Bea Benaderet

Bea Benaderet

Show Count: 140
Series Count: 13
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: April 4, 1906
Old Time Radio, New York City, New York, USA
Died: October 13, 1968, Los Angeles, California, USA
An American actress born in New York City and reared in San Francisco, California.

She appeared in a wide variety of television work, which included a starring role in the 1960s television series Petticoat Junction and Green Acres as Shady Rest Hotel owner Kate Bradley, supporting roles as Blanche Morton in The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and as the original voice of Betty Rubble during the first four seasons of The Flintstones, and in The Beverly Hillbillies as Pearl Bodine. She did a great deal of voice work in Warner Bros. animated cartoons of the 1940s/1950s, most famously as Granny.

Early life 

Benaderet's father Samuel was a Turkish Jewish emigrant, and her mother, Margaret (née O'Keefe) was Irish-American.

Radio career 

Their daughter first received notice for her radio work in the 1940s playing Millicent Carstairs on Fibber McGee & Molly, telephone operator Gertrude Gearshift (and many other roles) on The Jack Benny Program, school principal Eve Goodwin on The Great Gildersleeve, and appeared on the occasional Amos 'n Andy radio show, usually as a store clerk attempting to assist Andy and Kingfish in a purchase. She was active in Orson Welles' Mercury Theater and appeared in the 1938 "A Christmas Carol". During this period, Benaderet had two children, Jack and Maggie, from her marriage to actor Jim Bannon.

Benaderet played Blanche Morton, the next-door neighbor to George Burns and Gracie Allen, on both the radio and television incarnations of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. She also held down a regular role in the series A Day in the Life of Dennis Day as Mrs. Anderson, Day's landlady, who was also the mother of Day's girlfriend on the program. She voiced widow Clara Longnecker on The Mel Blanc Show, wherein she often fended off the money-mad proposals of Mel's uncle Rupert with the exclamation, "Now, Rupert, I am in NO mood for your nincompoopity!" On The Adventures of Maisie, which starred Ann Sothern, she played various roles, including that of the title character's landlady.

She portrayed Lucille Ball's best friend, Iris Attebury, on the 1940s radio series My Favorite Husband. When Ball and husband Desi Arnaz decided to develop this program for television in a CBS series called I Love Lucy, Benaderet was first choice to fill the role of Ethel Mertz, but was ultimately unavailable to accept it since she had already been cast for the fledgling The Burns and Allen Show. Vivian Vance, a relatively unknown character actress and singer, was eventually cast in the part. Benaderet did appear in a guest role on I Love Lucy on January 21, 1952, as "Miss Lewis", a love-starved spinster neighbor. She guest starred with Fred Clark - they played Mr. and Mrs. Springer - in the 1962 episode, "Continental Dinner", the series finale of the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.

Voice acting 

Benaderet began voicing the character of Granny (the sometimes dimwitted, sometimes assertive owner of Tweety) in the Warner Bros. cartoon series beginning in 1943. Benaderet continued to perform the voice of Granny well into the 1950s, when June Foray replaced her in that role in 1955. Benaderet voiced numerous female characters in the Warner Bros. animated shorts of the 1940s, displaying a great deal of versatility in her repertoire, from her natural feminine voice, to the "Granny" character, to the loquacious bobby-soxer (inspired by loud-mouthed comedienne Cass Daley) in Little Red Riding Rabbit (1944).

Later life and career 

Benaderet was quite busy during the last decade of her life, starting with a voice role as Betty Rubble in the animated series The Flintstones, which debuted in 1960. The Flintstones reunited Benaderet with her 1940s co-workers Alan Reed (Fred Flintstone) and Mel Blanc (Barney Rubble and Dino). Benaderet received no on-screen credit for her many voice characterizations with Warner Bros., as the studio was bound by Blanc's iron-clad contractual stipulation that no other voice actor could ever receive credit for their work while he himself was under contract to Warners. Benaderet supposedly resigned from the show in 1964 owing to the workload on Petticoat Junction, when in fact director Joe Barbera unceremoniously replaced her with Gerry Johnson for the remainder of the run of the series.

