Shirley Mitchell

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Shirley Mitchell
Shirley Mitchell.jpg
Mitchell in October 2008
Born(1919-11-04)November 4, 1919
DiedNovember 11, 2013(2013-11-11) (aged 94)
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California
Alma mater University of Toledo
University of Michigan
OccupationRadio, film, and television actress
Height5 ft 3 in (160 cm)
Spouse(s)Julian Frieden (1946–1974; divorced; 2 children)
Jay Livingston (1992-2001; his death)

Shirley Mitchell (November 4, 1919 – November 11, 2013) was an American radio, film, and television actress.



Early life

Mitchell was born in Toledo, Ohio, [1] the daughter of Sam Mitchell and his wife. [2]

Toledo, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Toledo is a city in and the county seat of Lucas County, Ohio, United States. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, at the western end of Lake Erie bordering the state of Michigan. The city was founded in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River, and originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory. It was re-founded in 1837, after conclusion of the Toledo War, when it was incorporated in Ohio.


Following a move to Chicago, Mitchell appeared in the network broadcast of The First Nighter Program and played small parts in various soap operas, including The Story of Mary Marlin and The Road of Life. After she moved to Los Angeles, she played opposite Joan Davis and Jack Haley in The Sealtest Village Store. She also starred as Louella in The Life of Riley and joined the cast of Fibber McGee and Molly as Alice Darling in 1943. She also played in The Charlotte Greenwood Show . [3]

<i>The First Nighter Program</i>

The First Nighter Program was a long-running radio anthology comedy-drama series broadcast from November 27, 1930, to September 27, 1953. The host was Mr. First Nighter.

Joan Davis Actress, vaudevillian

Joan Davis was an American comedic actress whose career spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television. Remembered best for the 1950s television comedy I Married Joan, Davis had a successful earlier career as a B-movie actress and a leading star of 1940s radio comedy.

Jack Haley American stage, radio and film actor

John Joseph Haley Jr was an American vaudevillian, actor, radio host, comedian, singer and dancer best known for his portrayal of the Tin Man and his farmhand counterpart "Hickory" in the classic 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz.

Her most prominent radio role was that of the charismatic Southern belle Leila Ransom on The Great Gildersleeve beginning in September 1942. In the third season of I Love Lucy , from 1953 to 1954, she appeared in three episodes [4] as Marion Strong, Lucy Ricardo's friend with the funny laugh. She was the last surviving recurring adult cast member following the death of Doris Singleton in 2012.

<i>The Great Gildersleeve</i>

The Great Gildersleeve was a radio situation comedy broadcast in the US from August 31, 1941 to 1958. Initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, it was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. The series was built around Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a regular character from the radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly. The character was introduced in the October 3, 1939 episode of that series. Actor Harold Peary had played a similarly named character, Dr. Gildersleeve, on earlier episodes. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1940s. Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in four feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.

<i>I Love Lucy</i> American television sitcom

I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom that originally ran on CBS from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes spanning 6 seasons. The show starred Lucille Ball, her real-life husband Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. It followed the life of Lucy Ricardo (Ball), a middle class housewife in New York City, who either concocted plans with her best friends to appear alongside her bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo (Arnaz) in his nightclub, or tried numerous schemes to mingle with, or be a part of show business. After the series ended in 1957, a modified version continued for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials; it ran from 1957 to 1960. It was first known as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show and later in reruns as The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour. Following the end of that, Ball divorced Arnaz and appeared in three other sitcoms into 1986.

Doris Singleton actress

Doris Singleton was an American actress, perhaps best remembered as Lucy Ricardo's nemesis/frenemy, Carolyn Appleby, in I Love Lucy.

In 1962, she played Janet Colton in 13 episodes of thesitcom, Pete and Gladys , starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams, with Peter Leeds cast as her husband George Colton. Between 1963 and 1965, she made five appearances on Perry Mason , including in the 1965 episode "The Case of the Carefree Coronary", when she played Marilyn David, the widow of a murder victim. In 1964, she played the role of murder victim Elizabeth Bain, although her character was only heard, not seen, in "The Case of the Woeful Widower."

<i>Pete and Gladys</i> television series

Pete and Gladys is an American sitcom television series starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams that aired on CBS on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time for two seasons, beginning on September 19, 1960. The last episode was broadcast on September 10, 1962.

