and the Abbott fortune.  Despite Phyllis' mistakes and shortcomings, I really think she cares about Jack.  
Well, well, well!  Hasn't the former good Dr. Nate suddenly become quite ruthless and opportunistic.  He's even made a deal with Princess Victoria Newman, who is becoming more like Daddy Victor every day.  I never thought Nate would betray his own family.  Is he so weak-willed that he can't say "no" to Imani?  Once again, there is the need for conflict.  That's why Nate and Elena are doomed and Nate will eventually fall into Imani's waiting arms.
By sharing insider information with Victoria, Nate has committed a crime.  Victoria was gleefully happy that Nate informed her that Chancellor-Winters is going public.  Victoria can't wait to get control of the company..  She has no scruples about committing such fraud.
Nate  was much better as a doctor than as a businessman.  Thanks to a punch from cousin Devon, he is unable to perform surgery anymore.  Devon should have been charged with assault.  He robbed Nate of being a surgeon, something that meant so much to him.  
Sharon is very much in the background right now.  She hasn't had much of a storyline since Rey died.  I was expecting that she would rekindle a romance with Nick Newman.  Instead, Nick has become involved with Sally Spectra in order to create more conflict.  This will greatly upset  Adam because I really think he loves Sally in his own way.  Sally's relationship with Nick seems purely physical.  She would much rather be with Adam, but Adam has hurt her deeply and wounded her pride.  Nick, to his discredit, has taken advantage of Sally's vulnerability.  He has also used Sally as a means of attacking Adam.
Nick's affair with Sally will prove to be a disaster and it will cause severe repercussions within the Newman family.  It will be quite explosive.  I expect that Princess Victoria, with the approval of Daddy Victor, will fire Sally and install Nate as CEO of Newman Media.  This will cause a great deal of uproar because Nick will defend Sally and oppose the move.  Adam will be angry with Victor and Victoria.  
Over at Chancellor-Winters, there will be another uproar when Nate's disloyalty to his family is discovered.  He will be looked upon as a traitor. Jill will be livid.


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 from longtime Y&R fan, CC in Etobicoke:

Hi Joanne,

One thing that has crossed my mind recently is how repetitious in content some of the scenes have been recently, especially the front and centre storylines. 

Dialogue from Diane is constantly trying to hit us over the head with her insistence that her only reason for returning to GC was to try to reconnect with Kyle and rebuild a mother son bond.
We know there is far more to it than that. It is so tiresome to hear her singing her own praises over and over.

And then Phyllis never misses the opportunity to counter her claims by reminding us of her terrible deeds of the past.

Three wedding celebrations for Kyle and Summer?  Overkill!
All that to create a setting for discord between families.

It is taking too long for them to confirm the connection between Deacon and Diane, and for them to reveal whatever shenanigans she has been up to over the past 20 years.

A burning question we have had since she arrived as the new Summer... Does Allison Lanier have, or did she have, a health problem that has affected her appearance specifically around her abdomen?

Have you noticed the mishape to which I am referring?

Others online have asked this question but no one ever posts a response.

Perhaps some of your readers can offer an explanation.

Or maybe you can be the one who cracks this mystery!

- CC from Etobicoke.

Thanks for your input, CC.  I have also noticed how repetitious some of the scenes have been, especially with regard to Diane and Phyllis.  However, I think we are finally getting close to learning about the connection between Diane and Deacon.  Diane did not lead such a quiet, uneventful life in Los Angeles.  Phyllis and Nikki are right about that.
The celebrations for Summer and Kyle are definitely a setting for discord between families.  However, soaps need to create conflict.  Without conflict, viewers would lose interest.  That's why fans expect some disruption at parties and events.  There has to be trouble.
I must say that Michael Mealor, who plays Kyle Abbott, and Allison Lanier (Summer), make a good couple.  They have much better chemistry than Michael and Hunter King, the previous Summer.  As often happens when a new actor takes over a role, Allison Lanier has put her own mark on the character of Summer.  She is much sweeter and less like her mother, Phyllis.  Summer is not a "Snowflake" anymore.  She even gets along with Mariah now.  Mariah can't even call her the old nickname.  It doesn't suit her.
As for Allison's physical appearance, I strongly doubt that the answer can be found on the internet.  If she has a medical condition, the public will never know unless Allison herself chooses to reveal it.  Otherwise, her medical records are private. 

Michael Graziadei returning as Daniel Romalotti

Soap Opera Digest
has reported that Michael Graziadei will be returning to his role as Phyllis' son, Daniel Romalotti, this fall.  Phyllis will really need him to help her with all her problems.  After all, she can't depend on Jack or Nick or even Summer to bail her out.  
Daniel has a daughter, Lucy, who is Phyllis' granddaughter.  It is not known whether Lucy will come to Genoa City with her father.   
It is also unclear whether Michael is returning to stay, but his character has interesting history on the show. Remember that Daniel and Lily were once a couple and that they ran off together.   Remember also that Cassie met her death in a car crash that was sparked by her crush on Daniel.
Some trivia: Michael was born on September 22, 1979.  He is only 14 years younger than his TV mother, Michelle Stafford, who plays Phyllis.  Michael is the proud father of twin boys.

Zuleyka Silver plays new character on Y&R

The Young and the Restless has cast Mexican-American actress Zuleyka Silver in the role of Audra Charles, a powerful executive.  She arrived in Genoa City at the urging of  prominent GC businesswoman Jill Abbott.
Audra will certainly stir things up.  I'm looking forward watching her in the days to come.  I wonder if she will go after Billy or Nate or Devon.  Billy already has Lily, and Chelsea also wants him.  

* Y&R has aged Johnny Abbott. Johnny has been played by twins Holden and Ryan Hare since his birth back in April of 2012.  Earlier this month, the role has been taken over by Paxton Mishkind.

Paxton Mishkind


Courtney Hope (Sally Spectra
Sally Spectra refused to forgive Adam and now she's carrying on with his brother, Nick.  Is she making a huge mistake?  Should she have taken Adam back?  Fans, what do you think of Sally's decisions?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think that Sally should have forgiven Adam? free polls

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, October 8, 2022.

Take care,


Saturday, September 3, 2022

Jeopardy! Begins A New Season

My favourite game show, Jeopardy! is about to launch its 39th season.  The new season of the venerable quiz show will begin airing fresh episodes on Monday, September 12th, with Ken Jennings as host of the syndicated format until December 30th, after which Mayim Byalik will have her turn.  Fans, including myself, are looking forward to Jeopardy!'s return.

In addition to the syndicated version of the show, Celebrity Jeopardy! will premiere on September 25th at 8 p.m. on the ABC network.  Celebrity Jeopardy! will be hosted by Mayim Byalik,  ABC has announced that the celebrities will include Simu Liu, Michael Cera, BJ Novak, Ilza Schlesinger, Ray Romano, Constance Wu,, Aisha Tyler and Patton Oswalt. 

In an interview with TV Guide, Jeopardy! executive producer Michael Davies displayed enthusiasm about the "somewhat new format" of the 13-week celebrity tournament, which will feature hour-long shows rather than the usual 30-minute standard of the syndicated version of the show.  I have to say that I prefer the half hour format.  Jeopardy! is a thinking game and the mind grows weary after an hour of intense concentration.  

