October 27, 1921|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||February 19, 1977
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Stroke|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills|
|Other names||Muriel R. Landers|
|Occupation||Actress, singer, dancer|
Born in Chicago, Landers began her career as a concert singer before moving to New York City to pursue acting. She initially found it difficult to find parts because of her weight (Landers was 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m) and weighed 200 pounds), but found her niche in comedy. In 1951, Landers appeared on the variety series The Frank Sinatra Show. Her performance on the series caught the attention of Jack Benny who invited her to perform with him at the London Palladium. Landers later appeared with Benny in two episodes of The Jack Benny Program in 1956 and 1958.
She also performed on Where's Raymond?, starring Ray Bolger, The Jimmy Durante Show, The Red Skelton Show and Cavalcade of Stars, hosted by Jackie Gleason. In 1952, Landers made her feature film debut in the comedy Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, starring Sammy Petrillo and Duke Mitchell. That same year, she won a regular role on the sitcom Life with Luigi. The series was canceled in 1953. In 1958, she appeared in the Three Stooges short Sweet and Hot. In the film, she portrayed Joe Besser's sister "Tiny", who is a singer with stage fright. She performs the song "The Heat Is On" which was taken from the 1957 comedy short Tricky Chick Landers filmed for Columbia Pictures. The next year, Landers had a supporting role in the romantic comedy Pillow Talk, starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day.
From 1960 to 1961, she appeared in two episodes of Pete and Gladys as Gladys' cousin Violet. She also had a recurring role as "Mildred Cosgrove" on The Joey Bishop Show. In addition to her comedic roles, Landers also guest starred on several dramas and Westerns including The Gene Autry Show, Peter Gunn, The Dick Powell Show and The Eleventh Hour. In 1962, Landers made a memorable appearance in The Twilight Zone episode "A Piano in the House", playing Marge Moore, an overweight woman who is forced to reveal her inner sadness about feeling unloved and unwanted because of her girth. In 1963, she and actor Stanley Adams released the comedy record Marriage Is for Dinosaurs through Bigtop Records. The next year, she had a role in the comedy film The Disorderly Orderly. For the remainder of the decade, Landers continued with guest starring roles on The Beverly Hillbillies, My Three Sons and Hogan's Heroes. In 1967, she portrayed the role of Mrs. Blossom in Doctor Dolittle. It would be her last film role.
In December 1968, she joined the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. One of Landers' last roles was as Mommy Hoo Doo in an episode of the children's television series Lidsville, in 1971. Her final onscreen role was in the 1974 television film Remember When.
|1952||Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla||Saloma|
|1952||Pony Soldier||Small Face, wife of Natayo||Uncredited|
|1958||Sweet and Hot||"Tiny" Landers||Short film|
|1962||Moon Pilot||Fat lady||Uncredited|
|1963||Who's Minding the Store?||Girdle Lady||Uncredited|
|1964||The Disorderly Orderly||Millicent|
|1967||What Am I Bid?||Concert Fan|
|1967||Doctor Dolittle||Mrs. Blossom|
|1950||The Philco Television Playhouse||Episode: "The Reluctant Landlord"|
|1950||The Clock||Episode: "Rumble in Manhattan"|
|1950||Lux Video Theatre||Head Nurse||Episode: "Mine to Have"|
|1951||Musical Comedy Time||Episode: "Flying High"|
|1952||The Range Rider||Indian Mother||Episode: "Border Trouble"|
|1952-1953||Life with Luigi||Rosa||Unknown episodes|
|1954||Where's Raymond?||Millie||Episode: "The Return of Millie"|
|1955||My Little Margie||Episode: "The Big Telecast"|
|1955||Allen in Movieland||Scrubwoman||Television movie|
|1955||The Gene Autry Show||Little Mountain||Episode: "Go West, Young Lady"|
|1955||Captain Z-Ro||Mrs. Boone||Episode: "Daniel Boone"|
|1955-1966||The Red Skelton Show||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1956||The Bob Hope Show||December 28, 1956 episode|
|1956-1958||The Jack Benny Program||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1959||Peter Gunn||Clarissa Holt||Episode: "Skin Deep"|
|1959||The Danny Thomas Show||Muriel Schultz||Episode: "The Practical Joke"|
|1960-1961||Pete and Gladys||Claire
|1961||The Dick Powell Show||Suzanne||Episode: "Three Soldiers"|
|1962||The Twilight Zone||Marge Moore||Episode: "A Piano in the House"|
|1962||The Eleventh Hour||Mrs. Cooley||Episode: "The Seventh Day of Creation"|
|1962-1963||The Joey Bishop Show||Mildred Cosgrove||4 episodes|
|1964||The Beverly Hillbillies||Essiebelle Crick||Episode: "The Girl from Home"|
|1964||My Three Sons||Claudia Marcus||Episode: "Caribbean Cruise"|
|1967||Rango||Little Sparrow||Episode: "You Can't Scalp a Bald Indian"|
|1968||Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In||Guest performer||Unknown episodes|
|1969-1970||Hogan's Heroes||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1971||Lidsville||Mommy Hoo Doo||Episode: "Mommy Hoo Doo"|
|1974||Remember When||Shirley||Television film|
- "TV's Fat Girl Has Real Problem: She's Afraid To Diet Too Much". Beaver Valley Times. May 22, 1957. p. 8. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- "Walter Winchell". St. Petersburg Times. November 19, 1951. p. 10. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- "'Great Land' Show Theme". The Deseret News. June 28, 1966. p. B13. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- Leszczak, Bob (2012). Single Season Sitcoms, Nineteen Hundred and Forty Eight to Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Nine. McFarland. p. 104. ISBN 0-786-46812-2.
- Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg (2012). The Three Stooges Scrapbook. Chicago Review Press. p. 322. ISBN 1-613-74085-9.
- "Special Merit Picks". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 75 (16): 37. April 20, 1963. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Soft Shoe With An Iron Foot". The Evening Independent. December 2, 1968. pp. 9–B. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- Erickson, Hal (2007). Sid and Marty Kroft: A Critical Study of Saturday Morning Children's Television, 1969-1993. McFarland. p. 79. ISBN 0-786-43093-1.