Harry Morgan American actor and director

Harry Morgan was an American actor and director whose television and film career spanned six decades. Morgan's major roles included Pete Porter in both December Bride (1954–1959) and Pete and Gladys (1960–1962); Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967–1970); Amos Coogan on Hec Ramsey (1972–1974); and his starring role as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H (1975–1983) and AfterMASH (1983–1984). Morgan appeared in more than 100 films.

Cara Williams American actress

Cara Williams is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her role as Billy's Mother in The Defiant Ones (1958), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and for her role as Gladys Porter on the 1960-1962 CBS television series Pete and Gladys, for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy.

From 1965 to 1967, she appeared as neighbor Marge Thornton on Please Don't Eat the Daisies . [5] She appeared in several TV shows of the 1960s (like Petticoat Junction as Cousin Mae in 1968) and did voice-over work in subsequent decades. Mitchell voiced Laurie Holliday on Hanna-Barbera's short-lived series The Roman Holidays in 1972. She also appeared in an episode of the crime drama The Feather and Father Gang in 1977. [6]

<i>Please Dont Eat the Daisies</i> (TV series) television series

Please Don't Eat the Daisies is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 14, 1965 to September 2, 1967. The series was based upon the 1957 book by Jean Kerr and 1960 film starring Doris Day and David Niven.

<i>Petticoat Junction</i> television series

Petticoat Junction is an American sitcom that originally aired on CBS from September 1963 to April 1970. The series takes place at the Shady Rest Hotel, which is run by Kate Bradley, her three daughters Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo, and her uncle Joe Carson. The series is one of three interrelated shows about rural characters produced by Paul Henning. Petticoat Junction was created upon the success of Henning's previous rural/urban-themed sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971). The success of Petticoat Junction led to a spin-off, Green Acres (1965–1971). Petticoat Junction was produced by Wayfilms.

Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio. It was founded in 1957 by former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors and Tom and Jerry creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, in partnership with film director George Sidney.

In the late 1970s, Mitchell appeared with Don Porter in an episode of Three's Company .

Don Porter actor

Donald "Don" Porter was an American actor who appeared in a number of films in the 1940s, including Top Sergeant and Eagle Squadron, but is perhaps best known for his television roles as Peter Sands, the boss of Ann Sothern's character on Private Secretary, and as Russell Lawrence, the widowed father of 15-year-old Frances "Gidget" Lawrence, in the 1965 ABC sitcom Gidget.

<i>Threes Company</i> television series

Three's Company is an American sitcom that aired for eight seasons on ABC from March 15, 1977, to September 18, 1984. It is based on the British sitcom Man About the House.

Personal life

She became engaged to Dr. Julian Frieden by early October 1946, holding her engagement shower at the home of singer Dinah Shore. [2] They married on November 26, 1946. [7]

By August 1955, they had two children, a girl (Brooke) and a boy (Scott). [8] [1] Mitchell and Frieden divorced in August 1974. In 1992, she married songwriter Jay Livingston, and the two remained married until his death in 2001. [1]

Mitchell died of heart failure on November 11, 2013, seven days after her 94th birthday. [4]

Partial filmography

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  1. 1 2 3 Dagan, Carmel (November 13, 2013). "Shirley Mitchell, Who Appeared in 'I Love Lucy,' Dies at 94". Variety . Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  2. 1 2 "Shirley Mitchell Honored". Toledo Blade . October 3, 1946. p. 18. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  3. 1 2 Barnes, Mike (November 13, 2013). "'I Love Lucy' Actress Shirley Mitchell Dies at 94". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. "Shirley Mitchell: She Just Acts the Nosy Part". The Press-Courier/Press-Courier TV Week. Oxnard, California. January 30, 1966. p. 3. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  5. The Feather and Father Gang
  6. "Shirley Mitchell: CBS' 'Leave It to Joan'". The Sherbrooke Telegram. Sherbrooke, Quebec. February 2, 1950. p. 3. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  7. Woodbury, Mitch. "Mitch Woodbury Reports". Toledo Blade . Retrieved 2013-11-13. It's a boy for Dr. and Mrs. Julian H. Frieden of Hollywood. Mrs. Frieden is Toledo's Shirley Mitchell, well known television and radio actress. She already is the proud mother of a daughter.