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If then-fading stars who did not star in sitcoms in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, what would they have been like?

You know, like "Hazel" starring Shirley Booth, or "The Donna Reed Show," or nell Carter in "Gimme a Break."

For example:

"Line!" (1978)--Elaine Stritch stars as Elaine Hoyt, a former big city theater actress in a small Midwestern town who has improbably fabulous legs and trouble getting off the booze and off-book. In the pilot, Elaine's local director (McLean Stevenson) thinks she has a crush on him, not understanding she's celibate for life.

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by Anonymousreply 52February 16, 2019 5:10 PM

*Sorry, I fucked up the headline. i

It should have read: "If then-fading stars who did not star in sitcoms in the 60s, 70s, and 80s had actually done so, what would they have been like?"

by Anonymousreply 1February 14, 2019 1:10 AM

I think Elaine Stritch did one in England.

by Anonymousreply 2February 14, 2019 1:13 AM

Oh, That Audrey! (1971; comedy) Film star Audrey Hepburn makes her sitcom debut as Audrey Anderson, a Columbus, Ohio housewife who struggles with two teenaged boys, a husband with an eye for the ladies, and her work trotting the globe for UNICEF. In the premier, Audrey makes a bet with Stan and Mikey, hoping they will lose so she can make them cut their hair; Bill flirts with wacky next-door neighbor Linda (Joyce Bulifant); and there is trouble aboard the puddle-jumper Audrey flies to Zimbabwe. (30 mins.)

by Anonymousreply 3February 14, 2019 1:24 AM

That’s Our Joannie! (1972)- Joan Crawford stars as a bankrupt corporate executive and actress trying to find some meaning in her life, hilarity ensues as she takes a variety of odd jobs to make ends meet.

by Anonymousreply 4February 14, 2019 2:12 AM

OP - fun thread but you need to reword it. Wait a couple days for it to fade, then try again.

by Anonymousreply 5February 14, 2019 3:26 AM

Well done, OP -- although I don't think Stritch had the name recognition that the other two did and wouldn't have anchored a series.

by Anonymousreply 6February 14, 2019 4:25 AM

Lots of stars of that era had shows that flopped -- Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Diana Rigg, etc. It took a while, but networks finally realized that a big name star was no guarantee of TV success. But they kept on ... later we had failed shows from the likes of Bette Midler.

by Anonymousreply 7February 14, 2019 4:30 AM


Clifton Webb stars as a wacky small-town plumber who is constantly fending off the advances of lonely housewives. Hilarity ensues as he also moonlights as an animal proctologist. Lots of repartee about "clogged pipes."

by Anonymousreply 8February 14, 2019 5:37 AM

I remember Elaine Stritch from the TV series My Sister Eileen.

by Anonymousreply 9February 14, 2019 6:15 AM

[italic]Room and Broads[/italic] (1966): Mandy Morehead (Jayne Mansfield), a washed-up Hollywood sex symbol, leaves showbiz behind to open a country inn in Connecticut. After placing a Help Wanted ad in the local paper, she gets a walk-in inquiry about a housekeeping job from Fanny Titmarsh (Diana Dors), a similarly washed-up British actress who has moved across the pond to make a fresh start. Jayne, sensing a kindred spirit, hires her on the spot. Many mildly racy, ribald, and risqué situations subsequently ensue, punctuated with much breathy squealing and as much cleavage as ABC Standards and Practices will allow at the dawn of the sexual revolution. Co-starring Ron Ely as handyman Lunk Everhard, Steve Reeves as groundskeeper Frank Long, and, in his ill-fated foray into American TV, Jean-Paul Belmondo as chef Marcel Grossebite. Unceremoniously pulled from the airwaves due to protests by everyone from Barry Goldwater to Kate Smith.

by Anonymousreply 10February 14, 2019 6:34 AM

^^^with guest appearances by French Bombshell Denise Darcel as Josephine the plumber.

by Anonymousreply 11February 14, 2019 7:00 AM

Ginger's Time (Comedy, 1981) Ginger Rogers stars as fresh-faced college graduate Ginger Rivers, a little gal in the Big Apple determined to make it all on her own. In the premiere episode, Ginger's roommate Janie sets her up with a blind date who Ginger is horrified to discover is much older. Can she make a relationship with a 28-year-old work?

by Anonymousreply 12February 14, 2019 12:05 PM

No she can't.

by Anonymousreply 13February 14, 2019 12:13 PM

Nell Carter was hardly fading when she landed Gimme A Break! She was fading when she landed Hangin' With Mr. Cooper.

by Anonymousreply 14February 14, 2019 12:16 PM

Coach Spence (drama, 1965) Spencer Tracy is Biff Spencer, US History Teacher and football coach at Hardegan High somewhere in Iowa. The first half of each episode focuses on "Mr. Spencer's" class, and the second half is about "Coach Spence's" boys on the gridiron. Whether teacher or coach, Since can always be counted on for sage advice and tough love. (60 mins)

by Anonymousreply 15February 14, 2019 12:19 PM

Hello Carol!

