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The Marriage aired from July until August 1954 on NBC.
To this obscure comedy belongs the distinction of having been the first network series to be regularly telecast in color. The Marriage was a live comedy dealing with the home life of New York lawyer Ben Marriott ( Hume Cronyn). Ben's practice was moderately successful, allowing his wife Liz ( Jessica Tandy), who had been employed previously as a buyer for a department store, to stay home and run the household. Liz's need to keep occupied got her involved in all sorts of community organizational, and personal projects. The Marriotts had 2 children, Pete ( Malcolm Broderick), aged 10, and Emily ( Susan Stasberg), aged 15. Bobby Logan ( William Redfield) was Emily's boyfriend.
Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy who were married in real-life, had starred in the NBC radio version of this series which aired during the 1953-1954 season and which had left the air in the spring of 1954.
An Article from Time Magazine
Monday, Jul. 19, 1954
The Marriage (Thurs. 10 p.m., NBCTV) is a literate, family-situation comedy starring Broadway's talented Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. Written by Radio Scriptwriter Ernest Kinoy, the new series looks like a transmutation of Jan de Har-tog's Broadway hit The Fourposter, in which the same couple appeared (TIME, Nov. 5, 19-51), but lacks much of the deftness of that comical production. One reason is that the first script has too much of the radio style about its dialogue, and not enough TV appeal. The few good visual touches that are used are ably exploited by Actor Cronyn. Example: visiting the local grade school on P.T.A. night, he first raises his eyebrows at a youngster's note on one blackboard "Amy Hauser stinks"; a moment later he does a double-take at a second blackboard, which reads: "Amy Hauser stinks on ice"; finally he shrugs hopelessly when he discovers the secret truth of it all, on the underside of a desk top: "I love Amy Hauser."
Here is Jessica Tandy's Obituary from The New York Times
Jessica Tandy, a Patrician Star Of Theater and Film, Dies at 85
By MARILYN BERGER
Published: September 12, 1994
Jessica Tandy, who enhanced the American theater and enriched the American screen as few actresses have, died yesterday at her home in Easton, Conn. She was 85.
The cause was ovarian cancer, said her husband, the actor Hume Cronyn.
Miss Tandy triumphed on Broadway in 1947 as Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams's "Streetcar Named Desire," and was still a great star more than 40 years later when she played the title character in the 1989 film "Driving Miss Daisy." In the years between, she and Mr. Cronyn, played opposite each other in success after success to become the most illustrious theater couple of their day.
With the role of Blanche Dubois, Miss Tandy emerged from a series of minor film roles as a maid for some of Hollywood's leading ladies, to establish herself as one of the leading ladies of the stage. The memory can still bring chills to those who saw her performance, which the New York Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson called "incredibly true." Almost four decades later, another New York Times drama critic, Frank Rich, wrote of her, "Everything this actress does is so pure and right that only poets, not theater critics, should be allowed to write about her."
When she was 80 years old, she brought that purity and rightness to her portrayal of an aging and fiercely independent Southern lady in "Driving Miss Daisy." It was a performance that won her critical acclaim from Los Angeles to Berlin and, at last, an Academy Award. When she received the Oscar in March 1990 she was the oldest person ever to win one. She vowed to go on working, although she said she hoped she would know when to stop, "before they have to get the hook." The Academy Award came one year after she won an Emmy for her performance in the television adaptation of "Foxfire," of which her husband was was a co-writer. Even after she became seriously ill she continued to work, completing three films and two television dramas. A Phenomenal Record Of Joint Triumphs
When Miss Tandy and Mr. Cronyn first appeared together, in "The Fourposter" in 1951, audiences found a husband-and-wife team that would come to succeed Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne as the foremost couple of the American theater. One triumph followed another, culminating in "The Gin Game" in 1977 and "Foxfire" in 1982.
By 1986, when they appeared in "The Petition," Mr. Rich was writing of "their legendary theatrical relationship" and of a Cronyn-Tandy moment as "an acting phenomenon now unique in the Broadway theater and possibly never to come its way again." Mel Gussow, another drama critic for The Times, called them "two actors at their summit." He wrote that when the Cronyns acted together, it was "a matter of hearts, minds and bodies in creative harmony."
One of their last projects together was "To Dance With the White Dog," a television movie that had its premiere last year. At last night'a Emmy Awards in Pasadena, Calif., Mr. Cronyn was named best actor in a mini-series or special for his performance as a recently widowed man mourning his wife. Miss Tandy was nominated for best actress but did not win. A clip from the movie was shown during the awards ceremony in a brief tribute to her.
