Ann B. Davis

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Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis 1973.jpg
Ann B. Davis, c. 1973
BornAnn Bradford Davis
(1926-05-05) May 5, 1926 (age 87)
Schenectady, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1953–1997
Known forThe Brady Bunch
 
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Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis 1973.jpg
Ann B. Davis, c. 1973
BornAnn Bradford Davis
(1926-05-05) May 5, 1926 (age 87)
Schenectady, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1953–1997
Known forThe Brady Bunch

Ann Bradford Davis (born May 5, 1926)[1][2] is an American television actress.

Davis achieved prominence for her role in The Bob Cummings Show (1955–59) for which she twice won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, but she is best known for playing the part of Alice Nelson, the housekeeper in The Brady Bunch series (1969–74).

Career

Davis with Bob Cummings on The Bob Cummings Show, 1958

In the 1953–54 season, Davis appeared as a musical judge on ABC's Jukebox Jury.[3]

Davis's first television success was as Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz in the NBC sitcom The Bob Cummings Show.[4] She auditioned for the role because her friend's boyfriend was a casting director and recommended her for the part.[2] She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice out of four nominations for this role.[4] On February 9, 1960, Davis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[5]

For a period in the 1960s and 1970s, she was known for her appearances in television commercials for the Ford Motor Company, particularly for the mid-sized Ford Fairlane models. She also appeared on January 23, 1958, as a guest star on The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. Davis was also featured in commercials for Minute Rice until the mid-1980s.

In the 1965–66 television season, she appeared as Miss Wilson, a physical education teacher at a private girls' academy in John Forsythe's NBC sitcom The John Forsythe Show.[6]

From 1969 to 1974, Davis played housekeeper Alice Nelson in The Brady Bunch television series. Since then, she has returned to take part in various Brady Bunch TV movies, including The Brady Girls Get Married (1981) and A Very Brady Christmas (1988). She also reprised her role as Alice Nelson in two short-lived Brady Bunch spin-off television series: The Brady Brides (1981) and The Bradys (1990), both of which lasted only six episodes. She also made a cameo appearance as a truck driver named "Schultzy", a reference to her days on The Bob Cummings Show, in The Brady Bunch Movie in 1995. In 1994, Davis published a cookbook, Alice's Brady Bunch Cookbook, with Brady Bunch inspired recipes.[7] The book also includes recipes from cast members.[8]

In the early 1990s, Davis focused on theater. She performed in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace, and a world tour production of Crazy For You.[9]

Davis never completely retired from acting; in her later years she was the celebrity spokeswoman in several Shake 'n Bake commercials, and later appeared in several disposable mop commercials for Swiffer.[10][11] She has also appeared in a number of Brady Bunch reunion projects, most recently TV Land's The Brady Bunch 35th Anniversary Reunion Special: Still Brady After All These Years. On April 22, 2007, The Brady Bunch was awarded the TV Land Pop Culture Award on the 5th annual TV Land Awards. Davis and other cast members accepted the award, and she received a standing ovation.

Personal life

Davis in November 2007

Davis was born in Schenectady, New York, the daughter of Marguerite (née Stott) and Cassius Miles Davis.[1] She has an identical twin, Harriet, and an older brother Evans.[10][12]

When Davis was three, she and her family moved to Erie, Pennsylvania.[2] She graduated from Strong Vincent High School, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.[13] She originally enrolled as a pre-med major; however, she changed her mind and went into drama after seeing her older brother's performance of Oklahoma![2] Davis graduated in 1948 with a degree in drama and speech.[2]

