Poster: Mr. Television
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The Hathaways aired from October 1961 until August 1962 on ABC.
The Hathaways were a family of 5, all of them wearing normal clothes and eating together at the same table, but only 2 of them were people. Walter Hathaway ( Jack Weston), was a real-estate agent and Elinore ( Peggy Cass), was his wife. Charlie, Enoch, and Cindy were chimps-the Marquis Chimps-and very bright chimps at that. Elinore, besides treating them like her children, was the booking agent for their show business act, which included riding bicycles and making faces. ( They also had a formal talent agent named Jerry Roper played by Harvey Lembeck). Walter had mixed emotions about the whole arrangement, wondering if the chimps meant more to his wife than he did, and their suburban neighbors also had some difficulty adjusting to " the kids next door." One of the neighbors was played by Belle Montrose, the mother of comedian Steve Allen.
Here is Jack Weston's Obituary from The New York Times
Jack Weston Is Dead at 71; Made Anguish Into Comic Art
By ROBERT MCG. THOMAS JR.
Published: May 5, 1996
Jack Weston, the chubby, bejowled actor who elevated anguish to a comic art in a 40-year career on television, in the movies and on Broadway, died on Friday at Lenox Hill Hospital.
He was 71 and had had lymphoma for six years, his wife said.
In a career in which he appeared in hundreds of television productions, two dozen movies and another two dozen Broadway plays, Mr. Weston became such a recognizable figure and played so many distinctive roles with such elan that no one doubted him when he bragged -- or complained -- that he never got a part from an agent.
He didn't have to. Mr. Weston was a master at bumping into the right people at the right time. At restaurants, parties or on the street he was forever running into producers, directors and playwrights whose eyes would inevitably light up as they told him to be sure to call them the very next day.
Mr. Weston, a shy man who never trusted his own luck, would just as inevitably dismiss the overture as routine social schtick and not make the call. Sure enough, the producers would call him and Mr. Weston would be hired for yet another role that would stick in some other producer's mind the next time Mr. Weston bumped into him.
That, more or less, is how Woody Allen came to hire Mr. Weston for his acclaimed role as a sleazy personal manager in "The Floating Lightbulb," which led to a Tony nomination for Mr. Weston in 1981.
And that is how he got his even more acclaimed role in "The Four Seasons," the 1981 movie with Alan Alda, Carol Burnett and Rita Moreno that led to a spinoff television series starring Mr. Weston in 1984.
He had appeared in his share of Broadway hits, including "California Suite" and "The Ritz" in 1976, but for Mr. Weston, who had survived for years on comic schtick, the role of a cantankerous dentist with depth marked a transition point in his career. From then on he would only take roles with substance, including parts in Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" and Paddy Chayevsky's "The Tenth Man," at Lincoln Center in 1989.
Like many of the characters he played, Mr. Weston was the quintessential New Yorker, which is to say he was born in Cleveland and lived in Los Angeles for 18 years, hating every minute of it he wasn't actually in front of the camera.
"Every afternoon at 3 something hits this town," he said during an interview in Los Angles in 1984. "It's called flash boredom. If you're an actor and not working and you don't play tennis or golf, you can go stark, raving mad. I know. I lived here for 18 years."
Mr. Weston, who said he hated Cleveland, too -- until he spent two years as an Army machine-gunner in Italy in World War II, got his first break at birth. His father, a shoemaker, was a surprisingly understanding man.
When one of his son's teachers told him that Jack, a failing student and the class clown, had an aptitude for acting, rather than being aghast his father actually enrolled him in classes at the Cleveland Playhouse, a storied nurturing ground for young talent, including Paul Newman.
After his Army service, Mr. Weston came to New York to study at the American Theater Wing along with such future stars as Lee Marvin, Rod Steiger and Jack Klugman.
Although he did his share of menial work, including a job as an elevator operator that he got because he was the first applicant who fit the suit, Mr. Weston found ready work in the theater, including a part in "South Pacific," and even more on television, where he became a regular during the 1950's.
His Hollywood years began on a whim in the spring of 1958 when he and his first wife, Marjorie Redmond, abruptly quit their parts in the Broadway hit "Bells Are Ringing," and struck out for Los Angeles in a vintage Volkswagen, fully expecting to return to New York in the fall.