In July, it was announced that Mayim Byalik and Ken Jennings would continue to split the schedule for the 2022-23 season.  Jeopardy! fans are passionate about their show and they have strongly expressed their opinion about the performance of both hosts.  On the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, Byalik and Jennings discussed the split hosting situation and fan reaction   Jennings opined that the two-host situation helps to satisfy a larger swath of the viewing audience.  

Byalik has taken her share of criticism. For example, she was castigated for using the term "Single Jeopardy!" for the game's first round of play.  She said she tries to listen to the fanbase without taking the criticism too personally.  She also joked that she prefers Jennings as Jeopardy! host.  This prompted Jennings to laugh and humbly declare, "Aww, likewise!"

Ken Jennings will host the upcoming Second Chance Tournament and The Tournament of Champions, which should be very competitive.

- Joanne 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Benjamin Evan Ainsworth is the Son of a Critch

Benjamin Evan Ainsworth

The CBC has renewed Son of a Critch for a second season.  I viewed the first season and enjoyed it immensely.  Son of a Critch is an original comedy based on comedian Mark Critch's award-winning, best-selling memoir Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Mermoir.  The TV series was created by Critch, along with Tim McAuliffe, a Montreal-born comedy writer and television producer.       

Critch, a native of St. John's Newfoundland, is known as a co-host of CBC's 22 Minutes, which features political and social satire as well as comedy sketches.  In Son of a Critch, he serves as narrator and portrays his own father, Mike.  The cast also includes child actor Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, who portrays Mark as a boy,  P.E.I. actress Claire Rankinplays as his mother, Mary Critch, veteran actor Malcolm McDowell as his grandfather, Patrick "Pop." Critch and Colton Gobbo as his older brother, Mike Jr. 

Below is a photo of the cast:  From left to right - Claire Rankinplays, Mark Critch,  Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Colton Gobbo and Malcolm McDowell.

I've been particularly struck by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth's performance as the young Mark Critch.  After watching his portrayal of Mark as a schoolboy in the Newfoundland of the 1980s, you'd never guess that Benjamin is really a Yorkshire lad who prefers rugby to hockey. and Liverpool FC tickets for life to free concert ticket.  On Son of a Critch, you don't hear a trace of the English accent he displays off the show.

Benjamin was born in Nottingham, East Midlands, England on September 25, 2008.  He is being raised in Yorkshire and he attended the Northern Lights Theatre Drama School in Hull.  For one so young (he is about a month shy of his 14th birthday), Benjamin has an impressive list of acting accomplishments to his credit.  In 2018, when he was ten years old,  Hw made his first appearance on British television, on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale.  That same year, he appeared in a production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on board the Norwegian Epic cruise liner and has portrayed major characters in professional and musical stage productions.

Benjamin played Jacob in the award-winning short film The Recycling Man (2020).  He starred in the the limited Netflix series, The Haunting Of Bly Manor (2020) as the deeply troubled orphan, Miles Wingrave, for which he earned critical acclaim.  He also voiced the lead character in the 2021 Disney live action remake of Pinocchio, opposite Tom Hanks.  His first film credit  was the 2021 Disney+ film Flora & Ulysses. 

Son of a Critch is a coming-of-age comedy.  It chronicles young Mark's experiences as he attends a Catholic school St. John's.  The boy is faced with many challenges, including a somewhat dysfunctional family.  He also has to deal with being bullied by members of the red-headed Fox family.  However, he has the companionship and support of his best friend, Ritchie Perez (Mark Ezkziel Rivera), the son of of an immigrant Filipino family.

In a Vibe Check YouTube video, Benjamin answers some rapid fire questions.  When asked to describe his Son of a Critch character in three words, Benjamin replies "Heartfelt, witty. ..  and old."  He says that young Mark is "11 going on 60" and "is older than his years."  

In the video, Benjamin reveals that his favourite movie is Forrest Gump and that he prefers tea to pop.  He says  that his favourite subject in school is Latin.  He jokes that although it's been called a dead language, "it's still Roman around."

Benjamin also has some advice for young actors: "You know, just keep at it, and if you really like it,  and you really enjoy it , and you want to keep doing it, then just show that bravery and courage until you find your lucky break."

Benjamin  Evan Ainsworth is a busy young actor  In addition to his Son of a Critch role, he portrays Alex Burgess in David S. Goyer's epic Netflix fantasy, The Sandman.  In his spare time, Benjamin plays rugby and hockey, and he is a devoted Liverpool FC fan.  He also enjoys singing, songwriting and playing the drums.  Benjamin will soon be celebrating his 14th birthday - on September 25th.  After watching his work, all I can say is that this kid is going places.  He appears to have a bright future ahead of him

- Joanne

Monday, August 8, 2022

Keeping Up with Johnny Gilbert of Jeopardy!

"Nobody keeps an audience engaged like Jeopardy!’s resident entertainer, Johnny Gilbert. Over the span of his career, Johnny has done it all, from performing in nightclubs and as a recording artist, to entertaining movie and television audiences. So much more than the voice of Jeopardy!, Johnny’s a true Hollywood showman."

- From the Jeopardy! website

I've been a fan of Jeopardy! for a while now, but I have to admit that I didn't know much about the show's announcer, the affable Johnny Gilbert - until recently.  I was somewhat surprised to discover that Johnny is a nonagenarian.  He is 94 years of age but his voice sounds much younger.  It is extremely clear and resonant. Nobody can say "This is Jeopardy!" the way Johnny does.  As Mike Richards, former executive producer of the show put it, "If you just listen to the way Johnny articulates each name, each word, he has a voice and even more importantly, delivery, unlike anyone else."

John Lewis Gilbert III cam into the world on July 13, 1928.  He was born and raised in the coastal city of Newport News, on the banks of the Hampton Roads harbour, a short distance from Virginia Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  Johnny's grandmother was a church singer and Johnny followed in her footsteps.  He sang in the choir of a Lutheran church in his hometown.  While a student, at Morrison High School in Newport News, Johnny studied opera and tried to launch a career as a professional singer.  He performed vocals with Shelley Harmon and His Orchestra, a dance band that toured around Virginia.

A few years after graduating from Morrison High,, Johnny spent some time working in a Jacksonville, Florida nightclub as an emcee, a comedian and a singer.  It was there that he learned the art of public speaking and storytelling.  Before his first emcee gig, Johnny didn't really know what being a Master of Ceremonies entailed.  A local manager, however, didn't seem to mind Johnny's lack of experience.  He helped him hone his skills and showed him the ropes.  "He taught me how to introduce people on the stage and take them off the stage," Johnny told Outsider in 2021.

In those early days of his career, Johnny toured the U.S. as a singer/emcee and he also joined a group of young actors called the Dead End Kids.  The group organized a revue which played the southwestern United States for over a year.  

In the 1950s, Johnny also travelled trough Western Europe, entertaining soldiers and civilians alike, as a member of the United States Army's Special Services.  After leaving the service, he continued hosting and performing.  He eventually agreed to emcee and sing on a radio station in New Orleans.

