Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 3, Episode 2, “By a Whisker,” 9/30/1968

This week at Chez Davis, Uncle Bill is yakking on the phone to someone named Charlie.

When the twins rush in, Jody is eager to show Bill his new regulation-sized basketball.

Soon the twins rush in, and Jody is eager to show Bill his new regulation-sized basketball.

Jody says smaller basketballs are baby stuff. Episode Theme Foreshadowing Alert!

This is pretty big talk from a boy who admits he doesn't know how to dribble.

This is pretty big talk from a boy who admits he doesn’t know how to dribble.

Meanwhile, Bill is craving cheese souffle, but French is all out of Gruyere–I hate when that happens.

French is about to leave for the Italian market when Jody asserts that he’s old enough to run the errand himself.

French disagrees, and Jody wanders off with one of his a-car-just-hit-my-dog faces.

French disagrees, and Jody wanders off with one of his a-car-just-hit-my-dog faces.

Now, Bill knows that it’s important to keep up a united front before the children.

After Jody leaves, though, he pulls French aside and suggests giving Jody more responsibility. (I bet he wouldn't suggest the same thing about Buffy.)

After Jody leaves, though, he pulls French aside and suggests giving Jody more responsibility. (I bet he wouldn’t suggest the same thing about Buffy.)

Bill gives a delighted Jody permission to run to the corner market.

He even agrees to let him stay out and play afterwards. I guess French isn't in any hurry to get that cheese.

He even agrees to let him stay out and play afterwards. I guess French isn’t in any hurry to get that cheese.

Of course, this whole dilemma is strange, since just last week we saw that Jody already has wandering-around privileges.

Amalfi's is the saddest little grocery story ever, but you can't beat their prices on candy and gum--three for a dime!

Amalfi’s is the saddest little grocery store ever, but you can’t beat their prices on candy bars and gum–three for a dime!

After completing his errand, Jody runs into an older boy he knows.

It's Eddie Munster!

You know him, too–it’s Eddie Munster!

This kid has a club called the Daredevils, and Jody is feeling so big for his britches that he requests membership.

Skinny has no interest in a seven-year-old member, but he is interested in Jody's new basketball.

Frankie has no interest in a seven-year-old member, but he is interested in Jody’s new basketball.

He takes Jody to meet the other club members and get their input.

They quickly see the wisdom of waiving age requirements for someone with a new basketball.

They quickly see the wisdom of waiving age requirements for someone with a new basketball.

They demand a proper initiation prank for Jody, though.

Uh-oh. Buddy Hinton's in this club. Things aren't going to end well.

Uh-oh. Buddy Hinton’s in this club. Things aren’t going to end well.

They decide that Jody should cut off a few of Mr. French’s whiskers and bring them back to the club for inspection. Yikes!

He also has to make an ungrammatical pledge to “not tell nobody” about the club’s secrets, under penalty of his teeth falling out and his toes dropping off.

At home, Jody starts scoping out French's face in a really subtle way.

At home, Jody starts scoping out French’s face in a really subtle way.

At one point, he even calls French “Mr. Whiskers” by mistake.

That goes over about as well as you might suspect

That goes over about as well as you might expect.

Meanwhile, Bill is leaving on another trip, and Buffy and Cissy are heading to the planetarium. They invite Jody, but he wants to stay home and carry out his plan. Buffy thinks he’s scared of the planetarium’s darkness–he takes umbrage, of course, at this slight to his new-found maturity.

Cissy sums up the situation quite well: "They should never have sent him for that cheese."

Cissy sums up the situation quite well: “They should never have sent him for that cheese.”

Cissy and Buffy barely make it out of the lobby before running into Sharon.

Sharon has tickets for a folk rock festival. Buffy says she doesn't want to go to the planetarium anyway, so Cissy gives her the apartment key and heads off with Sharon.

Sharon has tickets for a folk rock festival. Buffy says she doesn’t want to go to the planetarium anyway, so Cissy gives her the apartment key and heads off with Sharon.

Couldn’t Buffy just knock on the door? Yes, but then she wouldn’t be able to walk in on a dozing French, as Jody prepares to do some snipping.

She has good reason to look shocked.

She has good reason to look shocked.

Jody realizes she’s there before he carries through with the crime.

They run off to discuss the situation. Although Jody keeps his club's secrets, he reveals enough for Buffy to figure out what's happening.

