Kathy Garver

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Kathy Garver
Kathy Garver at WonderCon 2009.JPG
Garver at WonderCon 2009
Born Kathleen Marie Garver
(1945-12-13) December 13, 1945 (age 69)
Long Beach, California, USA
Alma mater

Pacific High School

University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Actress, producer, author
Years active 1955-present
Spouse(s) David Travis (1981-present)

Kathleen Marie "Kathy" Garver (born December 13, 1945) is an American stage, film, television, and voice-over actress most remembered for having portrayed the teenage niece, Catherine "Cissy" Davis, to series character Uncle Bill Davis, played by Brian Keith, on the popular 1960s CBS sitcom, Family Affair. Before that, she was cast as a slave in The Ten Commandments. Garver authored The Family Affair Cookbook and is a television host (Backstage with Barry and Kathy).

Early life[edit]

Garver was born in Long Beach, California, the daughter of Rosemary and Hayes Gilbert Garver.[1] She was raised Roman Catholic and attended a Catholic primary school.[2] When she was nine, she tried her hand at acting and was cast in I'll Cry Tomorrow, but her most famous movie role was that of one of the young slaves in The Ten Commandments.

Between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, the young actress worked with, in addition to her association with Brian Keith, such actors as Marvin Miller, Chuck Connors, Peter Graves, Scott Forbes, Dan O'Herlihy, Kurt Russell, Fess Parker, Vince Edwards, Richard Chamberlain, Patty Duke, Anne Lockhart, and James Franciscus.

Garver later moved to San Bernardino, California, where she entered Pacific High School in 1960 and remained there until graduation in 1964. After high school, she entered UCLA, majoring in speech and drama, until her graduation in 1968. Garver was a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women at UCLA.


Garver (bottom left) with her co-stars of Family Affair, Brian Keith (center), Sebastian Cabot (back), Johnny Whitaker, and Anissa Jones

In 1966, while studying at UCLA where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, she auditioned for, and won, the role of "Cissy" Davis, the eldest of the three siblings on Family Affair. Garver had been a fan of Keith since she was ten years old and had guest-starred on his earlier CBS series about the Cold War, Crusader. Family Affair lasted for five seasons, and Garver would play the role of "Cissy," until the show was cancelled in 1971.

Garver provivded the voice of Firestar during the 1981-1983 run of the NBC Saturday-morning cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

She guest starred on numerous television series, including ABC's short-lived The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters in the 1963-1964 season and on ABC's The Bing Crosby Show in the 1964-1965 season. She was cast in the 1964 episode "Sparrow on the Wire" of the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak.

Garver provided the voice of Firestar on the Saturday morning cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. She voiced Storm, as well as other female guest characters. In the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon series, she played the voice of Miss America.[3][4]

Garver was the voice of Alice Mitchell in the Dennis the Menace cartoon special Mayday for Mother and Pepper in Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. Her other voice roles included the television series Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, The Tom & Jerry Kids Show, Droopy, Master Detective, The New Yogi Bear Show, The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show and The All-New Super Friends Hour, the cartoon special Marvin: Baby of the Year and the anime film JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. In addition to her television work, Garver has lent her voice talents to numerous commercials, toys, and audiobooks.

Garver has produced, narrated, and written lyrics and composed the music for eight audio Beatrix Potter tales and eight Mother Goose based audiotapes for Smarty Pants, Inc. Her Beatrix Potter tapes have sold over two million copies and have won numerous awards. She has recorded books for Brilliance Audio, Dove, Listen and Live. Her voice has been heard in the films Apollo 13, Ransom, and Backdraft which were all directed by Ron Howard, and Jingle All the Way directed by Brian Levant. She appeared as a cable car tourist in the film, The Princess Diaries.

She lives in Hillsborough, California, with her husband, David Travis, and son, Reid.[5] Garver kept in touch or visited her Family Affair co-star Brian Keith until his death on June 24, 1997 and attended his funeral. Garver and her surviving co-star from the original version of Family Affair, Johnny Whitaker appeared in the Christmas episode of the later revival of Family Affair. On June 26, 2008, she attended the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony when Brian Keith was awarded a star posthumously; Garver gave a speech in his behalf.[6] Garver made a guest appearance at the 21st annual "Festival of the West" in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 19, 2011, promoting her best-selling book, The Family Affair Cookbook.[7] She has finished a new book, Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood which is scheduled for publication in 2014.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1995, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.[9] Garver has won two Audie Awards, one for her narration of The World's Shortest Stories, the other in 2004 for her direction of Amy Tan in The Opposite of Fate read by the author. In 2010, Garver was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for her role in Family Affair.[10]


  1. ^ "Kathy Garver Biography (1947-)". Filmreference.com. n.d. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Parker, Melissa (February 4, 2009). "Exclusive Interview with Kathy Garver of Family Affair". Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. I went to a Catholic school until the sixth grade and then my mother put us all in public school so we could find out real world was like. But, we remained religious and spiritual since then. 
  3. ^ "Kathy Garver". Galaxy Fest. 2014. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ Markstein, Don (2010). "Miss America". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on June 5, 2014. [Miss America] made an appearance in a 1997 episode of Spider-Man's animated TV show...There, her voice was done by Kathy Garver. 
  5. ^ "Kathy Garver". People. November 28, 1994. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ Larsen, Jennifer (July 31, 2008). "Brian Keith’s star added to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame". Ritzville.com. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ Bruegger, Cathy (March 19, 2011). "Festival of the West 2011". AZcentral.com. 
  8. ^ Brooks, Amanda A. (October 13, 2013). "Kathy Garver's Cissy of Family Affair". Yahoo! Voices. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated". Palm Springs Walk of Stars. 2012. 
  10. ^ "31st Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. April 11, 2010. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Garver, Kathy and Mark, Geoffrey, The Family Affair Cookbook, 204 pages, BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1593934583