In the late 1950s, Johnny moved to New York City and signed with the William Morris Agency in order to pursue a career as a game show host.  In 1958, he became the host of ABC-TV's Music Bingo.  It was his first exposure on national television.  He then went on to host a local Lost Angeles game show called Words and Music.

In the 1960s, Avco Broadcasting gave Johnny the opportunity to hist his own 90-minute talk/variety show, The Johnny Gilbert Show, which aired on WLWD-TV (now WDTN)  in Dayton, Ohio and on three other Avco stations in Ohio and Indiana.  The show had a 60-person studio audience and celebrity guests.  After two years, however, Johnny returned to New York to become the host of a game show called Fast Draw.  It is interesting to note that Johnny was replaced on the Dayton show by an up and coming WLWD-TV news reporter named Phil Donahue.

After a year with Fast Draw, Johnny was invited by Bing Crosby Productions to host a game show called Beat the Odds, which was produced in Los Angeles.  It ran from 1961 to 1963, after which Johnny moved on to host a weekday version of Dialing for Dollars on a local Los Angeles station.

In 1963, TV producer Mark Goodson chose Johnny to replace Don Pardo as the announcer and audience host for the original version of The Price is Right on ABC, which was hosted by Bill Cullen.  Johnny also served as announcer and audience host for Dinah Shore's syndicated daytime talk show, Dinah!, from 1974 to 1980.

Johnny Gilbert as announcer on Price is Right

In 1984, Merv Griffin's quiz show Jeopardy! was reintroduced as a syndicated daily program hosted by Alex Trebek.  Alex, who had met Johnny at a Hollywood dinner party in the early 1980s, was impressed with Johnny's voice and recommended that Merv hire him as the show's announcer.  In his memoir, published in the summer of 2020, Alex wrote: " How could you forget a voice like that?"  The two developed a friendship that involved mutual respect and some good natured banter in dressing rooms and in front of the studio audience.  Alex would tease Johnny about his age, joking that he had been the announcer for Abraham Lincoln.    

Following the death of Alex Trebek in November of 2020, Johnny considered retirement but decided to continue with the show.  The duo worked together for 37 years and Johnny told People magazine that "Everyone's walking around in a fog, shaken from the whole thing.  Part of me left here when Alex left."  

At the time of Alex's passing, Johnny had not been working at the Sony Pictures studio in Culver City, California, where Jeopardy! is filmed.  Due to the COVID -19 pandemic, he had been recording his announcements from his home in Venice Beach.  In a January 2021 interview for The New York Times, Johnny stated that when Alex passed away, he considered his future on Jeopardy!  "I thought, 'Gee, can I go on doing this?  Can I still do what the show needs?  And I decided, yes, I would go on.  I would go on because Alex wanted the show to go on""

Johnny (R) with Alex Trebek

Johnny has been very private about his personal life.  In 1984, he married his wife Sheree but it has not been confirmed that the couple has any children.

Johnny and Sheree


* Johnny Gilbert had an uncredited role as Johnny Spring the 1961 film Gidget Goes Hawaiian, starring Deborah Walley and James Darren.

* Aside from Jeopardy! and The Price is Right, Johnny's best know announcing duties include The Joker's Wild (1972), The $25,000 Pyramid (1982), Supermarket Sweep (1990).  He has also served an an announcer for numerous television awards shows, Dick Clark specials and Circus of the Stars specials.

* Johnny recorded two albums in the 1960s.  

* In the 1990s, Johnny filled in as guest announcer on Jeopardy!s sister show, Wheel of Fortune.

* In 2017, Guinness World Records paid tribute to Johnny for having the longest career as a game show announcer for a single show - 32 years with Jeopardy!

SOURCES: Jeopardy! website, Johnny Gilbert's biography; Outsider, "'Jeopardy!' Legendary Announcer Johnny Gilbert's Winding Road to Working with Alex Trebek," by Chris Haney, June 4, 2021; The New York Times, "On Alex Trebek's Final 'Jeopardy!," a Last Introduction From a Friend," by Julia Jacobs; January 7, 2021  Wikipedia;; Internet Move Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Jeopardy! finally decides on who will host

Hands on the buzzer!




"I write today with the exciting news that we have closed and signed deals with Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings to be the hosts of Jeopardy! moving forward. In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional Jeopardy! viewer."

- Jeopardy! executive producer Michael Davies in a statement on the show's website, July 27, 2022

It has taken some time, but Jeopardy! has finally decided to appoint Ken Jennings as one of the hosts of the show.  Jennings will share the hosting duties with former Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik.  The decision should satisfy most fans, including myself.  For months now, we have become accustomed to the duo sharing the hosting duties, although it was never made official until now.

Mayim Bialik

Ken Jennings

Jennings will host the show when the new season begins in September.  He will also preside over the Second Chance competition.  Bialik, who currently plays the title role on  Fox's Call Me Kat, is scheduled to host Celebrity Jeopardy! in prime time on ABC, as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship.  In addition, she will host the main show for a period of time beginning in January.  

- Joanne

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Is Netflix in trouble?

Netflix is often referred to as a "giant streaming service."  For years, it has dominated the world of internet streaming like a colossus.  However, the landscape has changed dramatically since the company launched its service back in 2007.  That's why the July 19th report of its second quarter earnings is not really surprising.  

For the first time in a decade, Neflix reported a loss of an additional 970,000 subscribers.  Obviously, that is not a positive trend.  Yet it is actually better than the company had anticipated.  Netflix had projected a second quarter loss of two million subscribers.  That's why its stock price increased by more than six per after-hours trading upon news of its second quarter results.

Tom Fitzgerald, in a July 19th article in Forbes magazine is cautiously optimistic about the future of Netflix.  He writes that "Netflix predicted it would return to black among subscribers in the third quarter, projecting it will add one million.  Last year during the same period, it added 4.4 million, so while recovery is significant, the company is still nowhere near returning to its peak boom period."

Netflix will probably always play a significant role in the streaming world.  It's doubtful, however, that the company will ever return to the prosperity it enjoyed during its peak boom period.  It has lost its monopoly and it faces stiff competition.  New streaming services are popping up like weeds in a field.  There are far more choices than when the company began streaming in 2007.  It is  no longer the only kid in town.  It has to share the market with Amazonn Prime, Disney Plus and others.

Greater competition is not the only challenge facing Netflix.  There are also other factors involved in the decline of the company's subscribers.  For example, it removed itself from the Russian market when the war in Ukraine broke out.  Furthermore, Netflix has increased its prices and cancelled shows.

A Netflix monthly subscription currently costs $9.99 for the Basic Plan, $15.99 for Standard, and $19.99 for Premium.  In April, the company announced that it would introduce a new lower priced subscription plan for consumers.  In addition to the ad-free Basic, Standard and Premium plans, Netflix decided to team up with Microsoft as a global advertising technology and sales partner.

The powers-that-be at Netflix are clearly concerned.  The second quarter results came a day after the service announced that it would start testing a new system which would enable it to crack down on pas account sharing, which it has blamed for some of its woes.  It's certainly no secret that users share their passwords outside their households.

