Muriel Landers

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Muriel Landers
Born(1921-10-27)October 27, 1921
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedFebruary 19, 1977(1977-02-19) (aged 55)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills
Other namesMuriel R. Landers
  • Actress
  • singer
  • dancer
Years active1950–1971

Muriel Landers (October 27, 1921 – February 19, 1977) was an American actress, singer and dancer. She made more than thirty film and television appearances between 1950 and 1971.


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.[1][2] 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.[3] In 1952, Landers made her feature film debut in the comedy Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, starring Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. That same year, she won a regular role on the sitcom Life with Luigi. The series was canceled in 1953.[4]

In 1957 she was signed by producer Jules White to co-star in a new series of short-subject comedies for Columbia Pictures. This was a bold move, because most studios had discontinued shorts and White was the only man still making them. The pilot film for the new "Girlie Whirls" series, Tricky Chicks, cast Muriel Landers and Bek Nelson as chubby and slender showgirls. The series was abandoned after the one film. 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" (in footage taken from Tricky Chicks).[5] The next year, Landers had a supporting role in the romantic comedy Pillow Talk, starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

Landers continued to play funny fat girls in television shows. She appeared in an episode of "Make Room for Daddy" starring Danny Thomas on May 18, 1959 entitled "The Practical Joke" as a chubby maid who wants to make it in show business. In 1960 and 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.[6] 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 and appeared in a few episodes.[7] One of Landers' last roles was as Mommy Hoo Doo in an episode of the children's television series Lidsville, in 1971.[8] Her final onscreen role was in the 1974 television film Remember When.


Landers suffered from hypertension and diabetes in the final years of her life. She died of a stroke on February 19, 1977, and is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.[9]


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla Saloma
1952 Pony Soldier Small Face, wife of Natayo Uncredited
1957 Tricky Chicks Muriel Short film
1958 Sweet and Hot "Tiny" Landers Short film
1959 Pillow Talk Marama
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 Caprice Fat Woman Uncredited
1967 Doctor Dolittle Mrs. Blossom
Year Title Role Notes
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
3 episodes
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 Season 1 Episode 3

(Big role) Unknown episodes

1969-1970 Hogan's Heroes Frieda & Second Nurse Gowns by Yvette & Up In Klink's Room
1971 Lidsville Mommy Hoo Doo Episode: "Mommy Hoo Doo"
1974 Remember When Shirley Television film


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ "Walter Winchell". St. Petersburg Times. November 19, 1951. p. 10. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  3. ^ "'Great Land' Show Theme". The Deseret News. June 28, 1966. p. B13. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  4. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2012). Single Season Sitcoms, Nineteen Hundred and Forty Eight to Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Nine. McFarland. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-786-46812-6.
  5. ^ Ted Okuda with Edward Watz, The Columbia Comedy Shorts, McFarland & Company, Inc., 1986. ISBN 0-89950-181-8
  6. ^ "Special Merit Picks". Billboard. Vol. 75, no. 16. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. April 20, 1963. p. 37. ISSN 0006-2510.
  7. ^ "Soft Shoe With An Iron Foot". The Evening Independent. December 2, 1968. pp. 9–B. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  8. ^ Erickson, Hal (2007). Sid and Marty Kroft: A Critical Study of Saturday Morning Children's Television, 1969-1993. McFarland. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-786-43093-2.
  9. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 79. ISBN 9780786409839. Retrieved January 11, 2019.

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