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Poster: Mr. Television
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Family Affair aired on CBS from September 1966 until September 1971.
This saccarine sit-com was salvaged by the cuteness of its 2 youthful co-stars. Bill Davis' ( Brian Keith)carefree existence as a swinging bachelor was just about perfect. A highly paid consulting engineer, he maintained an elegant apartment off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and had his domestic needs carred for by a very English Gentlemen's Gentlemen, Mr. Giles French( Sebastian Cabot). Into this life of Independence came 3 young orphans, the 6 year old twins Buffy and Jody ( Anissa Jones, Johnnie Whitaker), and 15 year olsd Cissy ( Kathy Garver). Their parents Bill's brother and sister-in-law had died in an accedent and other relatives felt that Bill could best provide for them. Despite initial misgivings, Bill and French became very attached to the children and learned to adjust their lifestyle to make room for the new members of the household. Mr. French, a stickler for neatness and order had the toughest adjustment to make as he was with the children all the time while Bill was out of town on assignments but he and the children managed to compromise and learn to live with each other. The premise of each episode was seldom complicated. In one episode Buffy was distraught when her prized doll Mrs. Beasley was lost and in another, Cissy had troubles with her new job as a candy striper. It was always a safe bet that whatever confusion the children ran into, it could always be solved with the intervention of Mr. French or " Uncle Bill" both of whom were the typically wise adults found on such television shows.
For a period during the show's first season, Co-Star Sebastian Cabot was taken ill and was replaced in 9 episodes by John Williams. In the storyline Giles French was called away to special service of the Queen of England and his brother Nigel arrived at the Davis Residence to serve the family during his absence. Although not a full time member of the cast Nancy Walker appeared in the continuing role of Mr. Davis' part-time housekeeper Emily during the last season. Greg Fedderson was also occasionally seen as Greg Bartlett, Cissy's occasional boyfriend. Young Fedderson was the son of Don Fedderson, executive-producer of the series.
Following the cancelation of the show in 1971 ( after 138 episodes), Johnnie Whitaker continued to be seen regulary on tv. He was a regular on Sigmund And The Sea Monsters and was featured in several Walt Disney Productions. His Co-Star Anissa Jones appeared rarely on television. In 1976 she was found dead ( from drug related causes) in her California home. A few other cast members also met tragic ends. Sebastian Cabot died of a stroke in 1977 at the age of 59. Star Brian Keith had more success after Family Affair starring in The Little People/ The Brian Keith Show from 1972-1974 and later Hardcastle And McCormack from 1983-1986. Brian Keith's life came to an end when he commited suicide in his Malibu Home in 1997. The 75 year old actor was suffering from lung cancer and emphysema and was apparantly distraught over the suicide of his 27 year old daughter 10 weeks prior. Like her father, Daisy L. Sampson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
To read Anissa Jones obituary go to https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=v0YgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=650EAAAAIBAJ&pg=4786%2C6120340
To read Sebastian Cabot's obituary go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sMsyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_O0FAAAAIBAJ&dq=sebastian%20cabot%20died&pg=4097%2C282449
Here is John Williams' Obituary from The AP.
John Williams Is Dead at 80; Stage, Screen and TV Actor
Published: May 8, 1983
LA JOLLA, Calif., May 7 John Williams, a British-born actor who played the consummate gentleman in a half-century of roles on stage, screen and television, is dead at the age of 80.
Mr. Williams died on Thursday, but details of his death were not released.
His best-known role was as Inspector Hubbard in ''Dial M for Murder.'' He won a Tony award in 1952 for the stage role, and repeated the part in the 1954 film and in a television adaptation.
Mr. Williams began his career on the English stage in 1916 and appeared in ''Peter Pan,'' ''The Ruined Lady'' and ''The Fake.'' Moving to New York in 1924, he began a string of stage successes that included ''A Kiss in the Taxi'' with Claudette Colbert in 1925, ''Pygmalion'' with Gertrude Lawrence in 1946 and ''Alice Sit by the Fire'' with Helen Hayes in 1946.
His first film, ''A Woman's Vengeance,'' was released in 1948. Other films included ''The Student Prince'' and ''Sabrina,'' both in 1954.
He is survived by his wife, Helen, and a sister, Joyce Hornsted of Devon, England. No funeral was planned.
Here is Producer Don Fedderson's Obituary from The New York Times
Donald Fedderson, TV Producer, Is Dead at 81
Published: December 22, 1994
Donald Fedderson, a producer of television shows including "My Three Sons" and "Family Affair" as well as the musical programs of Liberace and Lawrence Welk, died on Sunday here at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was 81.
He had suffered from heart problems, said Ward Grant, a family spokesman.
Mr. Fedderson formed his own television company in 1953 and signed Liberace to a contract that put the pianist before a nationwide audience. He also produced the syndicated series "Life With Elizabeth," starring Betty White, in 1953 and 1954; "The Millionaire," with Marvin Miller, on CBS from 1955-60, and "A Date With Angels," again with Miss White, on ABC in 1957 and 1958.
His company became the television consultant to Mr. Welk in 1954 and placed him on ABC from 1955 to 1971, then syndicated the program widely until 1982.
