Pamelyn Ferdin leads off today’s classic TV star birthdays. The 55-year-old former child star was a regular on Blondie (1968 version), Lassie (1972), The Paul Lynde Show and Space Academy. Ferdin guested on many classic TV series of the 60s and 70s, including The Brady Bunch (she was in the memorable episode where Jan wore the black wig), Family Affair and The Odd Couple. She also did voice work on the movie Charlotte’s Web and several Peanuts cartoons.
Also marking birthdays February 4: John Shuck (McMillan & Wife, Holmes and Yo-Yo, later Law & Order SVU) turns 74, Gary Conway (Burke’s Law, Land of the Giants) is 78, comedian David Brenner (guested on The Tonight Show, starred in a show cancelled before it ever aired: 1976’s Snip) is 78 and Janet Waldo is 90. Waldo guested on classic shows like The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy and Petticoat Junction but is best known for her cartoon work. You probably remember her as the voice of Judy Jetson and Josie of Josie & The Pussycats.
Classic TV stars born today but since passed include Canadian-born twin actors Conrad and Bonar Bain. Conrad starred on Maude and Diff’rent Strokes, while Bonar guested on Maude and SCTV Network. Songwriter-composer Ray Evans (and partner Jay Livingston) composed the theme songs for classic TV favorites like Bonanza, The Doris Day Show and Mister Ed. He is also credited with the Bugs Bunny theme “This Is It.” William Talman is remembered for his long-time role as D.A. Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason.
Also born this day was London-born actress-director Ida Lupino, pictured above. The former film actress starred with then-husband Howard Duff in a 1950s sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve, later guesting on numerous 60s and 70s shows like Batman, Columbo, Family Affair, Police Woman and Switch. Lupino also directed episodes of Gilligan’s Island, Have Gun Will Travel and Thriller.
Several classic TV favorites passed away February 4, including Liberace. The legendary pianist, known for his flamboyant costumes and trademark candelabra, hosted The Liberace Show and guested on shows like Batman, The Jack Benny Program and The Tonight Show. Ossie Davis guested on Bonanza and Night Gallery, later appearing on Evening Shade and Touched by An Angel. Davis was also the husband of actress Ruby Dee.
Others passing this day: singer-actress Barbara McNair (guested on Hogan’s Heroes, Mod Squad, Vega$) and George Nader. He starred on several late 1950s/early 60s shows (The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen, The Man and the Challenge, Shannon) and guested on Burke’s Law and The F.B.I.