Netflix boasts approximately 220.67 million paid subscribers worldwide and it remains a formidable streaming service.  It will not be easily toppled like a house of cards.  It owes it success to its content, including the return of popular shows such as Stranger Things.  Yet, the company faces enormous challenges.  It's future depends on how well it deals with those challenges.

- Joanne

Thursday, July 21, 2022

It's time to make Ken Jennings host of Jeopardy!

Ken Jennings has been appearing on our screens this week as host of Jeopardy! for the first time since May.  The question is: Why hasn't Ken been appointed a permanent host yet?  What, pray tell, is the reason for the delay?  Is it because the powers-that-be want to be perfectly certain that there are no scandals in his past or any inappropriate remarks on Twitter or on a podcast?  

That's understandable given the fiasco over Mike Richards and his eventual firing.  However, there has been ample time to check Ken out and to make sure he's been properly vetted.  So what's the the reason for the long wait?  Is Ken himself uncertain about taking on the job?  If he doesn't want to be permanent host, why doesn't he make his position clear?  If he hasn't made up his mind yet, it's time for him to do so.  Perhaps the producers are waiting for his decision before giving him a green light.  There may also be another reason that has not been disclosed to the public.  We have no idea what's been going on behind the scenes.  Whatever the reason for the delay,  a decision should be made soon.

Ken and Mayim Bialik have each been criticized by Jeopardy! fans for various reasons.  The show's viewers are incredibly loyal and opinionated.  Yet it's no easy task to host the fast-paced game show.  Ken and Mayim will never please everyone and it is impossible to find a host who is absolutely perfect and never errs.  I think they have both been doing a good job and I would like to see them continue sharing the hosting duties.

It's time for Ken Jennings to be named an official host of Jeopardy!  Alex Trebek died in November of 2020 and the show needs the stability of a permanent host.  Ken is a master of trivia.  He is genial and he knows the game inside out.  If he doesn't want the job, he should let it be known so that alternative  arrangements can be looked into as soon as possible.

- Joanne

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Whatever happened to Pat Carroll?

"I think it always went against the female image for a woman to be funny.  But within families everywhere., they talk about Aunt Tilly, who was a hoot, and Grandma Marian will just keep you in stitches.  Woman have a sense of humour, always have had.  In many cases, within families, they've been the only ones to  keep the beacon of laughter alive.  And I just think that the translation to the theatrical profession is not difficult for women, except for the prejudice of people who did not want to see them acting silly  They wanted them to maintain themselves as ladies.  Well, please forgive me, but ladies have a sense of humour as well."

- Pat Carroll, The Let's Visit Show, with David Welsh, September 25, 2011

I've been watching old episodes of Make Room for Daddy (September 1953 to April 1957) on ABC)later known as the Danny Thomas Show (October 1957 to 1964 on CBS).  As a result, I've been feeling curious about several members of the cast {I've already written about the tragic death of Rusty Hamer, who played Danny's son, Rusty Williams, on the show.  In 1990, Rusty died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 42).  The only major cast  members still alive are Sherry Jackson (born February 15, 1942), who played older daughter Terry Williams, Angela Cartwright (born September 9,1952), who played younger daughter Linda Williams, and Pat Carroll, who played Bunny Helper.

To be honest, I wasn't sure whether Pat Carroll was still alive.  I looked her up and discovered that she remains active at the age of 95. She's has worked professionally since 1947 as an award-winning actress, comedian and singer.  

Patricia Ann Carroll was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 5, 1927, the daughter of Maurice Clifton Carroll and Kathryn Angela (née Meagher).  When Pat was five years old, the Carroll family moved to Los Angeles and she began performing in local productions.  From 1944 to 1947, Pat attended Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.  During the years following World War II, she toured with the United States Army as a civilian actress technician.  She also enrolled in Catholic University of America, a private research university in Washington, D.C., where she received a Bachelor's degree in Acting in 1950.

Pat received her first acting credit for her role as Lorelei Crawford in the 1948 film, Hometown Girl.  During the early days of television, she guest starred in anthology series such as Goodyear Playhouse (1951), The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse (1954), Kraft Theatre (1955), General Electric Theater (1959) and The DuPont Show with June Allyson (1959).  She also appeared on The Dennis Day Show (1954), The Mickey Rooney Show (1954) and The Ann Sothern Show (1961).

In 1957, Pat received an Emmy Award for her work on Caesar's Hour, a love hour-long sketch comedy TV show featuring such notables as Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner and Janet Blair.

From 1961 to 1964, Pat appeared in 40 episodes of The Danny Thomas Show.  She played Bunny Helper, the spirited wife of nightclub owner Charlie Helper (Sid Melton).  In a 2014 interview classicshowbiz, here's what she had to say about Sid: "Oh, my darling Sid Melton!  There was another nervous nellie, God bless him!  He had done The Danny Thomas Show long before I ever appeared on the scene.  He was a nervous wreck!  I practically had to hold his hand and pat his brow . . .  But he was fun and he was a good actor and he knew exactly what his place was and played that to the nth degree.  He was a wonderful companion.  He really was.  I always got a kick out of Sid."

Pat Carroll and Sid Melton

In the 1965 television production of Roges and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Pat portrayed Prunella, one of the wicked stepsisters.

Pat Carroll in Cinderella

Pat continued to work in prime time series throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  From 1971 to 1972, she had a recurring role in the Bobby Sherman series Getting Together.  She was a guest star in a 1971 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show entitled "Hi!" (Season 1, Episode 20, Air Date: February 6, 1971).  In the episode, Mary gets her tonsils removed and must share a hospital room with a very grumpy, played by Pat.  In her interview with David Welsh, Pat recounted how some viewers were upset with her for how her character treated Mary's character.

Pat in hospital scene with Mary

In 1971, Pat also appeared in episodes of My Three Sons and The Interns.  In 1976, she was cast as Lily Feeney, mother of Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) on the ABC comedy Laverne and Shirley,  She appeared in an episode of the series entitled "Mother Knows Worst" (Season 1, Episode 15, Air Date: May 18, 1976).

Pat with Cindy Williams on Lavern & Shirley

In 1977, Pat appeared as Pearl Markowitz alongside Adam Arkin in 12 episodes of Busting Loose, a comedy about a 24 year-old-slacker who moves away from home for the first time.  In 1983, she guest starred in an episode of Designing Women.   From 1986 to 1987, Pat had a role as Hope Stinson in 20 episodes of the Ted Knight sitcom Too Close for Comfort.  From 1987 to 1989, she played Gussie Holt in 45 episodes of She's the Sheriff, a comedy starring Suzanne Somers.  

Since the late1980s, Pat has done a great deal of voice work on animated shows such a A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and too Garfield television specials.  In 1989, she provided the voice for the sea witch Ursula in the Disney film The Little Mermaid.  She sang :"Poor Unfortunate Souls" and considers the role to be one of the highlights of her career.

In 2005, Pat made three guest appearances on the medical drama ER as Rebecca Chadwick.  