Then the car broke down and the couple were stranded for what turned out to be an 18-year stay as Mr. Weston appeared almost constantly on television and his wife did even better: a 10-year stint as the Cool Whip lady, a commercial gig, Mr. Weston once noted, that required her to work five days a year and paid her six figures.
In much of his early work, Mr. Weston was the villain, most memorably as a man who terrorizes Audrey Hepburn in the 1967 cult classic "Wait Until Dark," but movies like "Cactus Flower" and "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" led him to comedy.
His standing as a character actor took some of the edge off the fact that people were forever recognizing Mr. Weston and never knowing his name.
Mr. Weston was only slightly exaggerating when he claimed that he was everything about his role in "The Four Seasons" except a dentist. "I'm a hypochondriac," he said. "I'm paranoid. I'm a nervous wreck. Why are those people talking about me?"
Perhaps because they had seen him in any number of roles they will never forget.
Mr. Weston, who was divorced from Miss Redmond, is survived by his wife, Laurie Gilkes; a stepdaughter, Amy Gilkes of Manhattan, and a brother, Sam, of Los Angeles.
Here is Peggy Cass' Obituary from The New York Times
Peggy Cass, 74, an Actress; Won Tony as Agnes Gooch
Published: March 10, 1999
Peggy Cass, a brassy-voiced comedian best known for her portrayal of the pregnant, unwed secretary in ''Auntie Mame,'' died on Monday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in Manhattan. She was 74 and had homes in Manhattan and Westhampton, N.Y.
The cause was heart failure, Eugene Feeney, her husband and only survivor, said.
Born in Boston, Mary Margaret Cass succumbed to the lure of Broadway and moved to New York at 19 after spending three years in the Cambridge Latin School drama club without winning a single speaking role.
After turns as a stenographer, telephone operator, advertising solicitor and model, she finally convinced a producer that she was an actress. She was cast in a U.S.O. tour of ''The Doughgirls'' and spent seven months in Australia without stepping into costume because the United States Army had by then moved to the Philippines.
Her break came when, as an understudy, she took over for Jan Sterling in Chicago in the national tour of ''Born Yesterday.'' Soon after, the producer George Abbott hired her for the 1949 Broadway musical ''Touch and Go.''
But it was the role of the dimwitted secretary, Agnes Gooch, in the 1956 Broadway show ''Auntie Mame'' with which Ms. Cass was most associated. Her performance earned her a Tony Award for best supporting actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the 1958 film version.
By the late 1950's, Ms. Cass's facility for brash repartee landed her regular appearances on the television quiz show ''Keep Talking.'' She also appeared often on ''The Jack Paar Show'' in the late 50's and early 60's.
The possessor of an encyclopedic mind, she could be seen during the 60's as often as seven times a week on the quiz shows ''Match Game,'' ''Password'' and ''To Tell the Truth.''
To read an article about The Hathaways go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=M_dNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IYsDAAAAIBAJ&dq=the%20hathaways%20peggy%20cass&pg=3879%2C4519197
To watch an episode of The Hathaways go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNhwglga5ME and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5QvDKCNw-I and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9gggCf8k0E
For more on The Hathaways go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hathaways
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/Hathaways.htm
For more on The Hathaways go to http://www.tv.pop-cult.com/hathaways.html
For a biography of Jack Weston go to https://web.archive.org/web/20110210060707/http://www.musicgames4all.com/playbrass/kingspud/sel_by_actor_index_2.php?actor_first=Jack&actor_last=Weston
For a biography of Peggy Cass go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Cass
To look at some animated openings to some classic tv shows including The Hathaways go to https://web.archive.org/web/20091014125526/http://www.toontracker.com/openings/openings.htm
To visit an index of famous chimps go to https://web.archive.org/web/20070113174151/http://www.citizenlunchbox.com/monkey/famous/
To go back in time and revisit some television shows of 1961 go to http://www.tvparty.com/fall61.html
For some Hathaways-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/hathaways
For a Review of The Hathaways go to https://web.archive.org/web/20111225223137/http://www.televisionheaven-usa.com/overview2.htm#hathaways
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn96fO226bU and for the closing credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQRq6b4tax4
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Keywords: The Hathaways Cast