When they took "The Gin Game" to Moscow in 1979, they won the accolade that Mr. Cronyn treasures above all others. Oleg N. Yefremov, the director of the renowned Moscow Art Theater, wrote in his review, "It takes a couple of actors from America to remind us what Stanislavsky was talking about."
Miss Tandy was nominated five times for a Tony and won three: in 1948 for her role as Blanche Dubois, for "The Gin Game" in 1978, and for "Foxfire" in 1983. Mr. Cronyn was also nominated for "The Gin Game" but did not win. "I was bitterly disappointed," Miss Tandy said. "His performance is part of mine. I think he's very proud when I win, and vice versa."
In July 1994 they were honored with a special Tony for their life's work in the theater. They had already received the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement medal, in December 1986, and the National Medal of Art, from President Bush in 1990. Directors Adored Her Good Nature
Miss Tandy acted in more than 100 stage productions during her 67-year career, which began in England and encompassed the West End in London as well as the British provinces, Broadway, and the regional theaters that were once so important to the American stage. She appeared in more than 25 movies and played the leading role in a number of television programs, developing from a diffident neophyte into an actress sure of her craft, a star adored by directors for her serenity. There was no temperament; there were no tantrums. Elia Kazan, her director in "Streetcar" said: "She's absolutely sweet-natured. She does her job; she has a sense of humor."
With each performance her reviews got better. "I think I've gotten better," she said when she was 77. "I've gotten more confident in myself in the last five to six years. Earlier I think I distrusted myself. I'd be in things I felt weren't being done right and I didn't speak up. Now I do. I think people trust me."
Miss Tandy, who became an American citizen in 1954, was born in London on June 7, 1909. Her father died when she was 12 and her mother took clerical and teaching jobs at night to supplement her regular income as headmistress of a school for retarded children. She and her two older brothers were read to a lot, Miss Tandy recalled in 1986: "good stuff, poetry."
"I had an appreciation of the words. We were also taken to theater. I sat in a lot of galleries. It was a magical time, but toward the end I would get fidgety and nervous. I never wanted it to end." She also grew to love Shakespeare, one of the few in her class who did. "Almost everyone would say, 'Oh, God, it's Shakespeare this afternoon.' To me it was heaven."
Her brothers would stage family theatricals in their five-room flat in northeast London, but she said she did not show any promise. "I was a graceless lump," she recalled. "My brothers would always say, 'Oh, Mummy, do we really have to have her in it?' "
Nevertheless, her love of the theater led her to the Ben Greet Academy of Acting where, in 1924, she began three years of dramatic training. She was 18 when she made her professional debut in a small back-room theater in Soho in "The Manderson Girls." The salary was $:2 a week, out of which she somehow had to pay for the five elegant costumes her part required. She managed by sewing them herself. Thought Herself An Ugly Duckling
She was convinced that she was plain and that there was nothing to be done about it. "I had absolutely no dress sense and no money to indulge it even if I did," she said. Her self-confidence was not enhanced by her many letters of recommendation. She remembered that each one of them said, "Don't be put off by how she looks." But if she ever was an ugly duckling -- and there are many photographs that suggest she was not -- a swan finally emerged, for in her later years she was a handsome woman with gray-white hair and sparkling eyes of cornflower blue. She could look back philosophically, saying: "In a way it was rather good. I didn't get the part of the young ingenue. I got more interesting parts."
In 1929 she made her West End debut in "The Rumor," by Charles Kirkpatrick Munro, but it was in 1932, in the role of Manuela in Christa Winsloe's "Children in Uniform," that she became recognized as a gifted actress. It was a role that also afforded her one of her most treasured moments in the theater. "There was one performance when the audience didn't clap at all, they were so moved," she recalled.
During the 1930's she appeared in more than two dozen contemporary plays, but in the English tradition honed her skill on the classics, especially Shakespeare. In 1934 she was Ophelia to John Gielgud's legendary Hamlet. She was Viola in Tyrone Guthrie's 1937 production of "Twelfth Night" at the Old Vic in London, where she twice shared the stage with Laurence Olivier. In 1940, she returned to the Old Vic as Cordelia with Gielgud in the role of King Lear.
The offer of a role in "The Matriarch" brought her to New York briefly in 1930 for her Broadway debut. Ten years later, when the war in Europe had begun and her eight-year marriage to the actor Jack Hawkins was ending, she settled in the United States. There was the lure of Hollywood, and there was the need to support her 6-year-old daughter, Susan. She was allowed to take only $:10 out of the country, and despite her long list of credits, it was such a struggle to make ends meet that she almost abandoned the stage.