They run off to discuss the situation. Although Jody trues to keep his club’s secrets, he reveals enough for Buffy to figure out what’s happening.

Good sister that she is, she offers to help.

That night, the kids rush French through his bedtime story. It's almost as if they're eager for everyone to go to sleep!

That night, the kids rush French through his bedtime story. It’s almost as if they’re eager for everyone to go to sleep!

By the way, Cissy is spending the night with Sharon–that’s another contrivance that’s required for this plot to work.

Buffy sets an alarm for midnight.

Buffy sets an alarm for midnight.

When it goes off, she wakes Jody, and they head for French’s room.

We get some amusing scenes of them crawling around the floor.

We get some amusing scenes of them crawling around the floor.

They’re almost busted, though, when French’s phone rings.

It's a wrong number, and French is cranky. Even if someone named Gussie lived there, she wouldn't be taking calls in the middle of the night, he barks.

It’s a wrong number, and French is cranky. Even if someone named Gussie lived there, she wouldn’t be taking calls in the middle of the night, he barks.

(During my teenage years, I had a phone just like French’s in my room.)

The next day, a sheepish Jody tells the Daredevils that he's giving up.

The next day, a sheepish Jody tells the Daredevils that he’s giving up.

He still wants to join, but Buddy Hinton’s all, “We don’t allow babies in this club.”

With renewed determination, Jody goes home to do the deed. This time, he tells Buffy that he’ll handle it alone.

He manages to take several snips before French awakens.

He manages to take several snips before French awakens.

Then, unfortunately, he freezes like a deer in the headlights, allowing French to grab the envelope and figure out what’s happened.

He's really mad. He says "invasion of privacy" more than once, and the British pronunciation of privacy makes it sound even worse.

He’s really mad. He says “invasion of privacy” more than once, and the British pronunciation of privacy makes it sound even worse.

When Bill hears about it, he feels that Jody must have had some reason for his actions, beyond just a wild hair (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Bound to secrecy about the club, Jody won't confide anything.

Bound to secrecy about the club, Jody won’t confide anything.

Random Set Design Observation: I like Jody’s room a lot better than the girls’. That desk/table is a nice, functional piece.

Bill finds out what happened when the daredevils come to the door and express remorse for the way they treated Jody.

Bill finds out what happened when the daredevils come to the door and express remorse for the way they treated Jody.

Hmm. The bullies in my neighborhood weren’t real big on remorse and confession.

Now, Bill and French change their tunes–they’re glad that Jody is honoring the “gentleman’s code” by keeping his friends’ secrets.

Though Jody still faces punishment, Bill quickly sends him on another errand.

Though Jody still faces punishment, Bill quickly entrusts him with another errand.

So, now a second-grader is wandering the streets, and he’s learned that he shouldn’t confide in his parents if someone swears him to secrecy about something.

Great day's parenting there, guys.

Great day’s parenting there, guys.

Commentary

The beard-snipping scene generates about as much suspense as Family Affair can muster, and French outrage is always entertaining.

Random Set Design Observation #2: The girls have some dreary-looking books. And what is that yellow thing?!

Random Set Design Observation #2: The girls have some dreary-looking books. And what is that yellow thing?!

Guest Cast

Sharon James: Sherry Alberoni. Sparky: Lindy Davis. Merv: Gerald Edwards. Jose: Ric Natoli. Frankie: Butch Patrick. Skinny: Russell Schulman. Mr. Amalfi: A.G. Vitanza.

For Patrick, this episode fell between his stints on The Munsters and Lidsville. Shortly after it aired, he began a recurring role as Ernie’s friend Gordon on My Three Sons. Schulman also made one appearance as Gordon.

Gerald Edwards voiced the character Weird Harold on Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids.

Family Affair Friday: Season 2, Episode 20, “The Day Nothing Happened,” 1/29/1968

Written by: Henry Garson and Edmund Beloin. Directed by: Charles S. Barton.

This week’s adventure begins with Buffy and Jody greeting Scotty the doorman. Clutching Bill’s boots, the twins inform Scotty that their uncle is traveling to Maine for moose-hunting.

Aren't their coats and hats cute?

Aren’t their coats and hats cute?

Upstairs, Bill is haranguing poor Miss Lee by phone. He doesn’t want to be disturbed while he’s away.

"Don't mess up my vacation and I'll bring you back an antler," he says. I wonder what she mutters under her breath as she hangs up the phone.

