Margaret Myrtle "Mitzi" Hoag (September 25, 1932 – February 26, 2019) was an American actress. Over the course of her career, she appeared in more than 73 different TV shows and movies. Notable among these are recurring roles in We'll Get By, Bonanza, Here Come the Brides, and The Partridge Family.
Early life and education
Hoag was raised in North Olmsted, Ohio, near Cleveland, where she was born. Her father, John C. Hoag, was a supervisor for the A&P store chain. She graduated from John Marshall High School in 1949. A straight-A student and head majorette of the marching band, she appeared in numerous high school stage productions, already using the nickname "Mitzi". After high school, Hoag attended Shimer College, then located in Mount Carroll, Illinois, completing her degree in two years under the radically flexible University of Chicago curriculum of Robert Maynard Hutchins. She chose Shimer for its small classes and the opportunity for horseback riding. Because Shimer was then closely affiliated with the University of Chicago, she is sometimes reported as having graduated from there.
When Hoag graduated from Shimer at age 19 in 1952, she was one of the first five Shimer students to receive the bachelor's degree. She was the only woman in the graduating class. She earned a bachelor of arts in general education, and became a certified teacher, but her experiences with drama at Shimer turned her towards an acting career. After leaving Shimer, Hoag studied drama at the graduate level at Case Western Reserve University for two years.
In the mid-1950s, Hoag moved to New York, where she continued her study of acting with Herbert Berghof. She was cast in multiple off-Broadway shows, but these were all cancelled due to funding problems. Finally, she starred in the title role of the 1958 off-Broadway hit Heloise, an adaptation by James Forsyth of the story of Heloise and Abelard. The play, which won considerable critical acclaim, was produced primarily by erstwhile actors and staffers of Case Western's Eldred Theatre.
Hoag subsequently went to Hollywood, on her mother's advice. There she married Stephen Wolfson, who had a bit part in Heloise, and later became a teacher. They had a daughter together, but subsequently divorced.
In Hollywood, Hoag at first worked as a stage actress. She parlayed a successful stage performance as Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker into screen roles, starting with a role in the movie Tammy and the Doctor, and continuing with numerous TV appearances.
In the late 1960s, Hoag had a recurring role in Here Come the Brides in the late 1960s. In addition, from 1966 to 1972, she appeared frequently in the TV show Bonanza as Alice Brenner. In 1976, she appeared in the drama Family as Clara Briault. During this period, she also appeared in several movies, including Play It as It Lays, Pieces of Dreams, and Devil's Angels. She also played Natalie Green's adoptive mother on The Facts of Life, a role she played through all 9 seasons.
Hoag's first and only starring role in a TV series came in 1975, when she appeared as the mother Liz Platt in the CBS sitcom We'll Get By, starring opposite Paul Sorvino. A family sitcom, the show was created by Alan Alda, and modeled after his own domestic life. The show ran to twelve episodes, filmed in front of a live studio audience. Originally scheduled for September 1974, the show did not air until March 1975, in a time slot facing Chico and the Man, one of NBC's most popular programs. It was not renewed.
|1963||Tammy and the Doctor||Pamela Burke, Nurse|
|1970||Pieces of Dreams||Anne Lind (Gregory's Sister)|
|1970||Cover Me Babe||Mother|
|1972||Play It as It Lays||Patsy|
|1973||The Bait||Nancy||TV film|
|1974||Doctor Dan||Mrs. Wallace||TV film|
|1974||Hit Lady||Woman at Airport||TV film|
|1977||The Girl in the Empty Grave||Gloria||TV film|
|1977||Deadly Game||Gloria||TV film|
|1978||The Suicide||The Mother||Short|
|1979||Hometown U.S.A.||Mrs. Duckworth|
|1980||Why Would I Lie?||Mrs. Hayworth|
|1981||The Incredible Shrinking Woman||Vance's Secretary|
|1981||All Night Long||Nurse|
|1981||Murder in Texas||Edie Kalb||TV film|
|1981||The Five of Me||Secretary||TV film|
|1983||Heart Like a Wheel||Shirley's Mother|
|1984||Second Sight: A Love Story||Leslie McKay||TV film|
|1988||Addicted to His Love||Estelle||TV film|
- Mitzi Hoag Beggs
- Peter Bellamy (1962-05-11). "2 Cleveland Stage Stars Win Acclaim". Cleveland Plain Dealer. p. 39.
- James B. Flanagan (1965-05-13). "Mitzi Hoag Glad Her Day In Court is Over". Cleveland Plain Dealer. p. 50.
- "Corley Gives Recital". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 1948-06-20. p. 86.
- Bob Martin. "Mitzi Hoag finds comedy stardom in 'We'll Get By'". Independent Press-Telegram: TeleVues. p. 1.
- "Shimer's First Four-Year Graduates Received Degrees Seventeen Years Ago". Shimer College Bulletin. Shimer College. May 1969. p. 1.
- Consolidated News Service (1952-05-29). "Confer Shimer Degrees on Six". Rockford Register-Republic. p. B1.
- Bert J. Reesing (1966-02-17). "Majorette Mitzi Bids for TV's Hoss". Cleveland Plain Dealer. p. 47.
- Arnold Zeitlin (1957-07-28). "Cleveland Talent Tackles Broadway". Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Gerald Boardman (1996). "1958-1959". American Theatre : A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1930-1969. p. 353. ISBN 0195358082.
- "Mitzi Hoag's Parents Will See 'Heloise'". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 1958-09-26. p. 36.
- Chance 2011, p. 186.
- Chance 2011, p. 480.
- Bob Leszczak (2012). "We'll Get By". Single Season Sitcoms, 1948-1979: A Complete Guide. p. 195. ISBN 0786468122.