This week, the latest installment of my Family Affair series features a classic Mrs. Beasley episode–and some dolly digressions.
Season 1, Episode 7, Mrs. Beasley, Where Are You?, 10/24/1966
Teleplay by: Phil Davis and John McGreevey. Story by: Phil Davis. Directed by: William D. Russell.
A seeming tragedy occurs when Mr. French accidently knocks Mrs. Beasley off the terrace, and the doll is nowhere to be found below.
Meanwhile, a related subplot finds Uncle Bill’s weekend plans to “sleep, play golf and do a little mild socializing” thwarted by conflict with a neighbor–a neighbor whose little girl suddenly owns a doll (Effie Boots) the spitting image of Mrs. Beasley.
A despondent Buffy, however, testifies that the doll isn’t hers. The whole Davis family suffers along with Buffy.
When all seems lost, Uncle Bill and his girlfriend du jour find Buffy’s doll in the apartment building’s garbage cans.
It would take a cold heart to remain unmoved by Buffy’s suffering. As a Barbie collector, though, I enjoy the toy store scene the most: drool-worthy Mattel dolls as far as the eye can see. I don’t know if Mattel had released the Mrs. Beasley doll yet, but obviously the show had forged its relationship with the toy company.
Guest Cast: George Nelson: Frank Maxwell. Diane: Joan Vohs. Clara: Ann McCrea. Saleslady: Cathleen Cordell. Melissa: Pamelyn Ferdin. Scotty: Karl Lukas. Ragpicker: Andy Albin. Maid: Pauline Drake. Pamelyn Ferdin is a familiar face, and voice, from the 1960s and ’70s. Among other roles, she played Edna on The Odd Couple and voiced Lucy in A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Fern in Charlotte’s Web. She also appeared (with Johnnie Whitaker) on Sigmund and the Seamonsters and was in the ’70s version of Lassie. On The Brady Bunch, she appeared in the episode where Jan sports a wig. She also played Francie in a 1972 made-for-TV version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She would appear in three more episodes of Family Affair. Joan Vohs appeared in a second-season epidsode as Mrs. Scofield, then appeared in six third-season episodes as Miss Cummings. Andy Albin was a regular performer on Bob Newhart’s short-lived first series in 1961.
Continuity Notes: Cissy explains that after the death of her mother and father and separation from her siblings, Buffy had only Mrs. Beasley left as a friend.
Notable Quotes: “People you love always go away–I know.” Buffy
Well, that quote’s a bummer. So I will close instead with two random Buffy pictures. In Buffy’s happy scenes in this episode, Anissa Jones seems more animated than usual.
Today’s Bonus Feature
An article from Doll World, December 1996, about the small Buffy and Mrs. Beasley doll.
Read my whole Family Affair series!
I love that there once was a doll with the name “Mrs. Beasley”. Who names a doll “Mrs”? I think that is utterly cool.