Ann B. Davis

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Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis 1973.jpg
Ann B. Davis, c. 1973
Born Ann Bradford Davis
(1926-05-05)May 5, 1926
Schenectady, New York, U.S.
Died June 1, 2014(2014-06-01) (aged 88)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Cause of death
Subdural hematoma
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1953–1997
Known for The Bob Cummings Show
The Brady Bunch

Ann Bradford Davis (May 5, 1926 – June 1, 2014) was an American television actress.[1][2]

Davis achieved prominence for her role in the NBC situation comedy The Bob Cummings Show (1955–1959), for which she twice won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, but she was best known for playing the part of Alice Nelson, the housekeeper in ABC's The Brady Bunch (1969–1974).

Early life

Davis was born in Schenectady, New York, the daughter of Marguerite (née Stott) and Cassius Miles Davis.[1] She had an identical twin, Harriet, and an older brother, Evans.[3][4]

When Davis was three, she and her family moved to Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania.[2] She graduated from Strong Vincent High School and later from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.[5] She originally enrolled as a pre-medical 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]

Career

Davis with Bob Cummings on The Bob Cummings Show, 1958
Davis' most famous role was as housekeeper Alice Nelson on the classic 70s sitcom The Brady Bunch.

In the 1953–1954 season, Davis appeared as a musical judge on ABC's Jukebox Jury.[6]

Davis' first television success was as Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz in The Bob Cummings Show.[7] She auditioned for the role, because her friend's boyfriend was a casting director and recommended her for the part.[2] She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice out of four nominations for this role.[7] On February 9, 1960, Davis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[8]

For a period in the 1960s and 1970s, Davis was known for her appearances in television commercials for the Ford Motor Company, particularly for the mid-sized Ford Fairlane models. She 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 1965–1966 television season, Davis appeared as Miss Wilson, a physical education teacher at a private girls' academy in John Forsythe's single-season NBC sitcom, The John Forsythe Show.[9]

From 1969 to 1974, Davis played housekeeper Alice Nelson in The Brady Bunch television series. She later returned to take part in various Brady Bunch television 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.[10] The book also includes recipes from cast members.[11]

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.[12]

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.[3][13] She 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.[citation needed]

Personal life

Davis in November 2007

In 1976, Davis sold her home in Los Angeles to move to Denver, Colorado, where she joined an Episcopal community called Trinity School for Ministry led by Bishop William C. Frey.[14] The community later relocated to Ambridge in Beaver County in far western Pennsylvania.[2] Davis had long been a volunteer for the Episcopal Church, working at the General Convention,[15] attending services at churches around the country, and was not cloistered.[14]

Davis never married nor was she publicly known to have been romantically linked to anyone.[16]

Death

Davis died on June 1, 2014, at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Earlier in the day, she had sustained a subdural hematoma from a fall in her bathroom in the San Antonio residence, in which she lived with Bishop Frey and Frey's wife, Barbara.[17][18][19] Sources close to her say she was in excellent health for an 88-year-old woman, and her death was a complete shock.[20]

Ann B. Davis is buried in the Saint Helena's Columbarium and Memorial Gardens in Boerne, Kendall County, Texas.[21]

Works

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1955 A Man Called Peter[22] Ruby Coleman Uncredited
1956 The Best Things in Life Are Free Hattie Stewart Uncredited
1960 Pepe[22] Ann B. "Schultzy" Davis
1961 All Hands on Deck[22] Nobby
1961 Lover Come Back Millie
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Alice Nelson Credited as playing herself
1995 The Brady Bunch Movie Trucker (Shultzy)