In 1976, she sold her home in Los Angeles to move to Denver, Colorado, where she joined an Episcopal community led by Bishop William C. Frey.[14] The community later relocated to Ambridge, Pennsylvania.[2] Davis has long been a volunteer for the Episcopal church, working at the General Convention,[15] attending services at churches around the country, and is not cloistered.[14]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1955A Man Called PeterRuby ColemanUncredited
1956The Best Things in Life Are FreeHattie StewartUncredited
1960PepeAnn B. "Schultzy" Davis
1961All Hands on DeckNobby
1961Lover Come BackMillie
1994Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final InsultAlice NelsonCredited as playing herself
1995The Brady Bunch MovieTrucker (Shultzy)

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1953–53Jukebox JuryHerself / Judge
1956Matinee TheaterPeg MillerEpisode: "Belong to Me"
1956Lux Video TheatreMiss KillicatEpisode: "The Wayward Saint"
1955–59The Bob Cummings ShowCharmaine "Schultzy" Schultz153 episodes
1960Wagon TrainMrs. FosterEpisode: "The Countess Baranof Story"
1962The New BreedElizabeth MacBaineEpisode: "Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?"
1963McKeever and the ColonelSgt. GruberEpisode: "Too Many Sergeants"
1964Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreMathaEpisode: "Wake Up, Darling"
1965–66The John Forsythe ShowMiss Wilson29 episodes
1966The Pruitts of SouthamptonMrs. DerwinEpisode: "Phyllis Takes a Letter"
1968InsightPatEpisode: "The Late Great God"
1961Big Fish, Little FishTV movie
1970, 1973Love, American Style
1973The World of Sid & Marty Krofft at the Hollywood BowlAudience memberUncredited
1969–74The Brady BunchAlice Nelson / Cousin Emma117 episodes
1974Only with Married MenMolaTV movie; uncredited
1976–77The Brady Bunch Variety HourAlice Nelson9 episodes
1980The Love BoatAgnesEpisode: "Invisible Maniac/September Song/Peekaboo"
1981The Brady Girls Get MarriedAlice NelsonTV movie
1981The Brady BridesAlice Nelson6 episodes
1988A Very Brady ChristmasAlice NelsonTV movie
1989Day by DayAlice NelsonEpisode: "A Very Brady Episode"
1990The BradysAlice Nelson4 episodes
1991Hi Honey, I'm Home!Alice NelsonEpisode: "SRP"
1997Something So RightMaxineEpisode: "Something About Inter-Ex-Spousal Relations"

References

  1. ^ a b "Ann B. Davis Biography (1926–)". Film Reference. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Moran, Elizabeth (1992). Bradymania! Everything You Always Wanted to Know – and a Few Things You Probably Didn't. Adams Publishing. pp. 114–115. ISBN 1-55850-418-4. 
  3. ^ Jukebox Jury: Research Video, Inc.: Music Footing Licensing Agency and Vintage Television Footage Archive
  4. ^ a b "From Schultzy to Alice to God: Comic Ann B. Davis Finds a New Role". People 8 (7). August 15, 1977. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ann B. Davis". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ Leszczak, Bob (November 2, 2012). Single Season Sitcoms, 1948–1979: A Complete Guide. McFarland. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7864-9305-0. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Ann B. Davis Biography". The Biography Channel. A+E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Stoneback, Diane (May 3, 1995). "Hey, Alice! What's for dinner?". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (April 5, 2013). "The 'Brady Brunch' Cast: Where Are They Now?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Ann B. Davis Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ Droganes, Constance; Dagostino, Mark; Cascerceri, Dorothy; Pitluk, Adam; Lopez, Molly; Brunner, Jeryl (April 12, 2004). "Daily Insider for April 13, 2004". People. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ Gliatto, Tom; Eftimiades, Maria; Abrahams, Andrew; Baker, Kathryn; Johnston, Jerry (June 1, 1992). "Here's the Story...". People 37 (21). Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Famous Alumni". Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. University of Michigan. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Dam, Julie K.L.; Miller, Samantha (December 13, 1999). "The Family Still Matters". People 52 (23). Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ "TV's Ann B. Davis takes religious role". Chicago Sun-Times  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). July 15, 1991. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 

External links