Goodman, in 1958.
October 28, 1914
|Died||June 22, 2008
Englewood, New Jersey,
|Resting place||Brookside Cemetery (Englewood, New Jersey)|
Dolores "Dody" Goodman (October 28, 1914 – June 22, 2008) was an American character actress, known for her playing the mother of the title character (played by Louise Lasser) in the television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Her high-pitched voice could be heard announcing the show's title at the beginning of each episode.
Born Dolores Goodman in Columbus, Ohio, Goodman was notoriously secretive about her age, successfully shaving off 15 years (giving a birthyear of 1929) for many years before the discrepancy became publicly debunked.
Goodman gained a measure of newspaper column space for her dancing solos in such Broadway musicals as High Button Shoes (1947), and Wonderful Town (1953). In 1955, she stopped the show in Off Broadway's Shoestring Revue with the novelty song "Someone's Been Sending Me Flowers." She also headlined Off-Broadway in the Jerry Herman musical revue Parade in 1960 with Charles Nelson Reilly. She played the role of Dora in the 1962 revival of Fiorello!. She returned to Broadway in 1974 to appear in Lorelei with Carol Channing.
Adopting the guise of a fey airhead, Goodman was good for a few off-the-wall quotes whenever she submitted to an interview. She came to the attention of nighttime talkshow host Jack Paar who, after becoming enchanted with her ditzy persona and seemingly spontaneous malaprops, invited her to become a semi-regular on The Tonight Show.
As Goodman's fame grew, she became difficult to handle on the show, and Paar was not happy with her upstaging habits. Commenting on another guest one evening, Paar quipped "Give them enough rope." "And they'll skip!" ad-libbed Goodman brightly. Dropped summarily by Paar in 1958, Goodman spent the next decade showing up on other talk programs, game shows and summer stock as a "professional celebrity."
Following Mary Hartman, Goodman's career gained momentum with regular appearances on TV's Diff'rent Strokes, Search for Tomorrow, Punky Brewster, and as aunt Mavis in 1982 on Texas, movie roles in Grease, Grease 2 and Splash, and cartoon voiceover work on Alvin and the Chipmunks and its movie The Chipmunk Adventure.
Her distinctive voice was once described as sounding like "a tweetie pie cartoon bird strangling on peanut butter".
Goodman posed for photographs by Cris Alexander in the Patrick Dennis mock-biography First Lady, as Martha Dinwiddie's sister Clytie, who in the story married a European Count Przyzplätcki (pron. "splatsky") and perished on the RMS Titanic. She also helped produce another book with Alexander's photography entitled Women, Women, Women! Her last television roll was a cameo in the talk show satire, "Jim Davison's Broadway Party" on the local NYC Manhattan Neighborhood Network channel in 2007.
- Dody Goodman, Veteran Actress, dead at 93
- Dody Goodman at the Internet Movie Database
- Dody Goodman at the Internet Broadway Database
- Dody Goodman at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Dody Goodman at Find a Grave
- Clip from appearance on Texas on YouTube
- Official Website