“Don’t mess up my vacation and I’ll bring you back an antler,” he says. I wonder what she mutters under her breath as she hangs up the phone.

Meanwhile, Cissy has a new male obsession–Norton Webberly.

She asks Bill if she was wrong to accept two dates with Norton for the upcoming weekend--one for a movie and one for brunch.

She asks Bill if she was wrong to accept two dates with Norton for the upcoming weekend–one for a movie and one for brunch.

Bill doesn’t see any problem with it.

He's mostly just excited to get his plaid on and kill some animals.

He’s mostly just excited to get his plaid on and start killing some animals.

He even volunteers to finish his own packing because French has plans to spend the evening visiting his brother on Long Island.

Bill's packing style is similar to mine.

Bill’s haphazard packing style matches my own.

He awakes to bad news the next morning, though. A blizzard has struck New York and trapped French on Long Island.

French seems upset about the situation, but I suspect he's secretly pleased to have his version of a "snow day."

French seems upset about the situation, but I suspect he’s pleased to have his version of a “snow day.”

While he waits to hear if his flight is cancelled, Bill sends the twins off to make breakfast–an inexplicable lapse in judgment.

This scene is cute, especially when Buffy attempts to strain shell fragments out of the eggs. Johnny Whitaker's giggle appears to be genuine.

This scene is cute, especially when Buffy attempts to strain shell fragments out of the eggs. Johnny Whitaker’s giggle is genuine. (Also, I like those Pyrex mixing bowls.)

Cissy comes along in time to rescue breakfast, but her weekend soon takes a turn for the worse.

Ah-choo!

Ah-choo!

Cissy is smart enough to know that, as a TV character, she will only sneeze when a raging cold is descending upon her. She’s horrified that Norton Webberly might see her with a red nose. Bill tells her she won’t be going out at all, unless the family doctor approves. (Really–consulting a doctor over a simple cold?)

Bill’s upset, too, because all flights out of JFK are grounded. He doesn’t feel any better after phoning one of the colleagues waiting for him in Maine.

This guy's all, "Oooh, you're having a blizzard? The weather up here is perfect."

Charlie’s all, “Oooh, you’re having a blizzard? The weather up here is perfect.”

Since Buffy and Jody are snowbound, Bill allows them to invite a few friends over.

He regrets this decision pretty quickly.

He regrets this decision right away.

French, reached by phone, proves that he’s earned his parenting stripes over the past year.

He suggests that Bill employ "the modern-day pacifier"--television.

He suggests that Bill employ “the modern-day pacifier”–television. (Note that French’s brother likes Family Affair green as much as everyone else on this show.)

Bill sets the kids up in the den with Captain Hippopotamus.

As soon as he leaves, they switch the channel to a horror movie. I like that touch--these kids seem a little too old for Captain Hippopotamus.

As soon as he leaves, they switch the channel to a horror movie. I like that touch–these kids seem a little too old for Captain Hippopotamus.

Meanwhile, the doctor has ordered Cissy to bed. (Why can’t I find a doctor who will order me to bed when I get a cold?) She has to cancel her first of two dates with Norton, but she refuses to phone him herself. Norton has praised her “sexy voice,” and she doesn’t want him to hear the congested version. She enlists Sharon to do the dirty deed, instead.

To pass the time, she washes and sets her hair, only to find that her hair dryer is on the fritz.

To pass the time, she washes and sets her hair, only to find that her hair dryer is on the fritz.

My mom had a hair dryer like that when I was very little. I loved playing with it.

I never enjoyed hard plastic curlers, though. These huge ones look especially uncomfortable.

I never enjoyed hard plastic curlers, though. These huge ones look especially uncomfortable.

Bill, trying to fix the hairdryer, plugs it into the same outlet as the TV set. The kids think it’s cool when smoke starts billowing out of Dracula’s mouth–until the TV shorts out completely.

Bill also has to deal with Sharon, who never misses a chance to stir the you-know-what.

She's let Cissy know that Norton is taking another girl to Radio City.

She’s let Cissy know that Norton is taking another girl to Radio City.

Bill practices some tough love on Cissy. He gets her to admit that she’s only just met Norton and is already hoping for “something they write great novels about.” He tells her that the relationship could be all in her mind, and that she’s not going to “be a great sensation” with every guy she meets. Surprisingly, this conversation improves Cissy’s mood.

While Cissy occupies Bill, the twins and their friends amuse themselves. Bill has already told them they can’t build a snowman on the terrace.

