Sunday, August 29, 2010


I had to shampoo the carpets today, company is coming.  That got me thinking about cleaning ladies, and the one I remember from TV is Shirley Booth as "Hazel."

There were four main characters on "Hazel" each week.  Don DeFore played George Baxter the father, Whitney Blake was his wife, Dorothy.  Bobby Buntrock was the son, Harold, and of course there was Hazel Burke the maid.  Let's quickly look at each one...I'm tired!

Bobby Buntrock was born in 1952 and played in "Hazel" for the entire run from 1961 to 1966.  Previously he was in single episodes of "Wagon Train" when he was seven, then "Mister Ed," "The Donna Reed Show," and "Burke's Law."  He later played thrice in "The Virginian."  He died in an auto accident in 1974.

Shirley Booth (1898 - 1992) only has 13 items listed on IMDb.  I would have thought she was a veteran actress with loads of roles in her long life.  She was a star on Broadway from 1925 to 1970, so that accounts for her income.  She won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and two Emmys, plus several other awards.  I remember her on TV in "The Glass Menagerie," but it was her first film, Come Back, Little Sheba in 1952 that made her famous to a wider audience.

Don DeFore (1913 - 1993) has a longer screen career with 73 roles in movies and on TV.  His second film was Kid Galahad in 1937 starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart.  Not a bad start.  He made 29 movies before giving TV a try in 1950.  Before "Hazel" he had a recurring role as Thorny Thornberry on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."  He worked until 1987 and his last appearance was on "St. Elsewhere."

Whitney Blake (1926 - 2002) is the winner with 78 listed roles.  She started her screen acting career on TV in 1956, in a show called "Medic."  She made a few movies and TV movies as well.  Almost all of her TV appearances except "Hazel" were single or two episode gigs.

I am not sure why "Hazel" captured my attention when I was a kid.  I would have been eleven when it premiered.  Maybe it was Shirley Booth's talent.

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