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|Born||Joyce Caroline Bulifant
December 16, 1937
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||James MacArthur (1958–67)
Edward Mallory (1969–74)
William Asher (1976–93)
Glade Bruce Hansen (2000–01)
Roger Perry (2002–present)
Joyce Caroline Bulifant (born December 16, 1937) is an American television actress, notable for her sunny "little girl"-like Southern lilt of a voice. She was a frequent panelist on the television game show Match Game and Chain Reaction, in which she more often than not gave bizarre answers that seldom matched the contestants on the former.
Life and career
Bulifant was born in Newport News, Virginia. In the 1940s, after appearing on Broadway, she appeared in numerous television programs, including Channing, Empire, and The Virginian. She played an intended murder victim in a 1961 episode ("An Attractive Family") of Thriller. She played innocent defendant "Nancy Banks" in the Perry Mason 1963 episode "The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands", the second of her two appearances on that show.
In 1963, she appeared in an episode of The Real McCoys. Bulifant, who has been described as "naturally funny", was the original choice for the role of Carol Brady on ABC's The Brady Bunch, but the part ultimately went to Florence Henderson. She accepted the role of Marsha Patterson in The Bill Cosby Show (1969–71). From 1971 to 1977, she played the wife of Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, making 11 appearances over seven seasons.
She later had a role as Miriam Willoughby on Flo, appeared in the movie Airplane!, and as the mother of David Spade's character on Just Shoot Me!, as well as guest roles and as a guest panelist on game shows.
Bulifant has for many years been actively involved with the child abuse prevention non-profit Childhelp, including serving as a Celebrity Ambassador and as a Vice-President on the National Board of Directors.
Bulifant has been married five times:
- Roger Perry (2002–present)
- Glade Bruce Hansen (2000–01; divorced)
- William Asher (August 28, 1976 – 1993; divorced); 1 child
- Edward Mallory (September 19, 1969 – 1974; divorced); 1 child
- James MacArthur (November 2, 1958 – 1967; divorced); 2 children