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Ann B. Davis
Ann B Davis
Ann B. Davis, shown here in recent photo, played the part of Alice, the Brady's housekeeper on The Brady Bunch.

Birthname

Ann Bradford Davis

Born

(1926-05-05) May 5, 1926 (age 88)

Died

June 1, 2014

Birthplace

Schenectady, NY, U.S.

Occupation

Actress, TV personality

Years active

1948-1997

Character played on The Brady Bunch

Alice Nelson, the Bradys' housekeeper

Ann Bradford Davis ( May 5, 1926-June 1, 2014) is an American television actress. Davis achieved prominence for her role in The Bob Cummings Show for which she twice won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She later played the part of Alice Nelson, on the 1969-74 ABC-TV series The Brady Bunch series. Ann achieved prominence for her role in The Bob Cummings Show for which she twice won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, but she is best known for playing the part of Alice on The Brady Bunch series.

CareerEdit

Brady-bunch-alice

Ann as Alice the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch

In the 1953-1954 season, Ann appeared as a musical judge on ABC 's Jukebox Jury.[1]

Davis's first television success was as Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz in the NBC-TV sitcom The Bob Cummings Show. She auditioned for the role because her friend's boyfriend was a casting director and recommended her for the part.[2] She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice out of four nominations for this role. On February 9, 1960, Davis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[3]

For a period in the 1960s and 1970s, she was known for her appearances in TV commercials for the Ford Motor Company, particularly for the mid-sized Ford Fairlane models. She also appeared on January 23, 1958, as a guest star on The Ford Show, starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. Davis was also featured in commercials for Minute Rice until the mid-1980s.

In the 1965–1966 television season, she appeared as Miss Wilson, a Physical Education teacher at a private girls' academy in John Forsythe's NBC sitcom The John Forsythe Show.

From 1969 to 1974, Davis played housekeeper Alice Nelson in The Brady Bunch television series. Since then, she has returned to take part in various Brady Bunch TV movies, including The Brady Girls Get Married (1981) and A Very Brady Christmas (1988). She also reprised her role as Alice Nelson in two short-lived Brady Bunch spin-off television series: The Brady Brides (1981) and The Bradys (1990), both of which lasted only six episodes. She also made a cameo appearance as a truck driver named "Schultzy", a reference to her days on The Bob Cummings Show, in The Brady Bunch Movie in 1995.

In the early 1990s, Davis focused on theater. She performed in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace, and a world tour production of Crazy For You.[4] Ann has never completely retired from acting; in her later years she was the celebrity spokeswoman in several Shake 'n Bake commercials, and later appeared in several disposable mop commercials featuring famous television domestics. She has also appeared in a number of Brady Bunch reunion projects, most recently TV Land's The Brady Bunch 35th Anniversary Reunion Special: Still Brady After All These Years. On April 22, 2007, The Brady Bunch was awarded the TV Land Pop Culture Award on the 5th annual TV Land Awards. Davis and other cast members accepted the award, and she received a standing ovation.

Personal lifeEdit

Davis was born in Schenectady, NY, the daughter of Marguerite (née Stott) and Cassius Miles Davis.[5] She has an identical twin, Harriet, and an older brother Evans.[2]

When Davis was three, she and her family moved to Erie, Pennsylvania.[2] She graduated from Strong Vincent High School, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.[6] She originally enrolled in the University of Michigan as a pre-med major, however, she changed her mind and went into drama after seeing her older brother's performance of Oklahoma![2] Davis graduated from the U of M in Ann Arbor in 1948 with a degree in drama and speech.[2]

In 1976, she sold her home in Los Angeles to move to Denver, Colorado, where she joined an Episcopal community led by Bishop William C. Frey.[7] The community later relocated to Ambridge, PA.[2] Davis has long been a volunteer for the Episcopal church, working at the General Convention,[8] attending services at churches around the country, and is not cloistered.[7]

DeathEdit

Davis died on June 1, 2014, from a subdural hematoma after a fall in her bathroom.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jukebox Jury: Research Video, Inc.: Music Footing Licensing Agency and Vintage Television Footage Archive
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Moran, Elizabeth (1992). Bradymania! Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and a Few Things You Probably Didn't. Adams Publishing. pp. 238. ISBN 1-55850-418-4.
  3. "Ann B. Davis". The Official Hollywood Walk of Fame website. http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/single-result?sname=Ann%20B.%20Davis&id=512. Retrieved 2010-03-07. Template:Dead link
  4. Williams, Barry; with Chris Kreski (1992). Growing Up Brady: I was a Teenage Greg. Good Guy Entertainment. pp. 300. ISBN 0-9673785-0-8.
  5. "Ann B. Davis Biography". film reference. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. http://www.filmreference.com/film/42/Ann-B-Davis.html. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  6. "UMAlumni.com: About the Association". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. http://alumni.umich.edu/info/um/famous_alumni.php#Actors. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Julie K.L. Dam and Samantha Miller, "the Family Still Matters," People, December 13, 1999. Found at People magazine archives. Accessed June 8, 2011.
  8. "TV's Ann B. Davis takes religious role," Chicago Sun-Times, July 15, 1991. Found at Highbeam website. Accessed June 8, 2011.

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