Catherine McLeod

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Catherine McLeod (July 2, 1921 – May 11, 1997) was an American actress who made over sixty television and movie appearances between 1944 and 1976. She memorably portrayed the one woman whom James Garner's character Bret Maverick wanted to marry on the 1957 ABC/Warner Brothers television series Maverick, in the episode "Rage for Vengeance."

Early years[edit]

McLeod was born in Santa Monica, California. Her schooling came in an Alhambra convent. She acted in a Los Angeles little theater and studied in the Bliss-Hayden drama workshop.[1] She worked in a movie theater in Reno and later became a chorus girl in musicals.[2]


McLeod made two guest appearances on Perry Mason: Lorraine Ferrell in "The Case of the Vagabond Vixen," (1957), and Nora Huxley in "The Case of the Glittering Goldfish." (1959) In both roles she played the wife of the murder victim, but was neither the defendant nor actual murderer.

McLeod appeared in dozens of other series including The Millionaire, Meet McGraw, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, 77 Sunset Strip, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Bronco, Colt .45, Lawman (in the 1961 episode "The Prodigal Mother", with child actor Billy Booth), Bonanza, Hazel, Hawaiian Eye, Have Gun - Will Travel, The Outer Limits, The Virginian, "Letty, Gunsmoke" and the Ten Thousand Horses Singing episode of Studio One opposite James Dean and John Forsythe.[3]

Her films included Frank Borzage's I've Always Loved You (1946), Courage of Lassie (1946), The Fabulous Texan (1947), Borzage's That's My Man (1947), Old Los Angeles (1948), My Wife's Best Friend (1952), A Blueprint for Murder (1953), William Witney's The Outcast (1954), Ride the Wild Surf (1964), and Lipstick (1976).

McLeod's greatest impact upon American consciousness by far, however, was as purveyor of one of the most ubiquitous catchphrases of its era when she portrayed the woman in the 1963 headache remedy Anacin television commercial who plaintively but irritably said, "Mother, please! I'd rather do it myself!" The announcer's voiceover would then intone, "Sure you have a headache... tense, irritable.... but don't take it out on her."

Personal life[edit]

McLeod married Bill Gerds (30 January 1947 - 1949) (divorced), who was then a dental student in San Francisco.[4] They eloped to Reno on January 3, 1947. McLeod's second husband was actor Don Keefer, 7 May 1950 until her death on 11 March 1997 having 3 children together.[5]

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1946 Lux Radio Theatre I've Always Loved You[6]


  1. ^ Gunson, Victor (November 26, 1945). "Film Fans -- Meet Miss Catherine McLeod, Movie Star You Have Not Yet Seen". The Bradford Era. p. 9. Retrieved September 29, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ Swan, Gilbert (October 26, 1946). "Cinderella Waits Years To See Name In Lights -- Then Misses Her Own Premiere". The Evening Independent. p. 3. Retrieved September 29, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Associated Press. "Biography: Catherine McLeod". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Carroll, Harrison (January 27, 1949). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". The Wilkes-Barre Record. p. 10. Retrieved September 29, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ Carroll, Harrison (October 2, 1947). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". The Monroe News-Star. p. 4. Retrieved September 29, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Radio Debut". Harrisburg Telegraph. November 2, 1946. p. 19. Retrieved September 28, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read


External links[edit]