In 1955, Pat married talent agent Lee Karsian.  The couple had three children - Tara, Kerry and Sean Karsian - and divorced in 1976.  Tara Karsian (born August 5, 1965) is an actress, producer and director. 

More recent photo of Pat


* Pat Carroll is a lifelong Republican and a devout Roman Catholic.

* During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Pat appeared in many variety shows such as The Steve Allen Show, The Red Buttons Show, The Danny Kaye ShowThe Red Skelton Hour and The Carol Burnett Show.  She also appeared on game shows such as The Price is Right, Password and To Tell the Truth.

* In the 1970s, Pat performed in Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, a successful one woman show on the  American novelist, poet and playwright In 1980, she won a Grammy Award (with others) for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording of her Gertrude Stein performance.

* Pat's ex-husband, Lee Karsian, died on June 26, 1991 in Las Vegas Nevada.  He was 66 at the time of his passing.

* Pat's daughter, Tara Karsian, is known for her recent TV roles aa Gayle Burns in The Morning Show (2021) , Chef Bertie on American Horror Story (2019) and Lucille on Review (2014-2017).

Tara Karsian

* Sid Melton, who played Charlie Helper, Pat's husband on The Danny Thomas Show, died on November 3, 2011 at the age of 94.

* Danny Thomas, who played nightclub entertainer Danny Williams on his show, died of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills, California on February 6, 1991.  He was 79 at the time of his passing.  

* Jean Hagan played Danny Williams/ first wife, Margaret, from 1953 to 1956.  After three seasons, she left the series.  Her character was killed off rather than recast.  As a result, Danny Williams became a widower and a single father.  Jean Hagan died of esophageal cancer on August 29, 1977.  She was 54.

* Marjorie Lord, who played Danny Thomas' second TV wife, Kathy, from 1957 to 1964, passed away on November 28, 2015.  She was 97 years old.

* Louise Beavers, who played the Williams family's housekeeper, Louise Evans, died on October 26, 1962 at the age of 62.  When she became ill in 1955, Amanda Randolph assumed the role of Louise,  Amanda died of a stroke on August 24, 1967 at the age of 70.

SOURCES classicshowbiz, "Classic Television Showbix: An Interview with Pat Carroll, Part Three" January 1, 2014; Pixie Video: The Let's Visit Show, with David Welsh, September 25, 2011; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

UPDATE (July 31, 2020):  Pat Carroll passed away on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  She was 95.  Her daughter, Tara, announced on her Facebook page that Pat died of pneumonia.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Whatever Happened to the Cast of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.?

 "After little more than a season playing Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, Jim Nabors got his own series built around the same character.  Gomer was a likable, naive, bumbling rural character who gave up his job as a gas-station attendant in Mayberry to join  the peace time Marine Corps, which stationed him at Camp Henerson, California."

- The Complete Directory to Prime Network TV Shows 1946 - Present

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., a spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show, ran on CBS for five seasons, from September 22, 1964 until May 2, 1969.  The series was created by TV director and producer Aaron Ruben, who directed episodes of The Phil Silvers Show and later produced The Andy Griffith Show.  Ruben produced Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. with Sheldon Leonard and Ronald Jacobs,   

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, aired in black-and-white during its first season and in colour for the remaining four seasons.


JIM NABORS (Private Gomer Pyle): 

"I really love Gomer.  I had the good fortune, if you're gonna play a character, to play as nice a guy as he was.  People always ask me if I would like to be identified differently and I tell them, 'Absolutely not!'  I really enjoyed it and still do.  I haven't necessarily made my career totally on Gomer, because I've used so much music in my career, but I've been very blessed in that I've a a diverse career.  I had a situation comedy, a concert career and a variety show.  It's all been very wonderful, because in show business you're always kind of looking for your  next job.  It's a very insecure business.  Fortunately, I was never without a job in 40 years."
- Jim Nabors in an interview with Allan Newsome for his Two Chairs, No Waiting Andy Griffith Show podcast.

James Thurston Nabors was born in Sylacauga, Alabama on June 12, 1930.  The singer, actor and comedian was one of  the biggest television stars of the 1960s and 1970s..  Singing at church and at school played a big part in his early life.  He graduated from the University of Alabama, where he performed in skits.  After graduation, Jim moved to New York City and became a typing clerk at the United Nations.  He spent a year in New York before heading to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he took a job as a film cutter for an NBC affiliate station, mainly inserting commercials into late night movies.

Still, Jim Nabors wanted to get into show business and Hollywood beckoned.  A move to Los Angeles made sense from a career perspective, but also because Jim suffered from asthma, so the environment in California would be beneficial to his health.  He planned to work as an assistant film editor at NBC, but ss it turned out, it was his act at The Horn, a nightclub in Santa Monica, California that led to his stardom.  

Jim sang and danced in cabaret style at The Horn and his routine featured a character similar to Gomer Pyle.  Jim's character sang in a beautiful baritone, but his speaking voice was often high-pitched and comedic.  Comedian Bill Dana saw Jim's act and invited him to appear on The Steve Allen Show, which according to several sources, he did.  

Jim, however, was also seen at the Horn by fellow Southerner, Andy Griffith and it was his discovery by Andy that would determine his fate.  Andy hired Jim to play Gomer Pyle, a dimwitted, but good-hearted, gas station attendant for one episode of his show.  Gomer was the cousin of Goober Pyle, played by George Lindsey.  The two worked at Wally's Filling Station in the small town of Mayberry, North Carolina.  

Jim's character was very well-received and he soon became a regular on the Andy Griffith Show.  Gomer, the likable mechanic, introduced such catchphrases as "Gol-ly" and "Shazam" to American TV audiences.  His childlike innocence seemed to appeal to viewers.

Jim Nabors appeared over 20 times on The Andy Griffith Show before it was decided to star him in a spin-off.  The pilot for Gomer Pyle, U.S.M,C. aired on May 18, 1964 as the season finale of the fourth season of the Griffith show.   In the episode, simply entitled "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," Gomer joins the Marines and Andy drives him to the base.  When Andy discovers that Sergeant Carter (Frank Sutton) intends to send Gomer home, he attempts to get  the sergeant to understand Gomer's point of view.

Jim's new series debuted the following September.  It was a ratings hit and Jim became a popular television star in his own right.  After Gomer Pyle ended its run in May of 1969, Jim hosted a CBS variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour, The Jim Nabors Hour premiered in September of that year, with Andy Griffith as a guest star.  Jim was able to display his singing talent on the show and his castmates from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. made regular appearances.

Jim and Carol Burnett were good friends.  Carol appeared on The Jim Nabors Hour and he was a frequent guest on Carol's show.  Carol considered Jim her "good luck charm" and he was the guest star on the first episode of every season during the 11 years that her show was on the air.  Jim was also a friend of Lucille Ball and he appeared with her as Gomer Pyle in a 1966 episode of The Lucy Show entitled "Lucy Gets Caught Up in the Draft" (Air Date, November 14, 1968)

Due to his Gomer Pyle role, Jim was often typecast and given comedic roles.  He played his first dramatic role in a 1973 episode of The Rockies entitled "Down Home Boy" (Season 2, Episode 11, November 19, 1973).  In the episode, Jim portrayed Corley Curlew, a man called on to be an assassin after the death of his sister  

Jim was a guest star in a 1974 episode of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.  From 1975 to 1976, he and Ruth Buzzi co-starred in The Lost Saucer, a Saturday morning children's show.  They played bumbling androids who travel through time with two children.  