Benaderet was seriously considered for the role of Granny in The Beverly Hillbillies, which began in 1962, by producer Paul Henning (earlier the producer of The Burns & Allen Show), who ultimately felt she was too buxom and feminine for the character he envisioned as a frail but caustic little spitfire; Irene Ryan was eventually cast. Henning cast Benaderet as the middle-aged, widowed Cousin Pearl Bodine (Jethro's mother), and she appeared in the pilot, as well as a majority of episodes throughout the series' first season. Cousin Pearl and her daughter Jethrine moved into the Clampett mansion with the rest of the Clampett clan late in the first season. However, the female Bodines disappeared after Henning cast Benaderet in his next series Petticoat Junction, which premiered in September 1963. She starred as Kate Bradley, owner/operator of the Shady Rest Hotel, who was said to be a cousin of Pearl Bodine.

Petticoat Junction proved an enormous hit in its first season, and remained a top-25 program for several years. Benaderet had done a radio variation of Green Acres with Gale Gordon beginning in 1950 called Granby's Green Acres. The Green Acres television series later became a spinoff of Petticoat Junction, with Eva Gabor portraying Benaderet's original part in this new series, and Benaderet herself showing up in the first few episodes as her Petticoat Junction character, in order to establish the Hooterville setting (Eddie Albert took Gale Gordon's role as the lawyer who moves to the country to become a farmer; whether he was considered for the role or not, Gordon was otherwise occupied with his role on The Lucy Show).

Benaderet was diagnosed with cancer in 1967, which led to her departure from Petticoat Junction in what was hoped would be a temporary absence, during which time Rosemary DeCamp was brought in to play "Aunt Helen" in scripts obviously written for Benaderet's character Kate.[clarification needed] However, Benaderet was well enough to return for a few additional episodes in the fall of 1968 before being written out permanently. Shortly after the death of Benaderet, June Lockhart was brought in to play a female doctor who had set up her practice at the Shady Rest hotel, and thus became the show's surrogate mother figure. Template:Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest TV Comedies Of All Time by Ken Bloom & Frank Vlastnik - Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers - p. 271

Unfortunately, without Benaderet as the warm, motherly figure, as well as the central character, Petticoat Junction suffered in the ratings. As a result, the sitcom was originally going to be canceled in the spring of 1969. However, in order to give the program five full years of color episodes for syndication, CBS renewed the series for a seventh season. During its final year, the ratings improved a little, but CBS canceled it in the spring of 1970 as part of the network's "rural purge" in favor of more sophisticated programs.

Personal life and death 

On October 13, 1968, Benaderet died in Los Angeles, California, at the Good Samaritan Hospital from lung cancer and pneumonia.

She was entombed in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Her second husband Eugene Twombly died of a heart attack on the day of her funeral (four days after her death) and was interred beside her. Twombly had been a sound-effects artist for a number of radio and television shows, including The Jack Benny Program, on which Benaderet had been a regular cast member.