Carol Channing brings her special brand of wacky charm to ABC TVs Friday night line-up for 1973.

Carol Farrell is a widow and eccentric travel agent in Chicago. While not great at her job, she IS great at fixing the personal troubles that her clients bring to her office. At home, her live in niece, (Bonnie Franklin) is embarking on an acting career. Carol must also thwart the advances of divorced neighbor, William Daniels.

by Anonymousreply 16February 14, 2019 12:36 PM

The Broad Couple (1973) Gay divorcees Liz (Bette Davis) and Rosie (Rosalind Russell) leave exes (Gary Merrill and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; occasional guest appearances) behind to start life anew in their NYC walk-up. Opening an interior decorating business in an East Village office, their mishaps are brightened by sidekicks Calvin (Cleavon Little), Floozie (Madeline Kahn), and Weezie (Mary Wickes). Hector (George Chakiris) and Eddie (Sal Mineo) run the gay bar downstairs, where Liz and Rosie frequently pop up for drinks after a hard day's work.

by Anonymousreply 17February 14, 2019 1:03 PM

“Chunk!” (1980)

Marlon Brando stars as Chunk Buffet, the fattest man on Earth. Every morning, Chunk’s love-struck, zany maid CeeCee (Didi Conn) steers her cantankerous boss’s rollaway bed to nearby Grand Central Station where he eats and dispenses wisdom and love lessons to passers-by. Featuring Arte Johnson as Sonny the Bum, Inga Swenson as imperious cleaning lady Magda, and Robert Hays and Maureen McCormack as the ‘will they or won’t they’ duo Zack the D.A. and Donna the coffee shop manager. Occasional appearances from Ethel Merman as Chunk’s ex-wife Roz.

by Anonymousreply 18February 14, 2019 1:19 PM

I didn't know that Henry Fonda tried a series.

by Anonymousreply 19February 14, 2019 1:20 PM

"The Whores of Life" (1984)

When Connecticut heiress Lesley Von Dyke (Katharine Hepburn) discovers her family fortune has run out she's dismayed. The only asset she has left is a shady motel in West Virginia to which she's forced to move. Only to discover the place is a hotspot for 'ladies of the night'. Von Dyke takes over managing the establishment and gets involved in more than a few hijinks with her 'girls' (a la 'The Facts of Life').

by Anonymousreply 20February 14, 2019 1:27 PM

“Shhhh!” (1975)

Mary Pickford stars as Millicent Adams, head librarian at the Spring Blossom, Wisconsin public library. Millicent loves her job but some think she’s taken her shushing duties too seriously: Millicent has taken a vow of silence! Featuring Gloria Swanson as rich bookstore owner Veronique Bibioteque, Don Knotts as bookworm Eddie, Beth Howland as nervous junior librarian Annie, and Shields and Yarnell as wacky college kids Mime and Mimi. With special guest star Charlie Chaplin as shoe store owner Buddy.

by Anonymousreply 21February 14, 2019 1:39 PM

Yes, Ron Howard played Henry's son.

by Anonymousreply 22February 14, 2019 1:49 PM

[quote]I didn't know that Henry Fonda tried a series.

"Primrose Lane, life's a family on Primrose Lane...."

