Kaye Ballard

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Kaye Ballard
Kaye Ballard publicity photo taken by Maurice Seymour NY in late 1950s for MCA.jpg
Publicity photo late 1950s
Born Catherine Gloria Balotta
(1925-11-20) November 20, 1925 (age 91)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1951–2015

Kaye Ballard (born November 20, 1925) is a retired American musical theatre and television actress, comedian and singer.

Early life[edit]

Ballard was born Catherine Gloria Balotta in Cleveland, Ohio, one of four children born to Italian immigrant parents, Lena (née Nacarato) and Vincenzo (later Vincent James) Balotta. Her siblings are Orlando, Jean, and Rosalie.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Kaye established herself as a musical comedian in the 1940s, joining the Spike Jones touring revue of entertainers. Capable of playing broad physical comedy as well as stand-up dialogue routines, she became familiar in television and stage productions. A phrase her mother had used when Kaye was a child, "Good luck with your MOUTH!", became her catchphrase in her sketches and on television. Ballard made her television debut on Henry Morgan's Great Talent Hunt, hosted by Henry Morgan, a short-lived NBC program, which first aired January 26, 1951. In 1954, she was the first person to record the song "In Other Words" (later renamed "Fly Me to the Moon").[citation needed]

In 1957, she and Alice Ghostley played the two wicked stepsisters in the live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, starring Julie Andrews in the title role. During the 1961–1963 television seasons, Kaye was a regular on NBC's The Perry Como Show as part of The Kraft Music Hall Players, along with Don Adams, Paul Lynde, and Sandy Stewart. In 1962, she released an LP record, Peanuts, on which she played Lucy van Pelt from the comic strip namesake of the album (with Arthur Siegel playing Charlie Brown), and dramatizing a series of vignettes drawn from the strip's archive. In 1964 she had a guest role on The Patty Duke Show, playing a teacher for would-be models. From 1967 to 1969, she co-starred as Kaye Buell, a woman whose son marries her next door neighbor's daughter, in the NBC sitcom The Mothers-in-Law, with Eve Arden playing her neighbor. She also appeared as a regular on The Doris Day Show as restaurant owner Angie Pallucci from 1970 to 1972. She made appearances on the American television game show Match Game. In 1977, she was a guest star on The Muppet Show. She also appeared on the television series Alice, in which she played a kleptomaniac phony medium, as well as Daddy Dearest where she guest-starred opposite Richard Lewis and Don Rickles as a DMV clerk.[1]

Ballard starred on Broadway as Helen in The Golden Apple, introducing the song "Lazy Afternoon". She portrayed Rosalie in Carnival!, Ruth in Joseph Papp's The Pirates of Penzance, and the title role in Molly, an unsuccessful musical adaptation of the popular radio serial, The Goldbergs. She created the role of the Countess and closed out-of-town in Marc Blitzstein's Reuben, Reuben, and played Ruth Sherwood in Wonderful Town at New York City Center in 1963.

In Long Beach, California, she played Mama Morton in Chicago and fought with a vacuum cleaner as Pauline in No, No, Nanette. In 1998, she played Hattie Walker in the Paper Mill Playhouse's acclaimed 1998 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies.[2] In 2005, she appeared in a road-company production of Nunsense, written by Dan Goggin. The following year, she completed her autobiography, How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years.[2]

In 1995, she was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.[3]

She appeared in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! as "Madam A-Go-Go," a mysterious fortune teller who appears in the episode "Fortune Teller." She also performed with The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California.[4]

In December 2010, she, Donna McKechnie and Liliane Montevecchi starred in a Santa Fe, New Mexico production of From Broadway with Love, staged at the Lensic Theater.[5]

Ballard was in the 2012 cabaret show, Doin' It for Love, which premiered in Austin, Texas, at the historic Paramount Theatre. Starring Ballard and Montevecchi, the cast included Broadway dancer Lee Roy Reams. (The Austin performance benefited the Texas Humane Legislation Network.[6]) On March 9–10, 2012, the show played in Los Angeles. Kaye announced her official retirement in 2015 at the age of 89.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Stage work[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daddy Dearest Episode Guide. TVGuide.com.
  2. ^ a b Ballard, Kaye (2006). How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years. Random House. 
  3. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars website; accessed May 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Gordon "Whitey" (2006). Star Walk: A Guide to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Palm Springs, California: Hall/Sloane. p. 6; 99. ISBN 978-0-9638683-4-3. 
  5. ^ Playbill, September 1, 2010
  6. ^ "Special show held to benefit the humane treatment of animals". KVUE.com (February 5, 2012).
  7. ^ Chicago Tribune, Liz Smith, February 3, 2012.

External links[edit]