Jim eventually grew tired of the hard work and grind associated with prime time TV.  So, he moved away from television work to focus on concert performances and and his role in a touring production of Man of La Mancha.  Jim had vacationed in Hawaii since the 1960s.  In 1976, he moved from Bel Air, California to Honolulu. 

In 1994, Jim underwent a liver transplant after contracting Hepatitis B in India. He stated that he had cut himself with a contaminated straight razor that he had bought there.

 In 1996, Jim returned to television, reprising his Gomer Pyle role for the TV movie Return to Mayberry, which reunited the cast of The Andy Griffith Show.. 

In 2013, Jim married Stan Cadwallader, his partner of 36 years, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.  The ceremony took place a month after same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Washington.

Jim was known for singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" every Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 1972, except when faced with scheduling conflicts.  He performed the song for the last time in 2014 because health issues were making it difficult for him to  travel.  His physical condition had deteriorated because his immune system had been affected by the liver transplant.  On November 30, 2017, Jim Nabors died peacefully at his Honolulu home.  He was 87 years old at the time of his passing.  

FRANK SUTTON (Sgt. Vince Carter)
:  Frank Sutton, who played Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter, died on June 28, 1974.  He was only 50 years old at the time of his death.  While preparing to perform in a play in Shreveport, Louisiana, he suffered a heart attack.

Frank Spencer Sutton was born in Clarksville, Tennessee on October 23, 1923.  He and his parents moved to Nashville, where Frank belonged to his high school drama club.  After graduation, he returned to his hometown of Clarksville and worked as a radio announcer.

During World War II, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the South Pacific.  After being honourably discharged, hie began acting on stage again, graduating with a degree in dramatic arts from Columbia University in New York.

In the 1950w and early 1960s, Frank made guest appearances in episodes of  such TV series as The Goldbergs (1955), I Spy - an anthology series hosted by Raymond Massey 1955, 1956), Have Gun-Will Travel (1962), The Twilight Zone (1962), Gunsmoke (1961, two 1962 episodes), Combat! (1963), The Fugitive (1963) and Death Valley Days (1963).  In the early 1960s, Frank also had a stint as Joe Sullivan in the daytime drama The Secret Storm.

Frank's breakthrough role came in 1964, when he appeared the Gomer Pyle episode on The Andy Griffith Show, which led to his major role on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., as Gomer's nemesis, the gruff, cynical Sergeant Carter,  From 1969 to 1970, Frank appeared regularly on The Jim Nabors Hour.  From 1970 to 1971, he guest-starred in five episodes of The Love Boat.  His last television role was as Bert Pearson in the 1974 TV movie Hurricane.

Frank married soap opera writer Toby M. Igler in 1946.  They had two children, Joe and Amanda.  Joe  Sutton is a playwright.        

RONNIE SCHELL (Private First Class and later Corporal Gilbert "Duke" Slater):  Ronnie Schell portrayed Duke Slater on Gomer Pyle from 1964 to 1969.  He appeared in 92 episodes of the series.  Duke was a Marine private.  He was Gomer's best friend and bunkmate.

Ronald Schell was born on December 23, 1931 in Richmond. California,  He attended San Francisco State University and began his career as a nightclub comedian.  He developed his routine at the Purple Onion, a popular cellar club in the North Beach area of San Francisco.  In 1958, during his senior college year, Ronnie's career was given a boast when he toured with the Kingston Trio.  He later served as the opening act for Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on the Las Vegas Strip and Lake Tahoe, earning the nickname "American's Slowest-Rising Comedian" 

In 1964, Ronnie launched his television acting career with his role on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M,C.  Ronnie left the serries in 1967 o star in his own sitcom, Good Morning World, in which he played a disc jockey named Larry Clarke.  The show also featured Goldie Hawn before she became a star on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.  However, Good Morning World never made an impact because it was cancelled after only one season (1967-1968) and 26 episodes.  Ronnie then  returned to Gomer Pyle, U.S,M.C. as a corporal for its fifth of final season

Ronnie also appeared on The Jim Nabors Hour, Jim's variety show, in 1969 and 1970.  His TV guest appearances include The Andy Griffith Show (1966, 1968), That Girl (two 1966 episodes and one in 1970), The Patty Duke Show (two 1965 episodes and one1966), The Brian Keith Show (1972, 1973),  Happy Days (two 1974 episodes)x The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1972), Sanford and Son (1976), Alice (1977, 1979), Mork and Mindy (1979), One Day at a Time (1979), Charlie's Angels, (1979), The Dukes of Hazard (1979), The Love Boat (1981), Too Close for Comfort (1982), Trapper John, M,D. (1982, 1984), Emergency!, Adaam-12, x Black Sheep Squadron and Jesse. Saved by the Bell (1989), Empty Nest (1989), The Golden Girls (1990), Coach (1995, 1996), Step by Step, (1998) Yes, Dear (2004), Retired at 35 (2012), You'll be Fine (as Harry in one 2014 episode and two 2015 episodes), See Ya  (2017, 2018), Kaplan's Corner (2019), and Beyond Hope (2020)

Ronnie has done voice work for animated series such as The Smurfs (four episodes from 1982 to 1988), Yo, Yogi (1991), Tom and Jerry Kids Show (1992) 

Ronnie has been married to Janet Rodeberg since 1968.  They have two children, Greg and Chris Schell.  As of this writing, he is 90 years old.

ELIZABETH MacRAE (Lou-Ann Poovie
): Elizabeth MacRae played Lou Ann Poovie, Gomer's girlfriend for most of the series.  Lou-Ann, a nightclub singer from North Carolina, was sweet, but somewhat naive.  She quickly became Gomer's girlfriend and her Southern charm reminded Gomer of home.. She was always a willing participant in Gomer's mishaps.

Prior to Gomer Pyle, Elizabeth guest-starred in episodes of Maverick (1961), Dr. Kildare (1962), 77 Sunset Strip (1962), Hawaiian Eye (1962), The Untouchables (1962), Death Valley Days (1963), Route 66 (four episodes (1960 - 2 episodes, 1962, 1964), Burke's Law (1964), Rawhide (1964), The Fugitive (1964), The Virginian (1965), Gunsmoke (four episodes 1962-1965), I Dream of Jeannie (1965), The Andy Griffith Show (1967) and Bonanza (1968).  

Elizabeth made her debut as Lou-Ann in a 1966 episode of the show entitled 'Love's Old Sweet Song" (Season 3, Episode 15, Air Date: December 28, 1966). She remained with the show until it ended in 1969, appearing in 15 episodes.  After Gomer Pyle, Elizabeth appeared in episodes of such series as Judd for the Defense (1969), Mannix (1972), Petrocelli (1975), Kojak (1975), Barnaby Jones (1976) and Rhoda (1977).  She also appeared in four soap operas.  She played Meg Bentley on General Hospital from 1969-1970 and from 1971-1973)..  She played Phyllis Anderson on Days of Our Lives from 1976 to 1977.  In 1984, she played Agatha Dobson on Guiding Light and in 1984, Jazie on Search for Tomorrow.