Source: Wikipedia

Burns & AllenBurns & Allen
Show Count: 283
Broadcast History: 15 February 1932 to 13 June 1934, 19 September 1934 to 24 March 1937, 12 April 1937 to 1 August 1938, 30 September 1938 to 23 June 1939, 4 October to 1939 to 26 June 1940, 1 July 1940 to 24 March 1941, 7 October 1941 to 30 June 1942, 6 October 1942 to 25 June 1945, 20 September 1945 to 23 June 1949 and 21 September 1949 to 17 May 1950
Sponsor: Robert Burns Panatella, White Owl Cigars, Campbell Soups, Grape Nuts, Chesterfield Cigarettes, Hinds Cream, Hormel Meats, Lever Brothers, Swan Soap, Maxwell House Coffee Time, Block Drugs
Cast: Gracie Allen, George Burns, Elvia Allman, Mel Blanc, Margaret Brayton, Sara Berner, Clarence Nash, Elliott Lewis, Mary Lee Robb, Richard Crenna, Joseph Kearns, Eric Snowden, Bea Benaderet, Hal March, Gerald Mohr, Marvin Miller, Wally Maher, Doris Singleton, Dawn Bender, Tommy Bernard, Gale Gordon, Hans Conried
Director: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Producer: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Date With Judy, ADate With Judy, A
Show Count: 39
Broadcast History: 24 June 1941 to 16 September 1941, 23 June 1942 to 15 September 1942, 18 January 1944 to 4 January 1949 and 13 October 1949 to 25 May 1950
Cast: Lois Corbett, Ann Gillis, Paul McGrath, Margaret Brayton, Tommy Bond, Lurene Tuttle, Dellie Ellis, Stanley Farrar, Louse Erickson, Joseph Kearns, John Borwn, Bea Benaderet, Georgia Backus, Myra Marsh, Dix Davis, Harry Harvey, Richard Crenna, Sandra Gould
Director: Tom McAvity, Helen Mack
Producer: Tom McAvity, Helen Mack, Robert Holmes, Clara Groves
Day In The Life Of Dennis Day,  ADay In The Life Of Dennis Day, A
Show Count: 54
Broadcast History: 3 October 1946 to 30 June 1951
Sponsor: Lustre-Creme Shampoo
Cast: Bea Benaderet, Dennis Day, Sharon Douglas, Barbara Eiler, Betty Miles, Francis Trout, John Brown
Director: Frank O'Connor
Producer: Frank O'Connor
Fibber McGee & MollyFibber McGee & Molly
Show Count: 1040
Broadcast History: 16 April 1935 to 2 June 1935, 8 July 1935 to 7 March 1938, 15 March 1938 to 30 June 1953, 5 October 1953 to 23 March 1956, and 1 June 1957 to 6 September 1959
Sponsor: Johnson's Wax, Pet Milk, Reynolds Aluminum
Cast: Gale Gordon, Harold Peary, Marian Jordan, Jim Jordan, Bea Benaderet, Arthur Q. Bryan, Cliff Arquette, Shirley Mitchell, Hugh Studebaker, Bill Thompson, Marlin Hurt, Isabel Randolph, Ransom Sherman, Gene Carrol
Director: Frank Pittman, Cecil Underwood, Max Hutto
Producer: Frank Pittman, Cecil Underwood, Max Hutto
Glamour ManorGlamour Manor
Show Count: 1
Broadcast History: 25 August 1945 to 27 June 1947
Cast: John McIntire, Bea Benaderet, Lurene Tuttle, Barbara Eiler, Tyler McVey, Cliff Arquette
Granby's Green AcresGranby's Green Acres
Show Count: 6
Broadcast History: 3 July 1950 to 21 August 1950
Cast: Gale Gordon, Bea Benaderet, Parley Baer, Louise Erickson
Director: Jay Sommers
Producer: Jay Sommers
Mel Blanc ShowMel Blanc Show
Show Count: 41
Broadcast History: 3 September 1946 to 24 June 1947
Sponsor: Colgate
Cast: Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Mary Jane Croft, Hans Conried, Alan Reed, Earle Ross, Jim Backus, Joe Kearns, Sportsmen Quartet
Director: Joe Rines, Sam Fuller
Producer: Joe Rines, Sam Fuller
My Favorite HusbandMy Favorite Husband
Show Count: 99
Broadcast History: 1948 - 1951
Cast: Ruth Perrott, Gale Gordon, Lucille Ball, Richard Denning, Bea Benaderet
Producer: Jess Oppenheimer
Broadcast: 12th August 1945
Added: Jul 28 2009
Broadcast: 16th February 1942
Added: Feb 08 2009
Broadcast: 26th August 1946
Added: Mar 23 2009
Broadcast: 9th February 1942
Added: Feb 07 2009
Broadcast: 9th September 1945
Added: Sep 09 2011
Broadcast: 2nd September 1945
Added: Jul 30 2009
Broadcast: 10th May 1945
Added: Feb 21 2012
Broadcast: 26th November 1949
Added: Dec 30 2013
Broadcast: 19th November 1951
Added: Nov 26 2012
Broadcast: 16th September 1945
Added: Oct 15 2013
Broadcast: 6th July 1942
Added: Jul 03 2010
Broadcast: 16th March 1942
Added: Mar 16 2009
Broadcast: 20th May 1945
Added: Jul 26 2009
Broadcast: 28th January 1945
Added: Jul 25 2009
Broadcast: 5th October 1952
Added: Sep 25 2010
Broadcast: 7th November 1948
Added: Feb 16 2014
Broadcast: 22nd March 1951
Added: Mar 21 2009
Broadcast: 6th October 1941
Added: May 23 2009
Broadcast: June 24, 1948
Added: Apr 26 2014
Broadcast: 14th November 1948
Added: Feb 17 2014