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Old 12-21-2004, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default How did they write Bea Benaderet out

I know that Bea Benaderet died in 1968 and a Doctor repalced her character but did they kill of Kate or what
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:56 PM   #2
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If I remember correctly, without looking it up, Kate was "out of town," as she had often been for the last year or so, as the baby was coming due. Then Betty Jo received a letter from her telling how she was going to make it back if at all possible for the baby's arrival. This letter was read by Betty Jo and Steve together with Bea's voiceover, along with sad music, as if to confirm to the audience what was really happening; that she was dying and sinking fast at that time. Nevertheless, "Kate" did appear one last time, and another actress was shown only from rear and side views, as Bea voiced Kate's efforts to get to the hospital, and then she was seen at the foot of Betty Jo's bed, with Steve and Doc Stewart. In the next ep, as the baby was brought home, one of the other daughters just has a simple line like, "It's too bad Mom had to go out of town again right away." I don't remember personally, but I have read a message or 2 by viewers saying Kate was alluded to later as being deceased, but I think this was supposed to have been the next season. I also don't recall for sure, but I think she had already died before the birth episode premiered.
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:02 PM   #3
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I don't think Kate was ever alluded to as deceased. Just "out of town" for the remainder of the series. In fact she was only referred to once or twice after the episode with Kathy Jo's birth. As for Bea passing away before that episode aired, that is correct. The air date was October 26, 1968, not long after Bea's passing.
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:41 PM   #4
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So that's it. I've always wondered. I kept thinking I must have missed episodes for 30 + years!! I know it was a different time, but you'd think sooner or later they'd have to make a reasonable reference. The show went on quite a while after that with June Lockhart as the Doc and then even June left I think just before it was cancelled (that, or maybe was thinking of leaving - not sure - its been a while since it was on TV Land)!
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:47 PM   #5
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I read or heard that Linda Kaye (Betty Jo) did that letter reading scene with sadness. She and cast knew Bea didn't have long to live.
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:34 PM   #6
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:10 PM   #7
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Actually, there was a a brief reference to Kate's passing a season or two after her death. Uncle Joe made a reference to the Kate Bradley Memorial Suite. That was the only mention of Kate's passing.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:53 PM   #8
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Old 05-04-2007, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryATL
Actually, there was a a brief reference to Kate's passing a season or two after her death. Uncle Joe made a reference to the Kate Bradley Memorial Suite. That was the only mention of Kate's passing.


I'll have to watch closely for that episode. You could tell just how sick she was when she did the voice over on KathyJo's birth ep. No wonder BettyJo and all looked so sad.

To me it was a disgrace to ignore it. I guess in those days the networks figured you just couldn't deal with death on a sitcom. All In The Family seems to be the first who would deal with it headon.

At the very least, they could have put something up at the closing credits (although maybe it was done on the original airing - as we know TVLand chops the hell out of everything).
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
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That's a good point regarding the closing credits, though I've seen all of the episodes from the time of her illness and departure and ultimately Bea's death -- all uncut to my knowledge -- and there doesn't seem to be any memorial.

It's been said that the original name chosen for the baby was "Katie Jo" to honor Kate (Bea), but was changed to Kathy Jo when it became apparent that Bea would be passing away. I guess they thought the name would sadden people as a reminder that Kate was gone.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripperFan
I'll have to watch closely for that episode. You could tell just how sick she was when she did the voice over on KathyJo's birth ep. No wonder BettyJo and all looked so sad.

To me it was a disgrace to ignore it. I guess in those days the networks figured you just couldn't deal with death on a sitcom. All In The Family seems to be the first who would deal with it headon.

At the very least, they could have put something up at the closing credits (although maybe it was done on the original airing - as we know TVLand chops the hell out of everything).
That is true about how sitcoms handled deaths back then. Joseph Kearns of Dennis The Menace died and they replaced him with his brother played by Gale Goedon without even a mention. Howard McNear died on the Andy Griffith Show and nothing was mentioned. It was different here because Bea was the star of the show. I wonder if she was the first star of a sitcom to die while it was still on the air. I guess they didn't know how to deal with it.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:56 AM   #12
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In the 67-68 season, the season where Steve and Betty Jo were married, you can tell Bea was getting sick. She immediately aged the opening of that season and not long after that she was being treated. When she returned for the final episode of the 67-68 season you can tell she was sick. She was frail looking and the episode was, "Kate's Homecoming."

Too bad there was no closure to Bea's passing for the viewers and cast. It was a brief mention of her when June came on the show when Kathy Jo was being taught to swim and Steve thought she was too little to learn. Billie Jo mentioned, "Mom taught us to swim when we were young." That was the last reference to Kate. The show was different all together after Bea's passing. It was not the same and not watchable. The show was running out of steam anyway before Bea got sick. The fifth season the show was showing its age.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:46 PM   #13
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I know I missed Bea
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryATL
Actually, there was a a brief reference to Kate's passing a season or two after her death. Uncle Joe made a reference to the Kate Bradley Memorial Suite. That was the only mention of Kate's passing.

Unless it was on one of the couple episodes that seem to get skipped on our local channel, I didn't hear any mention of a Kate Bradley Memorial Suit...they did have a Millard P. Bradley Memorial Suite, which was supposed to be the best room in the hotel. They mentioned that name several times in the last couple seasons.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
as we know TVLand chops the hell out of everything).

Well when TVLAND first aired they chopped nothing out of any episode from any show until they got more and more sponsers.

Did you know that Bea Benaderet was the voice of Betty Rubble on the cartoon "The Flintstones" ???
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