Mary Jane Croft

Show Count: 132
Series Count: 9
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: February 15, 1916, Muncie, Indiana, USA
Died: August 24, 1999, Century City, California

Mary Jane Croft (February 15, 1916 – August 24, 1999) was an American actress best known for her roles as Betty Ramsey on I Love Lucy, Mary Jane Lewis on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy, and Clara Randolph on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.


Born in Muncie, Indiana, Croft worked extensively as an actress in radio, appearing on such programs as The Adventures of Sam Spade, Suspense,The Beulah Show, The Bill Goodwin Show, Blondie, Broadway Is My Beat, Cathy and Elliott Lewis on Stage, Crime Classics, Four-Star Playhouse,Honest Harold, Joan Davis Time, The Mel Blanc Show, One Man's Family, Our Miss Brooks, Romance, Sears Radio Theater, The Story of Sandra Martin and Twelve Players. She also appeared in frequent guest star roles on Lucille Ball's My Favorite Husband, the beginning of their later professional and personal relationship.


In addition to her work with Lucille Ball, she was a frequent guest star on other television programs, including Howard Duff's adventure/drama seriesDante in the 1960 episode "The Misfortune Cookie". She was a regular on at least two other series, as ebullient neighbor Clara Randolph on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (ABC) and on Our Miss Brooks (CBS), in which she reprised her radio role as Miss Daisy Enright, the title character's rival. She provided the voice for Cleo the basset hound in Jackie Cooper's NBC series The People’s Choice (1955–58).

Late in the weekly run of the original I Love Lucy series, the major characters moved to Connecticut. There Lucy Ricardo befriended a new neighbor, Betty Ramsey (portrayed by Croft), who was very socially conscious and tended to get Lucy involved in adventures different from those that involved Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). Croft had previously guest-starred as Lucy's wealthy schoolmate Cynthia Harcourt in "Lucy is Envious," then as Evelyn Bigsby, the airline passenger seated next to Lucy in "Return Home from Europe," the episode in which Lucy disguises a hunk of cheese as a baby.

When Vance left The Lucy Show after the 1964-1965 season, Croft became Lucy's new sidekick, Mary Jane Lewis. Croft had previously had a recurring role as Audrey Simmons during the show's early seasons set in Danfield, New York. Mary Jane Lewis was Croft's legal name at the time, as she was then married to actor-producer Elliott Lewis (who had originally produced The Lucy Show during its first two seasons) but continued to use her maiden name professionally. Her only son, by a prior marriage, was killed in the Vietnam War during the period that she was co-starring with Ball.

The Lewis character was maintained when The Lucy Show was transformed into Ball's third sitcom, Here's Lucy. The character remained until the cancellation of Here's Lucy in 1974.

Later years and death 

Croft continued to act in television for several years after the end of Here's Lucy, even reuniting with Ball in 1977 in the special, Lucy Calls the President. She died of natural causes in Century City, California.