Elizabeth MacRae was born on February 22, 1936 in Columbia, South Carolina and was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  She is 86  years old as of this writing.

ROY STUART (Corporal Charles "Chuck" Boyle)
:  Roy Stuart played Corp. Chuck Boyle in 58 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1965 to 1968, during the second, third and fourth seasons of the show.  Cpl. Boyle was the enthusiastic aide to Frank Sutton's Sgt. Vince Carter.  At the end of the fourth season, Boyle just vanished with no explanation and Roy Stuart left the show.  After his departure, Duke Slater, played by Ronnie Schell, was promoted to corporal.

Roy Stuart was born in The Bronx, New York on July 27, 1927.  The veteran character actor began his career  performing in theatre and nightclubs.  In the 1960s, he appeared in Broadway musicals such as Beg, Borrow or Steal and Cafe Crown.

Prior to his role on Gomer Pyle, Roy guess-starred on such TV series as Mister Ed (1965), Bewitched (1965) and Hazel (1966).  After leaving Gomer Pyle, he made appearances in episodes of Room 222 (1969), The Carol Burnett Show (1972), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1973), Sanford and Son (3 episodes, 1975-1976), Laverne and Shirley (1977), CHiPS (1980), Hotel (1983), Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1985), The Golden Girls (1987) and Mama's Family (1989).  HIs last TV role was as Frank Theasher in a 1990 episode of The Munsters Today. He also appeared in numerous television commercials through the years.

On December 25, 2005, Roy Stuart died of cancer at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.  He was 78 years old.  Roy was survived by his companion, Claude Hubert.  On an online message board, there is speculation that Roy was fired from Gomer Pyle because of his homosexuality.

TED BESSELL (Private Frankie Lombardi)
:  Ted Bessell is best known for his portrayal of Donald Hollinger, the boyfriend of aspiring actress Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas) on the hit comedy, That Girl, from 1966 to 1971.  

Howard Weston "Ted" Bessell Jr. was born in Flushing, New York on  March 30, 1935.  He began his television career in the late 1950s, appearing on Who Do You Trust?, a game show hosted by Johnny Carson, and The Dick Clark Show.  

Prior to That Girl, Ted played Frankie Lombardi in 19 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1965 to 1966.  Lombardi was introduced in Season 2 of the show.  He served as a recruit under Sergeant Vince Carter.  He was best friends with Duke Snider and a confidant to Gomer.

Ted Bessell left Gomer Pyle, U.S.M,C. for a starring role on That Girl, alongside Marlo Thomas.  When That Girl ended, Ted starred in another sitcom, Me and the Chimp, in which he portrayed Mike Reynolds, a dentist who is persuaded by his children to look after a runaway chimp.  The show was created by Garry Marshall and it was not well received.  It only ran ran for 19 episodes in 1972.  

Ted played Mary Richards' boyfriend, Joe Warner, in two 1975 episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  He eventually directed episodes of The Tracey Ullman Show and Sibs.  In 1989, he was the co-winner of an Emmy as a producer for The Tracy Ullman Show.

Ted Bessell married Linnell Nobori in 1982 and the couple had two daughters, Sarah and Mary.  On October 6, 1996, Ted died in Los Angeles at the age of 61, the result of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.  

BARBARA STUART ("Miss" Bunny Wilson)
:  Barbara Stuart appeared in 21 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1964 until 1969.  In her first appearance on the show, she played a character named Hannah in an episode entitled "Gomer and the Dragon Lady" (Season 1, Episode, Season 8, Air Date: November 13, 1964).  She went on to play Bunny, Sgt. Carter's girlfriend, Bunny, for most of the series.

Barbara Stuart was born Barbara Ann in Paris, Illinois.  Prior to her role on Gomer Pyle, Barbara guest-starred in numerous episodes of TV shows.  In 1963 alone, she guest-starred on Sam Benedict, The Bill Dana Show, Arrest and Trial, Rawhide, The Danny Thomas Show and 77 Sunset Strip. Some of her most notable TV appearances are her roles in two episodes of Perry Mason in 1961.  She played Violet Ryder in "The Case of the Guilty Clients" and Maizie Freitag in "The Case of  the Barzen Request."  She also guest-starred in a 1964 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show entitled "Dear Mrs Petrie, Your Husband is in Jail."

In the 1970s, Barbara made guest appearances on such shows as Barnaby Jones (1973), Kung Fu (1973), Cannon (1973), The Rookies (1975), Starsky and Hutch (1979) and Trapper John, M.D.  In the 1980s, she had roles on Quincy M.E. (1982), Three's Company (1980, 1983), Mama's Family (1983), Highway to Heaven (1986) and Simon & Simon (1998).  

In the early 1990s, Barbara performed in dinner theatres.  In the '90s, she also appeared in episodes of l..A. Law (1993)and Nash Bridges (1999).  Her final TV role was as Alice in five episodes of the comedy-drama Huff from 2004 to 2006.

In 1967, Barbara married entertainer Dick Gautier and she became stepmother to his children from a previous marriage..  Dick and Barbara divorced in 1979.  Barbara died at a nursing home in St. George, Utah on May 15, 2011.  She was 81 years old at the time of her death.

WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER (Private Lester Hummel):  
William "Bill" Christopher was born in Evanston, Illinois on October 20, 1932.  Bill portrayed Private Lester Hammel in 16 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1965 to 1968.  Prior to his role on the series, he made guest appearances on such shows as 12 O'Clock High (1955), The Patty Duke Show (1966), The Andy Griffith Show (1965, 1966), Death Valley Days (1966).  He also appeared in four episodes of Hogan's Heroes from 1965 to 1968, That Girl (1969, 1970), The Virginian (1971), Alias Smith and Jones (1971), The Carol Burnett Show (1971), Columbo (1971),, Movin' On (1974) and Lucas Tanner (1975).

Bill is best remembered for his role as Father Francis Mulcahy, a Catholic priest, on M*A*S*H from 1972 to 1983. He reprised his Father Mulcahy role on the show's spin-off, AfterMASH, from 1983 to 1985.  His later TV guest appearances include Murder, She Wrote (1985), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1997), Diagnosis Murder (1998) and Mad About You (1998).  Bill's final TV acting role was in 2012, as Father Tobias, on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

In 1957, Bill  married Barbara O'Connor and they adopted two sons, John and Ned. During his time on M*A*S*H, Bill was unable to appear in as many episodes as he wanted because he had to help his wife with the care of their autistic son, Ned.  According to, during the Season 5 filming of the M*A*S*H, episode "Hepatitis," Bill actually contracted hepatitis and producers were ready to cancel his contract.  It was Alan Alda who advocated on Bill's behalf.  He argued that Bill's family relied on his income.

In the 1990s, Bill toured with his M*A*S*H co-star Jamie Farr in a production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple.