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1953–1953 Jukebox Jury Herself/Judge Musical series
1956 Matinee Theater Peg Miller Episode: "Belong to Me"
1956 Lux Video Theatre Miss Killicat Episode: "The Wayward Saint"
1955–1959 The Bob Cummings Show Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz 153 episodes
1960 Wagon Train[23] Mrs. Foster Episode: "The Countess Baranof Story"
1962 The New Breed Elizabeth MacBaine Episode: "Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?"
1962 Here's Hollywood Herself Celebrity interview program
1963 McKeever and the Colonel Sgt. Gruber Episode: "Too Many Sergeants"
1963 The Keefe Brasselle Show[24] Herself 3 appearances on summer replacement series for The Garry Moore Show
1964 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Matha Episode: "Wake Up, Darling"
1965–1966 The John Forsythe Show Miss Wilson 29 episodes
1966 The Pruitts of Southampton Mrs. Derwin Episode: "Phyllis Takes a Letter"
1968 Insight Pat Episode: "The Late Great God"
1961 Big Fish, Little Fish Movie
1970/1973 Love, American Style[23] 2 episodes
1973 The World of Sid & Marty Krofft at the Hollywood Bowl Audience member Uncredited
1969–1974 The Brady Bunch Alice Nelson / Cousin Emma 117 episodes
1974 Only with Married Men Mola Movie; uncredited
1976–1977 The Brady Bunch Hour Alice Nelson 9 episodes
1980 The Love Boat[23] Agnes Episode: "Invisible Maniac/September Song/Peekaboo"
1981 The Brady Girls Get Married Alice Nelson Movie
1981 The Brady Brides Alice Nelson 6 episodes
1988 A Very Brady Christmas Alice Nelson Movie
1989 Day by Day[23] Alice Nelson Episode: "A Very Brady Episode"
1990 The Bradys Alice Nelson 4 episodes
1991 Hi Honey, I'm Home![23] Alice Nelson Episode: "SRP"
1997 Something So Right[25] Maxine Episode: "Something About Inter-Ex-Spousal Relations"

Stage

Year Title Role Venue Notes
1972–1973 No, No, Nanette
1992–1996 Crazy for You Mother
1996 Arsenic and Old Lace Abby Brewster

Awards and nominations

Davis received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, resulting in two awards, for her portrayal of Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz on The Bob Cummings Show.

Television Season Award Category Television Program Result Notes
1955–1956 Emmy Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role The Bob Cummings Show
(Episode: "Schultzy's Dream World")
Nominated Lost to Nanette Fabray (Caesar's Hour)
1956–1957 Emmy Award Best Supporting Performance by an Actress The Bob Cummings Show Nominated Lost to Pat Carroll (Caesar's Hour)
1957–1958 Emmy Award Best Continuing Supporting Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic or Comedy Series The Bob Cummings Show Won
1958–1959 Emmy Award Best Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series The Bob Cummings Show Won

On February 9, 1960, Davis also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7048 Hollywood Boulevard. She also received TV Land Awards in 2004, 2006, and 2007 for her portrayal of Alice Nelson, the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch.

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. ^ a b "Ann B. Davis Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ Gliatto, Tom; Eftimiades, Maria; Abrahams, Andrew; Baker, Kathryn; Johnston, Jerry (June 1, 1992). "Here's the Story...". People 37 (21). Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Famous Alumni". Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. University of Michigan. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ Jukebox Jury: Research Video, Inc.: Music Footing Licensing Agency and Vintage Television Footage Archive
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Ann B. Davis". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Ann B. Davis Biography". The Biography Channel. A+E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ Stoneback, Diane (May 3, 1995). "Hey, Alice! What's for dinner?". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (April 5, 2013). "The 'Brady Brunch' Cast: Where Are They Now?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  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. 
  16. ^ "Ann B. Davis". biography.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Brady Bunch actress dies," Laredo Morning Times, June 2, 2014, p. 10A
  18. ^ Shoichet, Catherine E. (June 1, 2014). "Ann B. Davis, Alice on 'Brady Bunch,' dies". CNN. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ Barnes, Mike (June 1, 2014). "'Brady Bunch' Star Ann B. Davis Dead at 88". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Brady Bunch: Ann B. Davis Dies at 88; Farewell Alice Nelson". tvseriesfinale.com. June 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ Ann B. Davis at Find a Grave
  22. ^ a b c "Brady Bunch housekeeper Ann B. Davis won two Emmys". The Sydney Morning Herald. June 2, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c d e Chawkins, Steve; Parker, Steve (June 1, 2014). "Ann B. Davis dies at 88; actress best known for 'Brady Bunch' role". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Ann B. Davis: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About the 'Brady Bunch' Star". Variety. June 1, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  25. ^ Stedman, Alex (June 1, 2014). "Ann B. Davis, Alice on ‘Brady Bunch,’ Dies at 88". Variety. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 

External links