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Mary Lansing
Mary Lansing
Credits
Roles Mrs. Bigelow
Edna (J. P.'s Wife)
Biographical Information
Birthdate June 10, 1911
Birthplace New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Death Date September 30, 1988 (age 77)
Death Place Northridge, California, United States

Mary Lansing played two characters in season four of Bewitched (1967-1968).

Biography[]

Mary Lansing was an American radio, television and film actress. She was born on June 10, 1911 in New Orleans.[1] The Louisiana native was just eighteen when she got her first taste of show business, with walk-on parts in such films as Happy Days (1929), Just Imagine (1930) and The Trial of Vivienne Ware (1932). For the 1942 animated feature Bambi, Lansing provided the voice for the “Aunt Ena” and “Mrs. Possum” characters.

She began in radio back in the early 1930s. It was on a program called The Georgia Fifield Players that she met another radio actor who became her husband in 1933: Frank Nelson. Nelson was one of the stock company players on radio and television's The Jack Benny Program, on which Lansing appeared on occasion. The Nelsons also worked together on a situation comedy that was heard over CBS (a three-day-a-week quarter hour for California Fruit) between 1942 and 1943 entitled Today at the Duncans, which cast them as a husband and wife experiencing many of the same troubles as most wartime families. Lansing and Nelson divorced in 1970.

She appeared on such prestigious dramatic anthologies as The Lux Radio Theatre, Hallmark Playhouse, The First Nighter Program, Family Theatre and The Mercury Summer Theater (with Orson Welles). She demonstrated a knack for comedy as well, emoting on such radio sitcoms as The Life of Riley, Amos ‘n’ Andy, My Little Margie, Fibber McGee & Molly, and the Shirley Temple version (in 1942) of Junior Miss, on which Lansing played her mother, Grace. She was also one of those hard-working radio thespians who did whatever it took to get the groceries, including much “soap opera” work on series like One Man’s Family, The Guiding Light and The Private Practice of Dr. Dana.

She was a member of the repertory company nicknamed “Whistler’s Children” (the appellation given to those actors and actresses who frequently appeared on The Whistler), and she can also be heard in surviving broadcasts of series like Gunsmoke, Suspense, Escape, Broadway’s My Beat and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. Her experience in radio allowed her to transition with ease into television roles; she guested on such series as The Real McCoys, Dr. Kildare, The Patty Duke Show, Bewitched and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Lansing’s best-remembered [television] gig was a semi-regular role as Martha Clark, wife of fix-it shop owner Emmett, on The Andy Griffith Show. Lansing played Martha on that series three times (and was in a dozen other episodes as different characters, including three as “Mrs. Rodenbach”) and then transitioned to the Griffith Show spin-off Mayberry R.F.D., where she reprised her role in nine additional episodes.

By 1974, Lansing had retired from the [television business], but she had plenty of other interests to occupy her time. She moonlighted as an architectural designer (developing her own home in Studio City, known as “The Fryman Ranch”) and continued to be active in live theatre as founder and producer of The Hollywood Show Place Theatre.[2]

Mary Lansing died on September 30, 1988 in Northridge, California. She was 77.[3]

Bewitched Credits[]

References[]

  1. Mary Lansing on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on March 24, 2020.
  2. Shreve, Jr., Ivan G."Along Comes Mary", Radio Spirits, June 10, 2012. Retrieved on March 24, 2020, edited.
  3. Ibid.
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