It ran for ONE season, when I was eight years old and I can still sing the theme song!

by Anonymousreply 23February 14, 2019 1:59 PM

"It's Simply Lover Lee!" (1968)

Liberace stars as eccentric ladies man Lee Poppers, who lives in a dazzling Manhattan penthouse with his pet tiger Rascal and his devoted manservant Rocco (Toshiro Mifune). Featuring Tina Louise, Barbara Feldon, and Nancy Kulp as Fuzzy, Muffy, and Clammy, the swinging stewardesses who share the apartment downstairs, with Truman Capote as Lee's brother (and arch-rival) Dex and Thelma Ritter as 'Ma.'

by Anonymousreply 24February 14, 2019 2:09 PM

I like to Kick, stretch and KICK!

by Anonymousreply 25February 14, 2019 2:15 PM

I would watch the hell out of R17 's show.

by Anonymousreply 26February 14, 2019 4:04 PM

"Oh, Mary!" (1974)

Norman Lear brings us movie tough guy John Wayne in his toughest role yet! Wayne stars as Marion "Mary" Morrison, the new transvestite football coach at George Washington Carver High School in Detroit. "Mary" and "her boys," inner city kids everyone else gave up on, become the winning-est underdogs in Detroit history! With Eileen Heckart as hard-nosed Principal Margie O'Toole, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as quarterback Smokin' Joe, Fred Berry as lovable tight-end Teeny, and Rodney Allen Rippy as "Lil' Peach."

by Anonymousreply 27February 14, 2019 4:16 PM


James Cagney is Jimmy Cooney, a low level mobster in the 1930s whose soft heart and gang of bumbling henchmen have kept him from moving on up to the big time. Jimmy's front for his penny ante operation is a bowling alley thus lending an ironic double meaning to the shoe's title. All of the neighborhood characters can see right through Jimmy's tough guy facade to the soft heart and soft touch underneath.

Wacky antics, nostalgia and sentiment blend in this throwback to Cagney's heyday.

With Frank McHugh as Francis, Allen Jenkins as Al and Alan Hale Jr. as Junior the bumbling sidekicks. Also Sandy Baron as a younger gang wannabe who is always steered away from any serious wrong doing by the others.

Huntz Hall as the pinsetter who has gone a little goofy from all the noise and the occasional conk on the head.

Joyce Bulifant as the sweetly dizzy snack bar girl who aspires to show biz.

George Tobias as Gus the shoe rental guy.

Mary Wickes as Maggie the neighborhood grocer and gossip.

Dorothy Provine as Lulu the neighborhood "good time" gal with a heart of gold. The bumbling sidekicks are her surrogate uncles and want to fix her up with Sandy Baron.

Recurring special guest stars are Pat O'Brien as the local priest Padre Pat, George Raft and Edward G. Robinson as Jimmy's min rivals.

Very Special Episode:Yankee Doodle Double When Padre Pat reveals that his homeless shelter will be foreclosed if his next payment is late, the bumbling sidekicks decide to stage a benefit show at the bowling alley. All the regular characters get to perform but the sidekicks decide that they need a big name draw so they decide to advertise that George M. Cohan will appear. As the show proceeds and the audience grows restless and demands refunds Gus, who's the only one who knows about Jimmy's "embarrassing" stint as a vaudeville hoofer convinces him to go as "Cohan".

And Joan Blondell as Molly Mooney(Jimmy's wise cracking, long suffering but loyal Moll)

by Anonymousreply 28February 14, 2019 4:39 PM

Kingpin is from 1966.

by Anonymousreply 29February 14, 2019 4:47 PM

"Cash and Cary" (Comedy 1973) Cary Grant stars as Cary Davenport, the owner of a successful chain of furniture stores in Dubuque. The name of the chain is the same as the title. The show splits its time between wacky antics at the main furniture store (convertible sofas that eat people, broken springs on chairs) and Cary's harried home life with wife Marge (Jean Simmons), son Ernie and daughter Lisa Sue, adopted Vietnamese orphan Nguyen, and "Ralph the Mutt as himself." (30 mins)

by Anonymousreply 30February 14, 2019 5:06 PM

[quote]It ran for ONE season, when I was eight years old and I can still sing the theme song!

It actually ran for two seasons, but for the second they retooled the opening so that it seemed like a different show. The before-and-after is WTF.

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by Anonymousreply 31February 14, 2019 5:06 PM

"Mickey at the UN" (1965)

Man of a million impressions Mickey Rooney does it all in this worldly new comedy! Six is a crowd when the United Nations accidentally rents the same East Side apartment to six different diplomats - all played by Mickey! Hilarious hijinks ensue when American Ambassador to the UN Mickey Reynolds is forced to share his apartment with Middle Easterner Fez Mohammed, Asian Duck Wong, African Sunny Mubaku, Russian Ivan Drinkaloff, and Mexican Pepe Sanchez!! With Marlo Thomas as Mickey's confused girlfriend Kathy and Dorothy Lamour as landlady Loretta.

by Anonymousreply 32February 14, 2019 5:55 PM

[quote]I didn't know that Henry Fonda tried a series.