Source: Wikipedia

Beulah Show, TheBeulah Show, The
Show Count: 16
Broadcast History: 2 July 1945 to 17 March 1946, 24 February 1947 to 20 August 1947, 24 November 1947 to 10 April 1953 and 28 September 1953 to 28 May 1954
Sponsor: Procter & Gamble, General Foods, General Motors
Cast: Lois Corbett, Marlin Hurt, Hattie McDaniel, Lillian Randolph, Amanda Randolph, Hugh Studebaker, Mary Jane Croft, Henry Blair, Ruby Dandridge, Ernie Whitman, Sammy Ogg, Bob Corley, Butterfly McQueen, Nicodemus Stewart, Roy Glenn, Jess Kirkpatrick, John Brown, Louise Beavers, Vivian Dandridge, Dorothy Dandridge
Director: Tom McKnight, Steve Hatos
Producer: Helen Mack, Tom McKnight, Steve Hatos
An American situation-comedy series that ran on CBS Radio from 1945 to 1954, and on ABC Television from 1950 to 1952. The show is notable for being the first sitcom to star an African American actress.
Show Count: 44
Broadcast History: 3 July 1939 to 26 June 1944, 21 July 1944 to 1 September 1944, 13 August 1944 to 26 September 1948, 6 October 1948 to 29 June 1949 and 6 October 1949 to 6 July 1950
Cast: Penny Singleton, Ann Rutherford, Alice White, Patricia Vann Cleve, Arthur Lake, Leone Ledoux, Tommy Cook, Larry Sims, Bobby Ellis, Jeffrey Silver, Marlene Aames, Norma Jean Nilsson, Joan Rae, Hanley Stafford, Elvia Allman, Frank Nelson, Arthur Q. Bryan, Harry Lang, Dix Davis, Mary Jane Croft, Veola Vonn, Lurene Tuttle, Rosemary DeCamp, Ed MacDonald, Hans Conried
Producer: Ashmead Scott
Crime ClassicsCrime Classics
Show Count: 51
Broadcast History: June 1953 to June 1954
Cast: Lou Merrill, Ben Wright, Barney Phillips, Mary Jane Croft, Bill Johnstone, Paula Winslowe, Jeanette Nolan, Herb Butterfield, Betty Harford, Jack Kruschen, Irene Tedrow, John Dehner, Sam Edwards, Lillian Buyeff, Norma LeMond, Roy Rowan
Director: Elliott Lewis
Producer: Elliott Lewis
Crime Classics was a United States radio docudrama which aired as a sustaining series over CBS from June 15, 1953, to June 30, 1954.
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
Railroad Hour, TheRailroad Hour, The
Show Count: 201
Broadcast History:
Sponsor: Association of American Railroads
Cast: Gordon MacRae, Stanley Farrar, Nadine Conner , Tom McKee, Mary Jane Croft, Ken Christy, Norma Varden, Herb Butterfield, Theodore von Eltz, Dorothy Kirsten, Jane Powell
Director: Norman Luboff
The Railroad Hour was a radio series of musical dramas and comedies broadcast from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s. Even though the shows do feature scripts, it was all about the songs - so if you love a good old sing-along, The Railroad Hour will tick all of the boxes.
Broadcast: 31st May 1955
Added: Apr 29 2010
Broadcast: 21st August 1948
Added: Sep 04 2010
Broadcast: 5th August 1946
Added: Aug 27 2006
Broadcast: 28th January 1952
Added: Jul 24 2009
Broadcast: 8th November 1953
Added: Jul 03 2003
Broadcast: 9th March 1953
Added: Sep 10 2009
Broadcast: 23rd October 1956
Added: Oct 14 2010
Broadcast: May 31, 1945
Added: May 24 2015
Broadcast: 5th July 1945
Added: Oct 08 2005
Broadcast: 17th January 1956
Added: Jan 13 2011
Broadcast: 5th April 1954
Added: Jun 12 2009
Broadcast: 10th May 1945
Added: Feb 21 2012
Broadcast: May 4, 1952
Added: Apr 03 2011
Broadcast: September 7, 1943
Added: Oct 31 2014
Broadcast: 5th February 1950
Added: Sep 04 2012
Broadcast: June 22, 1943
Added: May 14 2018
Broadcast: 5th May 1957
Added: Oct 28 2007
Broadcast: 27th January 1955
Added: Jan 29 2010
Broadcast: 31st May 1951
Added: Apr 16 2009
Broadcast: 17th October 1954
Added: Nov 17 2011
Broadcast: 19th October 1952
Added: Oct 19 2008
Broadcast: 7th August 1954
Added: Aug 24 2009
Broadcast: 2nd July 1950
Added: Mar 22 2009
Broadcast: October 30, 1956
Added: Jan 30 2021
Broadcast: 20th October 1953
Added: Jun 13 2013
Broadcast: 18th September 1954
Added: Sep 18 2009
Broadcast: 9th April 1952
Added: Aug 24 2012
Broadcast: 1st June 1953
Added: Jun 30 2008
Broadcast: 25th January 1954
Added: Jan 09 2010
Broadcast: 11th July 1956
Added: Aug 05 2010
Broadcast: 10th March 1952
Added: Jun 19 2009