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Honestly Celeste aired from October until December 1954 on CBS.

This half-hour sitcom was one of the first casualties of the 1954-1955 season. It starred Celeste Holm as vivacious Celeste Anders who had given up her position, teaching journalism in the midwest to come to New York and take a job as a reporter for the New York Express, to get some real " experience." What she found was a new boyfriend ( Bob Wallace, the publisher's son played by Scott McKay), a friendly cabbie and an ex-gangster named Marty( Mike Kellin) who took her to many of her reporting assignments and all sorts of predictaments. Also in the cast was Geoffrey Lumb as Bob's father, Mr. Wallace, editor of the paper and Mary Finny as Mary, Mr. Wallace's secretary.

Despite the attraction of film star Celeste Holm and much favorable pretelecast publicity, this filmed comedy series lasted less then 3 months. When it became apparant early in the fall that the show was in trouble, a young writer named Norman Lear was called in to help out, but his efforts proved unsuccessful. One of the people Lear succeeded was another young writer, Larry Gelbert, who would later develop MASH for television.

Here is Celeste Holm's Obituary from the New York Times

Celeste Holm, Witty Character Actress, Is Dead at 95

Published: July 15, 2012

Celeste Holm, the New York-born actress who made an indelible Broadway impression as an amorous country girl in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, earned an Academy Award as the knowing voice of tolerance in Gentleman's Agreement and went on to a six-decade screen and stage career, frequently cast as the wistful or brittle sophisticate, died early Sunday at her apartment in Manhattan. She was 95.

Her death was announced by Amy Phillips, a great-niece. Ms. Holm had a heart attack at Roosevelt Hospital in New York last week while being treated there for dehydration, but she was taken home on Friday.

Ms. Holm was 25 and had already appeared in at a number of Broadway productions, including William Saroyan's Time of Your Life, when she was cast as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, the period musical that reinvented the form. Her character's shining moment was the twangy lament "I Cain't Say No, about Annie's inability to resist men's romantic advances. The role made her a star, and she played the lead in the musical comedy Bloomer Girl the next year.

Hollywood soon called, and in her third film she hit the jackpot. Gentleman's Agreement (1947), starring Gregory Peck, was based on Laura Z. Hobson's novel about a journalist pretending to be Jewish in order to expose the depth and scope of American anti-Semitism. Ms. Holm was cast as a witty, worldly fashion editor who saw through hypocrisy. And some of your other best friends are Methodists, her character reminded one self-congratulating man, but you never bother to say that. Her performance garnered her the Oscar for best supporting actress.

Her film career flourished. She played a fellow psychiatric patient of Olivia de Havilland's character in The Snake Pit (1948). She earned two additional Oscar nominations, for portraying a French nun in Come to the Stable (1949) and a playwright's well-meaning wife in All About Eve (1950), the classic drama about the New York theater world.

If her best-known roles shared one quality, aside from Ms. Holm's signature sparkle, it was that her characters rarely got the guy. The fashion editor lost out to the rich girl in Gentleman's Agreement. As a smart magazine photographer in High Society (1956), Ms. Holm was ignored by her reporter colleague (Frank Sinatra), who had eyes for a society bride (Grace Kelly) instead. In The Tender Trap (1955) she married at the end of the film, only because her 33-year-old character felt she was so old that she had to settle or be alone forever. Even in A Letter to Three Wives (1949), as the voice of a suburban femme fatale, the man she ran away with went back to his wife.

Between movie roles Ms. Holm returned to the stage, appearing in eight Broadway shows in the 1950s and 60s. She filled in for Gertrude Lawrence in The King and I and for Angela Lansbury in Mame and played the title role in Anna Christie. When she was 73, she charmed audiences and critics, after a 12-year absence, as a theatrical agent revisiting a long-ago romance with John Barrymore by having a fling with Barrymore's ghost in I Hate Hamlet (1991). It was her last Broadway role.

She spent her last years estranged from much of her family. In 2002, her two sons set up a trust that provided living expenses for their mother. When she remarried in 2004, she and her new husband, Frank Basile, went to court in an attempt to overturn the trust. This led to a long legal battle, which created serious financial problems for Ms. Holm.

Celeste Holm was born in Brooklyn on April 29, 1917, the only child of Theodor Holm, an insurance adjuster for Lloyd's of London, and Jean Parke Holm, an artist. (She was of Norwegian descent on her father's side and in 1977 was knighted by King Olav V of Norway.) She grew up in Manhattan, around Gramercy Park, and spent summers at the family farm in Hackettstown, N.J. (where she continued to live as an adult); she liked to say that she won the Oklahoma! role because she told Richard Rodgers she was adept at hog-calling.

Interested in acting since childhood, she studied at the University of Chicago and began working in summer stock and community theater in the 1930s.

She made her Broadway debut at 21 in Gloriana (1938), a British historical play. After Oklahoma! brought her to public attention, she made her film debut in Three Little Girls in Blue (1946), a musical set in 1902 Atlantic City, as the title characters man-crazy cousin.

She acted in television films and made guest appearances on series throughout much of her career, but she never had a hit series of her own. Honestly, Celeste!, about a Midwestern teacher who became a New York City reporter, lasted only a few months in 1954. Later she played the White House chaperon of the first daughter on Nancy (1970-71) and the grandmother in the family adventure Promised Land (1996-99). In the 1980s she had a recurring role as an imposing widow on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest. She is also remembered as the fairy godmother in the 1965 television version of Cinderella.

In 1987 she played Ted Danson's mother in the film 3 Men and a Baby. She was last seen on the screen in Alchemy, a 2005 romantic comedy that starred Tom Cavanagh and Sarah Chalke. But she had completed two other films by the time of her death: Driving Me Crazy, a romantic-comedy road movie that also features Mickey Rooney, and College Debts, another comedy. Neither has yet been released. She also continued to perform in theater and cabaret at least into her late 80s.

Ms. Holm married five times. Three relatively brief marriages to Ralph Nelson (1938-39), an actor and director; Francis E. H. Davies (1940-45), an auditor; and A. Schuyler Dunning (1946-52), an airline executive all ended in divorce. She married the actor Wesley Addy in 1961. They were together until his death in 1996. In 2004 she married Mr. Basile, a singer more than 45 years her junior, and surprised friends with the news at a party at Sardi's, the theater-district restaurant. He survives her, as do her sons, Theodor Nelson, an information technology pioneer, and Daniel Dunning. Her other survivors include three grandchildren.

Asked in 2007 how the art of acting had changed during the 70 years since she began her career, Ms. Holm told a writer for The Star-Ledger: Truth is still truth. That's what people go to theater for. To see our version of truth.

To read an article about Honestly Celeste go to

To watch some clips of Celeste Holm go to

For more on Honestly Celeste go to,_Celeste!

For an episode guide go to

For more on Celeste Holm go to
Date: Sun July 23, 2006 � Filesize: 47.3kb � Dimensions: 460 x 634 �
Keywords: Celeste Holm


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