Seizing on a loophole, they haul snow inside and build their snowman in the living room.

Seizing on a loophole, they haul snow inside and build their snowman in the living room.

Their snowman is actually a snow Mr. French. They are wondering what to use for his beard when Bill enters the room. Personally, I would have lost it right here. Buffy and Jody are old enough to know better. Bill reacts calmly, though he does order the twins to remove the snow and sends their friends home.

I guess he realizes that this special dry kind of snow will be easy to clean up.

I guess he realizes that this special dry kind of snow will be easy to clean up.

Soon, Bill’s colleague in Maine calls with news. After buttering up a client all day, he’s landed their firm a big tunnel contract. He and the client are flying to White Sulphur Springs to finalize the paperwork, and he encourages Bill to meet them there with his golf clubs.

(Woo–a shout-out to my home state! Surely, they are referencing¬† The Greenbrier. Golf is not a four-season sport in West Virginia, though.)

Bill, who was anticipating a real vacation rather than a working one, finds Charlie’s news underwhelming. He decides to spend his time off at home.

A knock at the door brings Cissy flowers and a nice note from Norton, so she's happy.

A delivery man shows up with flowers and a nice note from Norton, so Cissy ends the episode happy.

When French finally returns, he finds that Bill is happy, too.

He says he's experienced "the best change of scenery anyone's ever had with a couple of kids and a moonstruck teenager."

He says he’s experienced “the best change of scenery someone’s ever had with a couple of kids and a moonstruck teenager.”

Commentary

It’s funny how infrequently it snows in the Davis version of New York.

This is a cute episode, and it’s nice that Bill ends up enjoying the little aggravations of home life. If he spent more time at home, however, I’m not sure he’d be so sanguine. Indoor snowmen and cranky teens are probably more bearable as a novelty than as an everyday reality.

Continuity Notes

Scotty, Miss Lee, Sharon, Captain Hippopotamus–this episode is a continuity-palooza!

Random twin cuteness

Random twin cuteness

Guest Cast

Charley: Ray Kellogg. Scotty: Karl Lukas. Sharon: Sherry Alberoni. Delivery Man: James Victor.

I’ve mentioned before that bit-part actors seem to find a niche. Kellogg usually played guards or policemen. This is Victor’s second Family Affair appearance; Alberoni and Lukas, of course, are mainstays.

Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 2, Episode 6, “The Candy Striper,” 10/16/1967

Written by: John McGreevey and Jerry Devine. Story by: Jerry Devine. Directed by: William D. Russell.

And now we come to the episode that made such a big impression on me when I was little.

It begins with Uncle Bill awakening and bellowing for French.

Judging from the speed at which French responds, he has apparently been waiting outside Bill's door with orange juice and the newspaper.

Judging from the speed at which French responds, he has apparently been lurking right outside Bill’s door with orange juice and the newspaper.

Bill thinks he’s late for work, until French reminds him that it’s Saturday. Bill fantasizes about spending the whole day relaxing in bed–it has apparently slipped his mind that he’s a parent now.

Not to worry: The kids are quick to remind him. First, Jody barges in and tells him about a problem he’s having with his two best friends, Pete and Herbert.

I'm just glad to hear that Jody has friends. Although, come to think of it, we never actually see Pete and Herbert in this episode.

I’m just glad to hear that Jody has friends. Although, come to think of it, we never actually see Pete and Herbert in this episode.

Cissy enters and chastises Jody for bothering Uncle Bill–then she proceeds to tell her uncle about her own dilemma.

You see, Cissy wants to be a hospital volunteer--a "candy striper." But she's a few months shy of the minimum age--16--so she needs Uncle Bill to intercede for her.

You see, Cissy wants to be a hospital volunteer–a “candy striper.” But she’s a few months shy of the minimum age–16–so she needs Uncle Bill to intercede for her.

He agrees, even though it means giving up his Saturday morning to meet with the hospital administrator. Well, at least he has his afternoon free.

Or not.

Or not.

Buffy also wants to join a new activity–the Brownies. When Uncle Bill asks what a Brownie is, she responds that it’s what you are before you are a Girl Scout. (That was true then, and in the following decade when I participated. To me, it was a dull, three-year purgatory I had to endure before earning my spiffy green uniform and the ability to earn badges and sell cookies. Today, Brownies and even younger girls–Daisies–are full-fledged Girl Scouts themselves.)

