Came across an episode of "Love, American Style" on Mother's Day and one of the sketches was about a black couple on the verge of divorce when the wife finds out she's pregnant. I was struck by the beauty of the actress playing the wife, so I looked her up -- Gail Fisher. Such a sad life.
Her father died when she was two. Grew up in poverty in New Jersey. Won some local beauty pageants, one of which got her a scholarship to study acting, which she even did with Lee Strasberg. The first African-American actress accepted to the repertory at Lincoln Center, where she worked with Elia Kazan. Appeared on Broadway in "Danton's Death," understudied Ruby Dee in "Purlie Victorious," toured in "A Raisin in the Sun."
Cast as Mike Conner's secretary in the re-vamped second season of "Mannix" (1967-75), she became a viewer favorite and the ratings soared. She was the first African-American actress to win an Emmy award (for Best Supporting Actress - Drama, 1970) and also won two Golden Globes for her work on "Mannix."
But after "Mannix" ended its run, her appearances became more sporadic, mostly guests spots such as "Fantasy Island," "Knight Rider" and "Hotel." She was arrested in 1978 for possession of marijuana and cocaine, and apparently struggled with her dependence for the rest of her life.
Her last acting job was in 1990, playing an unnamed secretary in the tv movie "Donor." In addition to her drug problem, she was diabetic and, in her later years, suffered from emphysema. She died of renal failure Dec. 2, 2000; tragically, her brother died 12 hours later of a heart attack. She was so forgotten that news of her death wasn't published until four months after she had died.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||12/10/2014|
Interesting. That last sentence is a bit of a heart breaker.
I saw that episode and what I noticed was how large Ivan Dixon had gotten in his post-Hogan's Heroes years. LAS was never an actor's showcase, so I didn't really notice her, or her looks.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||05/16/2013|
Who's going to be the Gail Fisher of our day?
|by Anonymous||reply 2||05/16/2013|
R3 ...She is 1/2 way there, after all you are what you eat.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||05/17/2013|
I highly recommend Viola Davis. She will not only give a wonderful performance but she will tidy up the set and she even does windows.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||05/17/2013|
TONIGHT ON MANNIX: PEGGY IS KIDNAPPED!!!!
|by Anonymous||reply 6||05/17/2013|
Even as a kid, I wanted Mannix and Peggy to become a couple. They could have pre-dated the Willis's on "The Jeffersons."
Yes, she was beautiful.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||05/17/2013|
Another black favorite of mine was Theresa Graves from 'Get Christie Love!'. I also wanted her to get it on with her white boss. Hopefully she's had a happier life, but I haven't heard a peep since all the 'Love Boat' type shows went off the air. I'm pretty sure she found God, which is a drag, but hopefully she's at least alive.
What about the actress who played the Asian maid on 'Courtship of Eddie's Father'? Why didn't she land gigs like Nancy Kwan after her show was canceled? By the way, the kid who played Eddie adopted a wild punk rock appearance and Bill Bixby accepted him in real life. Speaking of which, where the fuck is Bill Bixby?
|by Anonymous||reply 8||05/17/2013|
Gail Strickland was a white actress from the '70s. I last saw her on one of the Star Trek spinoffs. She's one of those faces you recognize immediately.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||05/17/2013|
I don't know whether R8 is kidding or not, but just in case: Bill Bixby died of cancer about 20 years ago. Before that, he had settled into directing sitcoms.
Mrs. Livingston was an Academy Award winner, yet it's true...she just disappeared post-"Courtship."
|by Anonymous||reply 10||05/17/2013|
OP, you say she was beautiful and then you post a grimacing, unflattering picture.
Here's a better one:
|by Anonymous||reply 11||05/17/2013|
You're right, R9 I googled her (Strickland) and she is immediately recognizable. Started reading about her, and read that she played a character that was part of TV's "first lesbian couple." She pingeth, too.
I like Gail Fisher, too. Remember her from Mannix. If they put it on TV, I would probably watch it.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||05/17/2013|
I guess Antenna TV is too busy showing reruns of "The nanny" to show "Mannix". Haven't seen episodes in years.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||05/17/2013|
Mannix was on for 8 years and then both stars disappeared. It happens all the time, no?
|by Anonymous||reply 14||05/17/2013|
R8, Theresa Graves died in a house fire.
Gail's thing was her VOICE.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||05/17/2013|
[quote] What about the actress who played the Asian maid on 'Courtship of Eddie's Father'?
Dead, stupid motherfucker!
Cunt, my death widely commented upon by Datalounge at time. I die licking!
|by Anonymous||reply 16||05/17/2013|
Mike Connors (Joe Mannix) is alive and 89.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||12/10/2014|
Gail was a big deal in her day. Shame
|by Anonymous||reply 18||12/10/2014|
Lee meriweather as Betty was the white version of Peg.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||12/10/2014|
Miyoshi Umeki is in the ground.
Oh miyoshi we love you get up
|by Anonymous||reply 20||12/10/2014|
Apparently you were not having a particularly delicate and flower-like day at R16, Miss Umeki.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||12/10/2014|
Judy Pace was another go-to-black-actress in the 1970's.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||12/10/2014|
I always like Gail Fisher and thought she was a smart and sensitive actress, despite her roles.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||12/10/2014|
[quote]Another black favorite of mine was Theresa Graves from 'Get Christie Love!'. I also wanted her to get it on with her white boss. Hopefully she's had a happier life, but I haven't heard a peep since all the 'Love Boat' type shows went off the air. I'm pretty sure she found God, which is a drag, but hopefully she's at least alive.
Teresa Graves (who also was one of the dancers on "Laugh-In") became a Jehovah's Witness and later left show biz to do religious work in South Central L.A. She died in a house fire a few years back.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||12/10/2014|
I'm pretty sure Mannix is back on TV, on Cozi or Antenna or MEtv or one of the other sub-stations.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||12/10/2014|
Gail Fisher was on Celebrity Jeopardy one night during the run of MANNIX, and she was one of the dumbest people ever.
I think she ended up with $50 and might not even have made it to Final Jeopardy.
I thought she was great on MANNIX. She and Michael Conners had a great chemistry. She just couldn't use a signaling device.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||12/10/2014|