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Life with father aired on CBS from November 1953 until July 1955.

Clarance Day Jr's nostalgic autobiographical articles in The New Yorker were very successful in the 1920's. They later led to a best selling novel, hit play, Hollywood Movie ( starring William Powell and Irene Dunne and featuring a teenaged Elizabeth Taylor), and in 1953 to this live television series. It would switch to being filmed for its second season. Set in New York City in the 1880's, Life With Father was the story of Clarence Day, Sr,( Leon Ames), a stern but loving Victorian father, his wife Vinnie( Lurene Tuttle),and their 4 red-headed sons. Despite the fact that he ruled with an iron hand, and was a staunch traditionalist, Father Day delt farly with his family and earned their lifelong respect. The turnover in actors playing the Day children was rather high, although the adult members of the cast lasted longer.

Eight actors played the four Day sons during the show's two year run : Ralph Reed and Steven Terrell as eldest son Clarence Day Jr.;Freddie Leiston and Malcolm Cassell as second son, John; Ronald Keith, B.J. Norman and Freddy Ridgeway as third son, Whitney; and Harvey Grant as youngest son, Harlan. Also appeareing where Dorothy Bernard ( the only member of the cast who had been in the play) as Margaret, the maid and Marion Ross as Nora.

Ezra Stone , who had played Henry Aldrich on radio, produced the half-hour series. At the assistance of Mrs. Clarence Day, Jr., who served as a special consultant to the show, all of the members of the television Day family had to have red hair ( as they had had in real life). This was the first live color series for network TV originating in Hollywood, even though the show was broadcast in black and white.

Here is Lurene Tuttle's Obituary from The New York Times

Lurene Tuttle, 79, an Actress In Films and on Radio and TV
Published: May 31, 1986

Lurene Tuttle, a radio, movie and television actress who starred in the 195O's television series ''Life With Father,'' died Wednesday in Encino, Calif. She was 79 years old and lived in West Hollywood.

Miss Tuttle, who retired from acting 16 years ago, played the role of Vinnie Day in the situation comedy ''Life With Father,'' which was broadcast live from 1953 to 1955.

She followed that series with minor roles in two other sitcoms, ''Father of the Bride,'' 1961-62, and ''Julia,'' 1968-71.

Miss Tuttle started her career in radio, playing virtually every female role in the ''Sam Spade'' series, from Spade's young secretary to old ladies.

She averaged 15 shows a week, playing a variety of roles. Among her radio credits were ''Dragnet,'' ''Lux Radio Theater,'' ''Screen Guild Players,'' ''Doctor Christian'' and ''The Red Skelton Show.''

Her motion picture appearances included ''Heaven Only Knows,'' Orson Welles's ''Macbeth,'' ''Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House,'' ''The Affairs of Dobie Gillis'' and the Alfred Hitchcock thriller ''Psycho.''

Survivors include three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Here is Leon Ames' Obituary from The New York Times

Leon Ames, Actor And Unionist, 91; Roles in 100
Published: October 15, 1993

Leon Ames, a character actor known for his fatherly roles and a founder of the Screen Actors Guild, died on Tuesday in a nursing home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 91 and had been living in Corona del Mar, Calif.

The cause was complications brought on by a stroke, said Harry Medved, a spokesman for the Screen Actors Guild.

Mr. Ames, whose name was Leon Waycoff before he changed it in 1935, was born in Portland, Ind., the son of Russian immigrants. After performing with several touring troupes he joined a theater company in Cincinnati. Broadway Debut in 1933

In the 1920's, he went to New York, where he sold shoes on 42d Street and apprenticed in stock troupes before making his Broadway debut in "It Pays to Sin," in 1933. He also appeared in the plays "Bright Honor," "The Male Animal," "Slightly Married" and "Winesburg, Ohio."

He began acting in films in 1932, appearing as the hero in "Murders in the Rue Morgue." His appearance in "Meet Me in St. Louis" in 1944 led to numerous roles as a firm but loving father in film and on television, where he starred in "Life With Father" (1953-55) and "Father of the Bride" (1961-62). One exception was the role of prosecuting attorney in "The Postman Always Rings Twice," in 1946. He also appeared as the heavy in several Mr. Moto movies.

His more than 100 films included "Little Women," "Peyton Place," "The Absent-Minded Professor," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" His last appearacne in a film was in 1986, in "Peggy Sue Gets Married," in which he played the Kathleen Turner character's grandfather.

He also played Gordon Kirkwood, the neighbor, on the television series "Mr. Ed" in the 1960's. Union Created in 1933

Mr. Ames was the last surviving member of the group of 19 actors who in June 1933 convened secretly to create an actors union, the Screen Actors Guild. He served on its board of directors for only a few months before returning to acting full time, but in 1945 he rejoined the board, replacing Charles Boyer. Mr. Ames served on the board for the next 30 years, as the recording secretary, a first vice president and, in 1957, as the national president. On retiring from the board in 1979, he was named a president emeritus.

He also served on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and as a trustee of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

Mr. Ames is survived by his wife, Christine; a son, Leon Jr.; a daughter, Shelley, and two grandchildren.

To read an article about Life with Father go to

To watch a clip from Life with Father go to

To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to

For an episode guide go to

For more on the movie version of Life With Father go to

To watch the theatrical Life with Father movie go to

For some Life With Father -related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to

To watch the opening credits go to
Date: Thu January 8, 2004 � Filesize: 37.9kb � Dimensions: 332 x 401 �
Keywords: Life Father


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