Bill agrees to take Buffy to Brownie meeting that afternoon.

First, though, he has a successful meeting with the hospital administrator and tells a jubilant Cissy that she can be a volunteer. (Continuity alert: Cissy's friend Sharon is also a candy-striper.)

First, though, he has a successful meeting with the hospital administrator and tells a jubilant Cissy that she can be a volunteer. (Continuity alert: Cissy’s friend Sharon is also a candy-striper.)

When Cissy reports for duty, the nurse in charge stresses one rule--don't give patients food or drink without permission from a doctor or nurse. Do you hear that, Cissy?!

When Cissy reports for duty, the nurse in charge stresses one rule–don’t give patients food or drink without permission from a doctor or nurse. Do you hear that, Cissy?!

Meanwhile, Uncle Bill takes Buffy to meet her prospective Brownie leader.

Oh, dear lord. If leaders had to wear uniforms like that today, one particular troop in my town would be short at least one leader.

Oh, dear lord. If leaders had to wear uniforms like that today, one particular troop in my town would be short at least one leader.

Although Bill hopes to make a quick exit, the leader encourages him to stay for the meeting.

He's not uncomfortable in that environment at all.

He’s not at all uncomfortable in that environment.

Unlike her uncle, Buffy has a great time at the meeting, and it's clear that she can't wait to join the troop.

Unlike her uncle, Buffy has a great time at the meeting, and it’s clear that she can’t wait to join the troop.

(My 1970s Brownie uniform was a little different from the one these girls are wearing, but the hat was the same.)

Soon Buffy is sporting her own uniform, carrying her (authentic) Brownie manual, and practicing the pledge.

Jody is not impressed. He says he'd rather be a Marine...or a Cub Scout.

Jody is not impressed. He says he’d rather be a Marine…or a Cub Scout.

Jody has bigger problems when Cissy returns from her first day as a candy-striper: She’s so taken with the idea of nursing that she takes one sneeze from Jody as cause for alarm.

During her next session at the hospital, Cissy faces a more serious test.

This pitiful sounding old woman begs Cissy for a glass of water--and a sympathetic Cissy hurries off to get one.

This pitiful sounding old woman begs Cissy for a glass of water–and a sympathetic Cissy hurries off to get one.

Uh-oh.

Fortunately, the head nurse catches her before she gives the patient any water. She can’t have any because she’s awaiting surgery, the nurse explains to Cissy. Giving her water would have forced the doctor to delay the procedure–a delay that could have had serious consequences.

Cissy feels awful, of course, and a pep talk from Uncle Bill about moving on after mistakes only comforts her a little. The next day, she figures her career in stripes is over when her name is missing from duty roster.

She's thrilled when the head nurse tells her that she's merely been transferred to another floor--the maternity ward.

She’s thrilled when the head nurse tells her that she’s merely been transferred to another floor–the maternity ward.

She redeems herself by comforting a woman who’s laboring all alone.

Her husband is in the Army, the mother-to-be tells Cissy. Oh, sure. That's what they all say.

Her husband is in the Army, the mother-to-be tells Cissy. Oh, sure. That’s what they all say.

My bad--she really does have a husband in the Army, who shows up after the birth.

My bad–she really does have a husband in the Army, who shows up after the birth.

Isn't that an odd nursery set-up, with the babies in one big bed?

Isn’t that an odd nursery set-up, with the babies in one big bed?

Cissy returns home high on nursing again and thrilled to have played a small part in the miracle of birth.

Meanwhile, Buffy has mastered the Brownie pledge and has earned two “unofficial” badges. (French wasn’t thrilled–one of them was for cooking!)

She becomes a official Brownie at a meeting in Central Park.

She becomes a official Brownie at a meeting in Central Park.

When Uncle Bill casually mentions Buffy’s age to the leader, however, things take an unfortunate turn. Buffy is only 6, and the leader says that Brownies must be 7–no exceptions.

(Time sure moves slowly in the Davis universe. None of the kids have celebrated birthdays since they arrived in New York.)

That night, Uncle Bill has to break the news to Buffy that her Brownie career is suspended until she celebrates her next birthday.

Though sad at first, she soon perks up--after all, she notes, she only has to wait 92 days.

Though sad at first, she soon perks up–after all, she notes, she only has to wait 92 days.

Commentary

This is the episode I remembered best from my childhood. At the time, I found the scene with the old woman and Cissy’s subsequent reprimand harrowing. Oddly, I had totally forgotten about the Buffy story, which now seems more moving and which was about a child much closer to my age.

