Bettye Ackerman as Dr. Maggie Graham and Vince Edwards as Ben Casey
|Born||Bettye Louise Ackerman
February 28, 1924
Cottageville, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||November 1, 2006
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Sam Jaffe (1956-1984; his death)|
Life and career
Ackerman was born in Cottageville, South Carolina, the daughter of Clarence Kilgo Ackerman and Mary Baker Ackerman, and grew up in Williston, in Barnwell County in southwestern South Carolina, one of four children. She graduated from Columbia College in South Carolina in 1945 and left for New York City soon after. She played Dr. Maggie Graham on the ABC medical drama, Ben Casey, from 1961 until 1966. She played Anne Frazer on Bracken's World and the original Constance MacKenzie on the daytime program Return to Peyton Place. She appeared in an early episode of prime time soap Falcon Crest portraying the character of Elisabeth Bradbury. She also appeared in two episodes of Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr: in 1965 she played the role of Amy Reid in the episode, "The Case of the Thermal Thief," and in 1966 she played Laura Brandon in "The Case of the Positive Negative."
On June 7, 1956, Ackerman, at thirty-two, married her future Ben Casey co-star Sam Jaffe, who was then sixty-five. Although there was a 33-year difference in their ages, the couple had a very successful and happy marriage until Jaffe died of cancer in 1984. They had no children.
She sold her home in Beverly Hills, California, and returned to South Carolina to be near her large extended family in 1998. Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and died in 2006 after having suffered a stroke in Columbia, South Carolina.
Bettye Ackerman Jaffe was also a noted artist, who had numerous exhibits in both Beverly Hills and Columbia, South Carolina.
- Face of Fire (1959) as Grace Trescott
- Companions in Nightmare (1968) as Sara Nicholson
- Rascal (1969) as Miss Whalen
- Ben Casey (ABC) (1961–1966) as Dr. Maggie Graham
- Breaking Point (ABC) as Eunice Osment in "Better Than a Dead Lion" (1964)
- Bracken's World (NBC) (1970) as Anne Frazer, Bracken's secretary
- The Sixth Sense (ABC) (1972) as Helene, a piano instructor, and mother of a psychic, who attempts murder
- Falcon Crest (1982) as Elisabeth Bradbury