In 1940, while she was appearing in A. J. Cronin's "Jupiter Laughs," a young actor and wealthy man-about-town by the name of Hume Cronyn called on her backstage. Two years later they moved to Hollywood and were married. A son, Chris, was born in 1943 and a daughter, Tandy, in 1945. They, her daughter Susan, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren survive her, in addition to her husband. Maids' Roles Ended, Thanks to Cronyn
In Hollywood, Mr. Cronyn landed some interesting roles in the movies, but Miss Tandy's career languished. At one point she even told friends she was thinking of giving up acting. She appeared with Mr. Cronyn in "The Seventh Cross" (1944) and played bit parts in several other movies, including the role of a ladies' maid in "Forever Amber" (1947), but having to say lines like "Yes, Mum" and 'No, Mum" in yet another movie became very discouraging, she recalled many years later. "I'd had a good start and I was in the doldrums in Hollywood," she said. "It was not a happy position. I began to feel I had no talent and it was all a pipe dream. It was Hume who got me out of it."
He got her out of it in 1946 when he cast her in "Portrait of a Madonna," a play by Tennessee Williams that he was directing in a small theater in Los Angeles. The rave reviews brought Mr. Williams to Los Angeles from New York, where he was casting his new play, "A Streetcar Named Desire." He wrote in his "Memoirs," "It was instantly apparent to me that Jessica was Blanche."
The play, co-starring Marlon Brando in the role of Stanley Kowalski and Kim Hunter as Blanche's sister, Stella, won rapturous reviews, a Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award and ran for more than two years on Broadway before going on a national tour. Years later, Mr. Kazan remembered the joy of directing Miss Tandy. "She's perfect," he said. "She never stops working and she's always full of little surprises. She always does things a little better than you think she will."
Mr. Atkinson, writing about Miss Tandy's performance in The New York Times, said, "It does seem almost incredible that she could understand such an elusive part so thoroughly and that she can convey it with so many shades and impulses that are accurate, revealing and true."
A contrary view was expressed by her co-star Mr. Brando in his recently published autobiography. In "Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me," the actor wrote: "I think Jessica and I were both miscast, and between us we threw the play out of balance. Jessica is a very good actress, but I never thought she was believable as Blanche. I didn't think she had the finesse or cultivated femininity that the part required, nor the fragility that Tennessee envisioned."
When "Streetcar" was filmed, the part of Blanche went to Vivien Leigh; it was the only replacement among the Broadway leads. Characters Emerged Slowly From Script
She said that in creating a character, "You have to get over 'how' you're doing it and know 'why' you're doing it. Once you forget about the 'how' you get the appearance of reality." She believed the secret to a character was in the script and that it was the actor's duty to "dig it out." She said: "I'm slow about it. I keep going back to the script, the script, the script."
To Miss Tandy, audience reaction was part of a play. She said, "It's not a matter of whether they're laughing or not but whether they're breathing or not." But audiences, like the theater itself, underwent profound changes during Miss Tandy's years on the stage. "The trouble with the theater," she said in 1986, "is that it's no longer a way of life for an audience. It's just a way to kill an evening." One of the theater's problems, she said, was "we are so inundated with entertainment."
"Now you flick a switch," she continued. "It's not the event it used to be."
She said theater people had contributed to the problem by removing the curtain. "People come into the theater and they sit there watching the first scene and talking about what they've bought in Bloomingdale's that day. When you had a curtain, when the footlights went up on the curtain, and then the curtain itself went up, you were part of an experience."
As for the actors, Miss Tandy said she hated to have to grope her way across a dark stage, stumbling into the furniture, "instead of getting on stage and having a moment to think about what you're going to do." Joe Mankiewicz, the film director who was a longtime friend, said that while Lynn Fontanne always had to make an entrance, "to Jessie the way she was when she got there was what was important." Loved to Play In the Classics
Miss Tandy was always eager to perform in regional theaters and, with Mr. Cronyn, was among the first to volunteer when Tyrone Guthrie launched his repertory theater in Minneapolis. The participation of stars of their magnitude helped put the stamp of legitimacy on the fledgling regional theater movement. The attraction for the Cronyns and others who followed was the opportunity to do the classics. During the Guthrie's first season in 1963, for example, Miss Tandy played Gertrude in Hamlet, Olga in "The Three Sisters" and the wife of Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman." She also acted in the Shakespeare festivals in Stratford, Conn., and Stratford, Ontario. In 1983 she starred in a revival of an American classic, Tennessee Williams's "Glass Menagerie." Frank Rich wrote in The New York Times, "You pass up Miss Tandy's Amanda Wingfield only at your own peril."