He had TWO series. The other one was a western called "The Deputy." Two seasons, 76 episodes.

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by Anonymousreply 33February 14, 2019 6:01 PM

“I Didn’t Know,” starring Henry Fonda (1978)

In this before-it’s-time meta-sitcom, screen legend Henry Fonda plays Billy Twinkletoes, a genial dimwit who “didn’t know” that Henry Fonda had previously starred in two TV series. With Olivia DeHavilland as R22, Vivian Vance as R23, Esther Rolle as R31, and Bea Arthur as R33.

by Anonymousreply 34February 14, 2019 9:33 PM

That was unnecessary r34.

by Anonymousreply 35February 14, 2019 11:34 PM

Ink Stained Wretches (1964)

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis are gossip columnists/features reporters for competing newspapers in a major metropolitan area.

Brittle wisecracks, underhanded schemes ,farcical situations and sometimes even danger and intrigue abound as these grande dames of the press try to one up each other professionally...AND personally!

Familiar and beloved stars (Claude Rains! Franchot Tone!) and exciting new faces (Andrew Prine! Christina Crawford!) are part of the dazzling galaxy centered on those two supernovae, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford!

(With Mary Wickes as the wise cracking secretary to Bette...AND Joan! How DOES she do it?! She's twins!)

by Anonymousreply 36February 15, 2019 12:12 AM

R10 Diana Dors actually did a successful sitcom in Britain that was quite funny, Queenie's Castle.

R2 Elaine Stritch actually starred in two successful British sitcoms, Two's Company and Nobody's Perfect. Nobody's Perfect was the British adaptation of Maude, so it is funny that she also auditioned for the role of Dorothy in Golden Girls, so either way the producer's must have really wanted Maude.

by Anonymousreply 37February 15, 2019 1:09 AM

Jayne Mansfield was offered Tina Louise's role on Gilligan's Island but turned it down because it wasn't the "star" part she felt she deserved.

by Anonymousreply 38February 15, 2019 3:45 AM

Mama Mia 1995

Mia Farrow is Mia D’Angelo, a high school guidance counselor in Howard Beach Queens. But she’s not your average guidance counselor. Her days don’t end at the 3:00 bell. Mia takes all her children to heart and gets involved in their after school studies and family problems. The families of Howard Beach never know when Ms D’Angelo will be knocking at their front door and end up sitting down to dinner dispensing advice and SAT prep books.

Austin Pendleton is the nerdy art teacher and her boyfriend of 10 years. He can’t cut the cord with his loving but overbearing mother Kay Ballard but you can cut the comic tension between theses two gals with a pizza slicer. David Groh is the flirtatious football coach and Nancy Sinatra is his ex-wife and take no nonsense Principal Angie Agnello.

by Anonymousreply 39February 15, 2019 4:30 AM

Planet Of The Apes

Hot guy James Naughton runs around naked

by Anonymousreply 40February 15, 2019 4:36 AM

These are hilarious and more "real" than you youngsters can imagine.

by Anonymousreply 41February 15, 2019 4:43 AM

Arlene Who?

Arlene Dahl plays a second-tier actress determined to remind the public who she once almost was by writing books on beauty care and astrology.

Buxum Stella Stevens stirs things up as the newly arrived niece from Hot Coffee, Mississippi, intent on breaking into show business. Also featuring Hedy Lamarr as the inventor who mixes Arlene's miraculous, long lasting lipstick.

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by Anonymousreply 42February 15, 2019 5:04 AM

Nick & Nora & Nick & Nora (1972) 90 minutes, Comedy/Mystery

The writing/producing team of Richard Levinson and William Link who brought you l "Columbo" are proud and excited to announce a new addition to this season's NBC Mystery Movie rotation.

The classic screen team of William Powell and Myrna Loy reunite in their most famous and beloved roles, sleuthing society couple Nick and Nora Charles.

The debonair duo would like nothing better than to spend their golden years relaxing, travelling, strolling with their beloved terrier Asta IV and, of course, sipping martinis.

But crime just can't seem to leave them alone. Especially since their son, Nick Jr. (Dean Stockwell, in a return to the role he first played at age11) has followed dear old dad into the detective trade and often seeks out his advice and assistance. Jr's wife (Paula Prentiss), an investigative reporter also named Nora is every bit the daring detective helpmate as her mother-in-law.