On December 31, 2016, William Christopher died at his home in Pasadena.  His son, John Christopher, stated that the cause of his death was lung cancer.  The actor was 84 years old at the time of his passing.

FORREST COMPTON (Colonel. Edward Gray)
: Forrest Compton appeared in 41 episodes of Gomer Pyle from 1964 to 1969.  He played Captain Brinson in two 1964 episodes of the series.  From 1965 to 1969, he portrayed Col. Edward Gray, a strict but fair-minded battalion commander.

Forrest Compton was born in  Reading, Pennsylvania on September 15, 1925.  After graduating from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama, where he became friends with Paul Newman.

From 1959 to 1969, Forest had a recurring role in the NBC series The Troubleshooters with Keenan Wynn and Bob Mathias.  Some of his other television credits include The Twilight Zone (1963), 77 Sunset Strip,(1961, 1962, 1963), The Fugitive (1963), My Three Sons (1969), Mayberry RFD (1969), Mannix (1970), Hogan's Heroes ( 6 episodes 1965-1970) and That Girl (1969, 1970)..

Forest is best known for his portrayal of attorney Mike Karr on The Edge of Night, the soap opera on which he appeared from 1970 to 1984.  He also appeared on other daytime dramas such as Another World, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, All My Children and Loving.

Forest Compton married Jeanne Sementini on September 28, 1975.  His last acting role was in 2002 on three episodes of the TV comedy-drama Ed, after which he retired to Shelter Island, New York.  On April 4. 2020, Forest died on Shelter Island of COVID-19.   He was 94 years old at the time of his passing.

ALLAN MELVIN (Sgt. Charley Hacker)
:  From 1965 to 1969, Allan Melvin had the recurring role of  Sgt. Charley Hacker in 16 episodes of Gomer Pyle.  Hacker was Sgt. Carter's rival.

Allan Melvin was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 18, 1923.  Although he never had a leading role, Allan was a very familiar face on American television.  From the 1950s to the 1990's, he was cast in numerous episodes of television series.  

Allan's role as Cpl. Steve Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show was his first big break on TV.  He appeared in all 142 episodes of the series from 1955 to 1959.  From 1962 to 1967, Allan appeared in eight episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  From 1969 to 1974, he played Sam Franklin ("Sam the Butcher') in eight episodes of  The Brady Bunch.  Sam owned a local butcher shop and he dated Alice (Ann B. Davis), the Brady family's  housekeeper.  

In 1971, Allan had a guest spot as a Sgt, Pulaski, a policeman, in an episode of All in the Family entitled "Archie in the Lock-up" (Season 2, Episode 3, Air Date: October 2, 1971).  From 1972 to 1979, he played the recurring role of Barney Hefner, Archie Bunker's neighbour and friend.

From 1979 to 1983, Allan continued his role as Barney Hefner on Archie Bunker's Place, a spin-off of All in the Family.  When Archie Bunker's Place ended in 1983, Allan became a voice actor for cartoons until 1994.  His final voice-over was as Magilla Gorilla in Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, a made-for-television animated film.

Allan married Amalia Faustina Sestero in New York City in 1944 and they had two children.  On January 17, 2008, Allan Melvin died of cancer.  He was 84 years old at the time of his death in Brentwood, California.

TOMMY LEONETTI  (Nick Cuccinello)
:  Tommy Leonetti played Cpl. Nick Cuccinello from 1964 to 1965 on Gomer Pyle.  His character served under Gunner Sergeant Vince Carter.  Tommy later had guest roles on I Spy (1966), Hawaii Five-0  (1977), The Waltons (1978)  and The Eddie Capra Mysteries (1978).

Tommy was born Nicola Tomaso Leonetti in Bergen County, New Jersey on September 10, 1929.  He was a pop singer-songwriter from the 1950s to the 1970s.  In 1957 and 1958, he was a vocalist for NBC's Your Hit Parade.  He wrote songs for films and Broadway plays.

In 1966, Tommy accepted a singing gig in Sydney, Australia, having enjoyed some success on the Australian charts during the 1950s.  He fell in love with the city and moved there in 1968 and remained there into the 1970s.   His song "City of Sydney" was very successful in Australia and was used as a signoff for an Australian television station 

On June 13, 1959, Tommy married Patricia Quinn, who played the tittle role of Alice Brock in the 1969 film Alice's Restaurant, co-starring James Broderick and Arlo Guthrie.  Tommy and Patricia divorced in 1964.  On November 27, 1965, Tommy married actress Cindy Robbins in Beverly Hills, California.  The couple moved to Australia, along with Cindy's young daughter, Kimberly, now actress Kimberly Beck Beck  Tommy and his family lived in Sydney, where he hosted his own talk show, The Tommy Leonetti Show, from 1968 to 1970, for the Australian network ATN-7.

On September 15, 1979, Tommy died in a hospital in Houston, Texas after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was only 50 years old at the time of his passing.

LARRY HOVIS (Private Larry Gotschalk)):  
Larry Hovis played Private Larry Gotschalk on Gomer Pyle from 1964 to 1965.  He was given the role by Andy Griffith's manager and he appeared in 11 episodes of the series.  

Larry Hovis was born in Wapato, Washington on February 20, 1936.  He moved to Houston, Texas when he was a small child.  As a youth, he appeared as a singer on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.  In 1959, he moved to New York City, where he performed in the 1960 Broadway Revue From A to Z.

From 1961, to 1962, Larry appeared in four episodes of The Jim Backus Show,  In 1965, he guest-starred in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  That same year, he was given a minor role in the pilot episode of Hogan's Heroes.  When an actor withdrew from the series, Larry was given the regular role of Sgt. Andrew Carter, a POW in a World War II German prison camp and an expert on explosives.  Carter was of Sioux ancestry.

Larry was a regular on Hogan's Heroes until the series of cancelled in 1971.  In the mid-1970s, Larry appeared on the game show Match Game and on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-ii alongside Richard Dawson, his castmate on Hogan's Heroes.  In the 1970s, Larry guest-starred in episodes of The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1972), The Doris Day Show (1972), McMillan and Wife (1972), Adam-12 (1973), Chico and the Man (1974) and Alice (1977, 1978).

From 1979 to 1981, Larry toured in the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  He played Melvin P. Thorpe.

In the 1990s, Larry taught drama at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas (now Texas State University-San Marcos.  His final TV role was as Wilhelm in two 2007 episodes of Heathens, a Western series.  Larry Hovis died of  esophageal cancer in Austin, Texas on September 9, 2003.  He was 67 years of age.         

Larry wed Carol Ann Corrigan in Houston on November 26, 1955.  They remained married until her death of cancer in 1955.   The couple had four children.

SOURCESCloser Weekly, "Here's What Happened to Gomer Pyle from 'The Andy Griffith Show,'" by Ed Gross, March 1, 2022;  '"The Complete Directory to Prime Network TV Shows 1946 - Present; Los Angeles Times, obituary for Roy Stuart, "Roy Stuart; 78; Veteran Character Actor Known for Role in "Gomer Pyle,'" December 31, 2005; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne