Classic TV Birthdays: March 19

Canadian born actor-writer-producer Burt Metcalfe starts off today’s birthday list. The 79 year old was co-star of a 1961 sitcom Father of the Bride. He later guested on 12 O’Clock High, Perry Mason and Twilight Zone, but is best known as a writer and producer of classic sitcom M*A*S*H.

Others celebrating a birthday today: Nance Malone (a regular on Guiding Light and Naked City, later an executive at 20th Century Fox) is 79, actress-singer Phyllis Newman (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Quincy M.E., Wild Wild West) turns 81 and Renee Taylor also turns 81. Taylor guested on The Defenders, The Love Boat and Mary Hartman Mary Hartman. Her biggest role came later, as the mother of Fran Drescher’s character The Nanny.

We have long list of classic TV friends born March 19 but since passed on. Child actress Peggy Ahern appeared in the Our Gang shorts. Tige Andrews starred in The Detectives and Mod Squad. Pamela Britton starred in a 1957 series version of Blondie, then played the nosy landlady on My Favorite Martian. British actor Eric Christmas guested on Bonanza, The F.B.I., Harry O, McCloud and The Virginian. He later portrayed Principal Carter in the Porkys movies.

Also born this day: Fred Clark, Gail Kobe and Jackie “Moms” Mabley. Character actor Clark appeared on The Addams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Burke’s Law and I Dream of Jeannie. Kobe was an actress (Gunsmoke, Mannix, Perry Mason, Peyton Place, Twilight Zone) and producer (The Edge of Night, Guiding Light). Standup comedienne Mabley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour.

March 19 was also the day we said goodbye to several classic TV contributors. Italian-American actor Cesare Danova was a regular on Garrison’s Gorillas (1967) and guested on shows from the late 1950s to early 90s (Daniel Boone, The Doris Day Show, The Lucy Show, The Rifleman). Edward Platt was The Chief on Get Smart. Author Edgar Rice Burroughs created the legendary character Tarzan.

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