I’m sure it was this episode that made me want to be a candy striper as a teen–and I did, sort of. Volunteers at our hospital didn’t wear candy-striped dresses, darn it. Just ugly burgundy smocks.

Scouting-themed episodes are common on sitcoms aimed at kids–even several of the current Disney Channel shows have done such episodes. The scouts in these episodes, though, always represent some made-up organization, like the Frontier Boys or the Sunflower Girls. I can’t think of any other show besides Family Affair that featured real Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. I’m curious about how that happened–did the Buffy character’s great popularity with young girls convince the Girl Scouts of America to use the show as a recruiting vehicle?

It’s pretty obvious that they got some “technical advice” from the Scouts, since the portrayal was so authentic. (Even the badges Buffy is holding in the featured image atop this page are recognizably real.) The only thing I question is the age rule–membership goes by grade level now, and I’m pretty sure it did in my day, too. Otherwise, girls would be changing levels chaotically throughout the school year as they celebrated birthdays.

Guest Cast

Mrs. Russell: Alice Frost. Sharon: Sherry Alberoni. Mrs. Warren: Karen Green. Mrs. Elkins: Nydia Westman. Randy: Debi Storm. Mrs. Thompson: Audrey Dalton. Dalton made many guest appearances on TV westerns. Her film credits include 1953’s Titanic. Debi Storm made a memorable Brady Bunch appearance–she was Molly Webber, the girl Marcia made over.

Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 1, Episode 10, Beware the Other Woman

I’m sorry that this week’s installment of my Family Affair series is late. Yesterday was my birthday, and I was caught up in a mad whirl of festivity. (Actually, I was so exhausted from my work week that I fell asleep at 9 p.m.)

Season 1, Episode 10, Beware the Other Woman, 11/21/1966
Written by: Elroy Schwartz. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

An old friend–Louise Marshall–re-enters Uncle Bill’s life. Meanwhile, Cissy finds a new friend, Sharon.You can tell that Sharon is sophisticated because she describes herself as “between mothers,” with the third one having left recently. She’s also a total you-know-what stirrer, who convinces Cissy that Uncle Bill will marry Louise and ship the kids back to Terre Haute.

Sure, Sharon looks sweet here, but she sets a total Davis weep-fest in motion.

Cissy’s first impulse is to make sure that she and the twins are meeting Uncle Bill’s every need, so that he has no wish to marry. At her age, she should be able to see the fatal flaw in this plan.

The kids “help” Uncle Bill prepare for an evening out.

When that doesn’t work, she shares her fears with the twins–way to go, Cissy! Soon, everyone is bawling.

These tears aren’t terribly convincing.

Uncle Bill is able to set things right, of course. He says he has no immediate plans to marry, and marriage wouldn’t mean separation for their family anyway. He also reveals that Louise’s husband with killed in the Korean War, a few feet from where Bill was standing. (Then, he switched their dog tags and headed for Manhattan…Whoops. Right city and decade. Wrong show.)

Commentary

This episode gets way too maudlin, but it has a few nice moments.

Cute horseplay-with-Uncle-Bill scene.

Elroy Schwartz is the brother of Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz and a prolific TV writer in his own right. His Brady Bunch writing credits include the one where Marcia and Greg run against each other for student body president and the one where Tiger gets lost.

Guest Cast

Ted Gaynor: John Hubbard. Sharon James: Sherry Alberoni. Louise Marshall: Rita Gam.
Sherry Alberoni was a Mousketeer in 1956-57.

Source: Wikipedia

She worked frequently in TV in the 1960s and would appear in several more Family Affair episodes. In the 1970s and 1980s, she provided many cartoon voices, such as Wendy in Superfriends.

Rita Gam won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Female Newcomer in 1952. She’s best known for serving as a bridesmaid for Grace Kelly, a subject on which she’s given many interviews.

Rita Gam must have been very tall or worn mega heels to achieve a height so close to Brian Keith’s.

Fun Facts

Cissy is good at chemistry. Sharon lives in apartment 12B. Uncle Bill is a Korean War veteran.

Continuity Notes

This episode is filled with poignant references to abandonment and separation in Terre Haute.

Notable Quote

“It just happens that I love you so much I’m not ever gonna let you down, you got that through your head?”–Uncle Bill

Read my whole Family Affair series!