Dawber in October 2012
October 18, 1951 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mark Harmon (m. 1987)|
Pam Dawber (born October 18, 1951) is an American actress best known for her lead television sitcom roles as Mindy McConnell in Mork & Mindy (1978–1982) and Samantha Russell in My Sister Sam (1986–1988).
Dawber was born in Detroit, Michigan, the older of two daughters of Thelma M. (née Fisher) and Eugene E. Dawber, a commercial artist. She attended North Farmington High School and Oakland Community College.
Dawber moved to New York and was initially a fashion model with Wilhelmina Models before switching to acting. Her breakthrough came when she was cast as one of the two title roles by Garry Marshall in ABC sitcom Mork & Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982, despite relatively little acting experience and not auditioning for the part. She portrayed Mindy McConnell, the comedic foil and eventual love interest for the extraterrestrial Mork from the planet "Ork", played by a then-unknown Robin Williams. The show was extremely popular in its debut season, when it averaged at #3 in the Nielsen ratings for the year.
Dawber sang in a 1980s Los Angeles Civic Light Opera production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, based on the Joseph Papp/New York Shakespeare Festival production. Her role, as Mabel, had been played by Linda Ronstadt in the New York run of the show.
From 1986 to 1988, Dawber again had the title role in a TV series, playing Samantha Russell in the CBS sitcom My Sister Sam, co-starring Rebecca Schaeffer. The series was a success in its first season, but suffered a massive ratings drop in its second after moving to Saturday night. My Sister Sam left the air in April 1988, with half of the second season's episodes never airing on CBS, but eventually airing (along with all previous episodes) on USA Network. In July 1989, over a year after the show's demise, Schaeffer was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in front of her apartment, which devastated Dawber. Dawber, and her My Sister Sam co-stars Joel Brooks, David Naughton, and Jenny O'Hara reunited to film a public service announcement about violence prevention. With the birth of her second child, she left the industry for family reasons and acted sporadically during the 1990s.
Dawber is a national spokeswoman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Dawber married actor Mark Harmon on March 21, 1987 in a private ceremony. They have two sons: Sean Thomas Harmon (born April 25, 1988) and Ty Christian Harmon (born June 25, 1992). The couple appeared together in the film I'll Remember April.
|1978–1982||Mork & Mindy||Mindy McConnell||1979 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New TV Program|
|1982||The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley with the Fonz Show||Mindy McConnell||Voice only|
|1985||The New Twilight Zone||Karen Billings||1 episode, "But Can She Type?" segment|
|1986–1988||My Sister Sam||Samantha "Sam" Russell||1982 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New TV Program|
|1987||Faerie Tale Theatre: The Little Mermaid||Mermaid|
|1994||Dream On||Cheryl Castorini||1 episode|
|1997||Life... and Stuff||Ronnie Boswell||3 episodes|
|1997–1998||101 Dalmatians: The Series||Perdy||Voice only; 20 episodes|
|1978||A Wedding||Tracy Farrell|
|1980||The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything||Bonny Lee Beaumont|
|1981||Swan Lake||Princess Odette||Voice only|
|1982||Remembrance of Love||Marcy Rabin|
|1983||Through Naked Eyes||Anne Walsh|
|1984||Last of the Great Survivors||Laura Matthews|
|1985||This Wife for Hire||Marsha Harper|
|Wild Horses||Daryl Reese|
|1986||American Geisha||Gillian Burke|
|1988||Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story||Lucy Wedemeyer|
|1989||Do You Know the Muffin Man?||Kendra Dollison|
|1990||The Face of Fear||Connie Weaver|
|1992||Stay Tuned||Helen Knable|
|1993||The Man with Three Wives||Robyn|
|1994||Web of Deception||Ellen Benesch|
|1994||A Child's Cry for Help||Monica Shaw|
|1995||A Stranger to Love||Andie|
|1999||Trail of Tears||Cheryl Harris|
|I'll Remember April||Barbara Cooper|
|Don't Look Behind You||Liz Corrigan|
|2006||Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars||Documentary|
- "Pam Dawber Biography (1954-)". Filmreference.com. 1954-10-18. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- Bernstein, Fred (March 1987). "Dawber hits the Mark!". People 27: 45.
- Marshall, Garry (1997). Wake Me When It's Funny: How to Break Into Show Business and Stay. Newmarket Press. p. 16.
- Brant, Marley (2006). Happier days: Paramount Television's classic sitcoms, 1974-1984. Billboard Books. pp. 99–100. ISBN 9780823089338.
- "Screen Source: Top TV Shows, 1970's". Amug.org. 1997-03-28. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- Earl Blackwell's Celebrity Register, 1990. Gale Research Incorporated. 1990. pp. 113, 190. ISBN 9780810368750.
- "Baby Boom". Los Angeles Times. 27 April 1988.
- "In Step With...Mark Harmon". Parade. September 2008. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Traipsing Thru Films". Teacher1986.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16.