She hated the experience of seeing herself in the movies. "It's a very humbling experience to watch yourself," she said. But while the satisfaction of film never came close to the joy of a live performance, she said she felt it was important to accept roles that were offered to her; it helped pay expenses when she took parts at minimum pay in Off Broadway houses. She played Mr. Cronyn's wife in four of her most recent films, "Honky Tonk Freeway," (1981) "Cocoon," (1984), "Batteries Not Included" (1987) and "Cocoon: The Return" (1988). In 1991, Miss Tandy, then 82, played an indomitable 82-year-old woman in "Fried Green Tomatoes."
Miss Tandy co-starred with her husband in 10 plays on Broadway and dozens of Off Broadway and regional productions during their 52-year marriage. Wherever they went they were asked how they tolerated so much togetherness. "It's hard sometimes," she acknowledged, "but we always manage to give ourselves space. We don't live in each other's pockets. We don't take the play home with us. We do make suggestions to each other, and if we don't agree we respect each other's views." She burst out laughing and recalled Dame Sybil Thorndike's response when asked whether she ever considered divorcing her husband, with whom she had long shared the stage. "Divorce? Never. Murder? Frequently."
In her 70's and even into her 80's, Miss Tandy continued to take on strenuous parts, despite increased difficulty with memorization and stage fright that had got worse rather than better. Even a double cataract operation in 1973 and a cardiovascular problem that caused her collapse onstage during a performance of "Foxfire" in Los Angeles in 1985 did not slow her down. Nor did major surgery for cancer in 1991. She appeared in the television movies "The Story Lady" (1991) and "To Dance With the White Dog" (1993) and completed three more feature films: "Used People" (1992) and "Camilla" and "Nobody's Fool," which are to be released this fall.
"Jessie adores working," Mr. Cronyn said in 1986. "She's more fully alive when she's working." As she got older she seemed to be in ever greater demand, but over the years she took good parts and she took bad parts. "You are richer for doing things," she said. "If you wait for the perfect part or for what sends you, you will have long waits, and you deteriorate. You can't be an actor without acting." A DEDICATED LIFE IN THE PUBLIC EYE
During a 67-year acting career in Britain and the United States, Jessica Tandy appeared in more than 100 plays, more than 25 movies and numerous television shows. Here is a sampling. THEATER Hamlet (1934) King Lear (1940) Portrait of a Madonna (1946) A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) The Fourposter (1951) Five Finger Exercise (1959) The Gin Game (1977) The Glass Menagerie (1983) The Petition (1986) FILM The Seventh Cross (1944) Forever Amber (1947) September Affair (1950) The Desert Fox (1951) The Light in the Forest (1958) The Birds (1963) Butley (1974) Still of the Night (1982) The World According to Garp (1982) The Bostonians (1984) Cocoon (1985) Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) TELEVISION Foxfire (1987) The Story Lady (1991) To Dance With the White Dog (1993)
Correction: September 14, 1994, Wednesday
A picture caption on Monday with the obituary of Jessica Tandy referred incorrectly in some editions to her appearance in the film "Driving Miss Daisy." The year was 1989. In some editions the obituary also misstated the year for the film "Fried Green Tomatoes." It was 1991.
Here is Hume Cronyn's Obituary from USA TODAY
Published on June 16, 2003
Stage and screen actor Hume Cronyn dies
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) Hume Cronyn, a veteran stage and screen actor who charmed audiences with his portrayals of irascible old men and frequently paired up with his wife, Jessica Tandy, has died of cancer. He was 91.
Cronyn died of prostate cancer Sunday at his home in Fairfield, Conn., a family spokeswoman said.
Cronyn, known to modern audiences for his roles in the 1980s Cocoon movies, was a seasoned stage actor, making his theater debut in 1931 as a paperboy in Up Pops the Devil.
He and Tandy were married for nearly 52 years at the time of her death from ovarian cancer in September 1994. The couple were honored at the 1994 Tony Awards with the first-ever Special Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cronyn was known for his versatility as an actor. He played a wide variety of characters on stage, including a janitor in Hippers' Holiday, in his Broadway debut in 1934; the gangster Elkus in There's Always a Breeze, 1938; and Andrei Prozoroff, the brother in Chekov's Three Sisters, 1939.