Mr. Fedderson also achieved success with game shows. He produced "Do You Trust Your Wife?," a prime-time quiz show with Edgar Bergen as host, on CBS in 1956 and 1957. The program then moved to ABC as a daytime show called "Who Do You Trust?," starring Johnny Carson, who was joined in 1958 by a sidekick, Ed McMahon. The future "Tonight" show duo left in 1962, and the show, which by then carried a "Whom" instead of a "Who" in its title, ran through 1963 with Woody Woodbury as the host.
"My Three Sons," starring Fred MacMurray, was created in 1960. The show ran for five years on ABC, then seven years on CBS. "Family Affair," starring Brian Keith as a substitute father for a nephew and two nieces, with Sebastian Cabot as his servant, ran on CBS from 1966 to 1971. Mr. Fedderson also produced "The Smith Family," an ABC series starring Henry Fonda as a detective, in 1971 and 1972, and "To Rome With Love," with John Forsythe, on CBS from 1969 to 1971.
Mr. Fedderson was born on April 16, 1913, in Beresford, S.D. His family moved to Kansas, where he worked on the business and advertising staffs of two newspapers, The Wichita Eagle and The Wichita Beacon. In 1942, he became an account executive of The San Francisco News and then sales manager of a San Francisco radio station, KYA. He later became the station's president and general manager and won a Peabody Award for a program he developed there.
He is survived by his wife, Yvonne Lime Fedderson, and seven children, Dionne Joy Fedderson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dana Fedderson of Newport Beach, Calif.; Darr Fedderson of Lake Oswego, Ore.; Gregg Fedderson of Hawaii; Monya Clenard of Los Angeles; Mike Minor of New York City, and Brian Schmidt of Los Angeles.
Here is Brian Keith's Obituary from The New York Times
Brian Keith, Hardy Actor, 75; Played Dads and Desperadoes
By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER
Published: June 25, 1997
Brian Keith, the gruff, sturdy character actor whose roles in films and on television ranged from Western gunslingers and small-town police chiefs to private eyes and the Manhattan bachelor uncle raising three children in ''Family Affair,'' was found dead yesterday at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 75.
Sgt. Noel Lanier, a Sheriff's Department spokesman, said Mr. Keith appeared to have committed suicide, The Associated Press reported. The actor had been suffering from cancer, said a spokeswoman for his manager, Bob Schiller.
Mr. Keith made his film debut at age 3, but his adult career, spanning more than 35 years beginning in 1953, brought him his greatest popularity as the star of a succession of television series.
In addition to ''Family Affair,'' which ran from 1966 to 1971, these included ''Crusader'' (1955-56), ''The Westerner'' (1960), ''The Brian Keith Show'' (1972-74), ''Lew Archer'' (1975), ''Hardcastle & McCormick'' (1983-86), ''Pursuit of Happiness'' (1987-88) and ''Heartland'' (1989).
''Series come and series go, but Mr. Keith persistently lingers on,'' John J. O'Connor wrote in his review in The New York Times of the debut of ''Archer,'' in which Mr. Keith, grumpy and stone-faced, played the detective created by Ross Macdonald.
Beginning with ''Pied Piper Malone'' in 1924, Mr. Keith made more than 40 films. His adult career began in 1953 with the western ''Arrowhead.'' He played a homicidal rancher in ''The Violent Men'' (1955). Among his many other films were ''Five Against the House'' (1955), ''The Young Philadelphians'' (1959), ''The Parent Trap'' (1961), ''The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming'' and ''Nevada Smith'' in 1966, ''Reflections in a Golden Eye'' (1967), ''The Wind and the Lion'' (1975), in which Mr. Keith played Theodore Roosevelt, and ''Young Guns'' (1988).
In recent years, he lent his voice to a number of television commercials.
Mr. Keith, whose full name was Robert Brian Keith Jr., was born in Bayonne, N.J. His father, Robert, was a Broadway and silent screen actor who also wrote plays and dialogue for early films before appearing in a succession of Hollywood productions from the early 1930's to 1961.
As a young man, Brian Keith acted in stock productions and on radio before serving as a machine gunner in the Marines during World War II. His Broadway credits included ''Mr. Roberts'' and ''Darkness at Noon.''
He is survived by his wife, Victoria Young, an actress.
To read some articles about Family Affair go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TPUjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YgUEAAAAIBAJ&dq=family%20affair%20brian%20keith&pg=4692%2C5368595 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=b-orAAAAIBAJ&sjid=aWcFAAAAIBAJ&dq=family%20affair%20brian%20keith&pg=1187%2C5488422 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=O-orAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YWcFAAAAIBAJ&dq=family%20affair%20brian%20keith&pg=4726%2C2833794 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0MZOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=tAEEAAAAIBAJ&dq=family%20affair%20brian%20keith&pg=5032%2C1582730
To watch some clips from Family Affair go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=family+affair+brian+keith&aq=f
To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100103220509/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/familyaf.html
For a Webpage dedicated to Anissa Jones go to http://web.archive.org/web/20041207124108/http://www.geocities.com:80/bkohatl2001/Anissa1958.html
For some Family Affair-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/family-affair
For a Review of Family Affair go to http://web.archive.org/web/20090709070401/http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/familyaffair.htm
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzhDOddib2g
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Keywords: Family Affair