A limited run one season series, "Nick & Nora & Nick & Nora" revives all the wit and suspense of the beloved "Thin Man" movie series with plots linked to the original films with an exciting 2 part series finale "After Another Shadow of the Song of the Thin Man Goes Home".

November ratings sweeps episode is "Nick & Nora & McMillan & Wife & Nick & Nora" a crossover with "McMillan & Wife"

February ratings sweeps episode is "Nick & Nora & 'Nick' & 'Nora' & Nick & Nora" with guest stars Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk as a con artist couple with the temerity to pass themselves off as the senior Charleses.

Guest stars over the course of the series will include Maureen O'Sullivan as young Nora's mother, Cesar Romero, Penny Singleton, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed and James Stewart.

Mary Wickes plays the wise cracking house keeper.

And Asta IV as himself.

by Anonymousreply 43February 15, 2019 5:45 AM

Inspired. Does Minna Gombell make an appearance?

by Anonymousreply 44February 15, 2019 5:52 AM

Any one from the films still alive in 1972 is welcome to participate, R44!

Thanks for the compliment.

by Anonymousreply 45February 15, 2019 5:56 AM

[10]: You're brilliant! Thank you for rescuing me from a very deep depression over the end of an affair. I haven't laughed so hard in centuries.

by Anonymousreply 46February 15, 2019 6:06 AM

"Mary Worth" (ABC, 1965) - in the spirit of Shirley Booth's Hazel, another meddlesome old broad from the funny papers was brought to life by everyone's favorite upstaging ham, Miriam Hopkins. In a sly dig at its rival networks, ABC hired Don DeFore and Whitney Blake, both recently fired when Hazel moved from NBC to CBS, as the first couple into whose business Mary is compelled to stick her nose. The unfortunate decision to have the series replicate the comic strip's glacial pace led to its cancellation after a single tedious season. Viewers grew particularly irate when jealous old Miriam advised beautiful young Whitney to go freshen up at the beauty parlor in episode 2 and she didn't return until episode 28.

by Anonymousreply 47February 15, 2019 6:16 AM

“Cat’s Away” - 1962

The comedy is PURR-FECT when lady veterinarian Csthy “Cat” Landsdown (Claudette Colbert) sets up shop in Grover’s Corners. No felines treated - she’s allergic!

With Kathleen Freeman as Lolly, the bossy cook with a heart of gold.

by Anonymousreply 48February 15, 2019 6:18 AM

This is the best kind of eldergay thread.

by Anonymousreply 49February 15, 2019 6:22 AM

OUR GIRL GRETA (CBS 1962): CBS is proud to announce that Greta Garbo is coming out of her long retirement and will star as Greta Gunderson, the head of a private girls school in rural Vermont where she dispenses knowledge, sympathy and lingonberry pancakes to a passel of growing teenage girls played by Karen Valentine, Yvette Mimieux, Lana Wood and new CBS discovery Leslie Uggams as Tweetie, who will sing a Broadway showstopper at the climax of each episode. Minerva Urecal plays Greta's trusty assistant and companion Connie "Butch" Logan. With Frank Aletter as Greta's nephew Bjorn and Sam Jaffe as irascible local handyman Nicky Panatopoulos.

by Anonymousreply 50February 15, 2019 2:13 PM

Clark in the House (1959)

Get yourselves in front of the television set, ladies: Clark Gable is coming to a TV screen near you! Handsome playboy Clark Bellamy has finally been 'ringed' - by saucy young widow Shitley Matthews (played by Shitley MacLaine.) But what Clark didn't know is that Shitley has fourteen children, ranging from age 1 to age 16!! It's laughs galore as hunky Clark learns to be a Dad to is boisterous new brood, including teaching teenage Tommy (Max Baer, Jr) how to drive and changing 1 year old Susie's diapers!!

by Anonymousreply 51February 15, 2019 2:35 PM

O Livvie! (1975) Olive oil heiress Livvie Livingston (Olivia de Havilland), newly appointed Ambassador to France, leaves California behind for the zany hijinx of Parisian politics. Mother Myrtle (Lillian Gish) and Aunt Lynnie (Myrna Loy) come along for the ride and do their best to keep high-living Livvie in line. Beaus Pierre Lapin (Charles Boyer) and Jean Renard (Louis Jordan) vie for widow Livvie's love but first must pass muster with housekeepers Ginnie (Alice Ghostley), Minnie (Mary Wickes), and Mo (Jane Withers).

by Anonymousreply 52February 16, 2019 5:10 PM
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