He made his film debut in 1943 as the detective story addict Herbie Hawkins in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. After Cronyn appeared in Hitchcock's Lifeboat in 1944, a critic in the New York World-Telegram wrote: "Hume Cronyn is one of the most vivid young character actors to come along in Hollywood in quite a time."
Cronyn went on to take other film parts, both major and minor, appearing in numerous movies over the next 50 years, including: Phantom of the Opera, 1943; The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1946; People Will Talk, 1951; Cleopatra, 1963; There Was a Crooked Man, 1970; and The World According to Garp,1982. He was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his performance in The Seventh Cross in 1944.
Cronyn worked with his wife on the stage, in films and on television, starring with her on Broadway in The Gin Game, 1978; and Foxfire, in 1983; and in movies, as a married couple, in Cocoon, 1985; and Cocoon: The Return, 1988.
Both he and Tandy were Emmy Award nominees in 1994 for their performances in Hallmark Hall of Fame: To Dance With the White Dog.
Cronyn won the award for best actor in a miniseries or special for the CBS movie about an elderly man whose dead wife's spirit returns in the form of a dog. Cronyn won another Emmy for his work with young actor Fred Savage in Christmas on Division Street.
Cronyn, who often found himself playing curmudgeons, joked about his crusty image in a 1987 interview with the New York Post.
"I don't mind playing absolute bastards some of the best parts I've had have been heavies. I just don't want to play the grouch," he said.
Cronyn also tried his hand at writing and directing. In 1946, he directed a production of Tennessee Williams' Portrait of a Madonna, starring Tandy, and in 1950, on Broadway, Ludwig Bemelmans' Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. He co-wrote the television adaptation of The Dollmaker, starring Jane Fonda, in 1985.
Tandy once told an interviewer that Cronyn had a certain restlessness about him.
"I find it very difficult just to sit. I would love to learn how to do that with contentment," Cronyn said in 1988. "I fill my life with a lot of 'busyness' in between jobs. Then I work very hard. Some of it is quite unhealthy. It's compulsive. I don't know what to do about it. I'm a little old to change."
On the set, Cronyn was known for being something of a perfectionist. Director Dan Petrie, who worked with Cronyn in Cocoon: The Return, and The Dollmaker, said Cronyn was meticulous about learning the idiosyncrasies of his character. '
'Hume ... had to work out everything very, very carefully for himself how he would sit, how he would wear a hat, should he wear a hat, should it be down over his right eye or over his left eye, should he wear glasses, should he wear suspenders ... all of those things were very vital concerns of his," Petrie said.
"The mechanics of it, all of that was grist for his mill," Petrie said. "He very painstakingly built his character through the way he would dress, the way he would present himself."
Cronyn admitted he could be somewhat persnickety when preparing for a role.
"I do a lot of planning and plotting. That's my greatest weakness," he said in a 1984 interview. "If I'm not terribly careful, I'll plan to a point where it could come out cut and dried."
Cronyn was born in London, Ontario, one of five children of Hume Blake, a prominent Canadian financier and political figure. He studied law for two years at McGill University in Montreal, but gave up a legal career for the theater.
At McGill, Cronyn was an amateur boxer; he was nominated for the Canadian Olympic boxing team in 1932.
Cronyn spent a summer studying under Max Reinhardt, a famous Austrian drama teacher and theatrical producer.
From 1932-34, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
Tandy and Cronyn had three children, Christopher, born in 1943; Tandy, born in 1945; and Susan Hawkins, Tandy's daughter by a previous marriage.
To read some articles on The Marriage go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=wpVRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kGoDAAAAIBAJ&dq=marriage%20jessica%20tandy%20hume%20cronyn&pg=3803%2C3289382 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jklSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fHoDAAAAIBAJ&dq=marriage%20jessica%20tandy%20hume%20cronyn&pg=5728%2C3595026
For more on The Marriage go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marriage_%28TV_series%29
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/Marriage.htm
For a Website Chronicling the history of Early television go to http://www.earlytelevision.org/index.html
For some quick facts from the year 1954 go to http://www.tvhistory.tv/1954%20QF.htm
To listen to episodes of the radio version of The Marriage go to https://free-classic-radio-shows.com/Comedy/The-Marriage/index.php
For some Mariage-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/marriage
To see a video for Marriage Preparation 1950's style go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa952oQAiII and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdp9lcSStjk
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF3n9vNBHvM
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Keywords: Jessica Tandy Hume Cronyn