42 Facts About Bea Benaderet


Beatrice Benaderet was an American actress and comedienne.

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Bea Benaderet was then a prominent figure on television in situation comedies, first with The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show from 1950 to 1958, for which she earned two Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

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Bea Benaderet has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring her work in television.

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Beatrice Benaderet was born on April 4,1906, in New York City.

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Bea Benaderet's mother, Margaret, was Irish American, and her father, Samuel David Benaderet, a Turkish Sephardic emigrant, was a tobacconist who relocated the family from New York to San Francisco in 1915 after his participation in the Panama–Pacific International Exposition.

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Bea Benaderet was raised Catholic and attended grade school at a Dominican convent.

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Bea Benaderet studied voice and the piano; her first acting performance came at 11 when she portrayed a bearded old man in a school play.

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Bea Benaderet made her professional theatre debut at 16 in a production of The Prince of Pilsen, and after graduating from St Rose Academy, a private, all-girls' high school, she attended the Reginald Travers School of Acting and joined his stock company The Players' Guild, appearing in stage productions of works such as Polly, Lysistrata, and Uncle Tom's Cabin.

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In 1926, Bea Benaderet joined the staff of San Francisco radio station KFRC, which was under the new ownership of Don Lee and where her duties included acting, singing, writing, and producing.

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Bea Benaderet honed a variety of dialects such as French, Spanish, New York English, and Yiddish, the latter from voicing a character named "Rheba Haufawitz".

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Bea Benaderet additionally hosted the musical variety show Salon Moderne and gained attention for her work as a female announcer, a rarity in 1930s radio.

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Bea Benaderet relocated to Hollywood in 1936 and joined radio station KHJ, making her network radio debut with Orson Welles for his Mercury Theatre repertory company heard on The Campbell Playhouse.

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Bea Benaderet performed in as many as five shows daily, causing her rehearsal dates to conflict with those of The Jack Benny Program and resulting in her reading live as Gertrude from a marked script she was handed upon entering the studio.

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Bea Benaderet voiced various one-time parts before joining the main cast as Iris, neighbor and friend of Ball's character Liz Cooper.

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Bea Benaderet's characterizations included an obnoxious teenaged bobbysox version of Little Red Riding Hood in Little Red Riding Rabbit ; Witch Hazel in Bewitched Bunny ; the spinster hen Miss Prissy in several Foghorn Leghorn cartoons; Tweety's owner "Granny" including the Academy Award-winning Tweetie Pie ; and Mama Bear in a series of Three Bears shorts, which animator Chuck Jones called one of his favorite portrayals.

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Bea Benaderet did not receive onscreen credit for her work, because she was employed by Warner Bros.

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Bea Benaderet was Lucille Ball's first choice as Ethel Mertz for the sitcom I Love Lucy; Ball said in a 1984 interview that she had "no other picture of anyone" for the role.

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However, Bea Benaderet had to turn down the offer since she was contracted to the television adaptation of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, so Vivian Vance was eventually cast.

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Bea Benaderet guest-starred on the January 21,1952, first-season episode "Lucy Plays Cupid" as the character of Miss Lewis, a love-starved spinster neighbor.

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Bea Benaderet was the only secondary cast member who appeared in every episode and the first six shows were shot live in New York, resulting in Benaderet commuting to Los Angeles where she was working several radio assignments at the time.

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Bea Benaderet worked sparsely in 1959, filming one-time appearances on General Electric Theater and The Restless Gun.

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Bea Benaderet became a fixture on television in the 1960s, which included working on two shows simultaneously from 1960 to 1964.

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Bea Benaderet played housekeeper Wilma in the lone season of the 1960 sitcom Peter Loves Mary, a part she received on the back of references from Burns.

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Bea Benaderet auditioned with past radio coworker Jean Vander Pyl for Betty and Wilma Flintstone by exchanging dialogue before the show's co-creator Joseph Barbera, who asked afterward what part they preferred.

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Bea Benaderet appeared on the 19 episodes of the show he had written between 1947 and 1951.

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Bea Benaderet could read and write, and the curled hair seemed to Pearl the height of smartness.

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When CBS granted him an open time slot after the massive success of Beverly Hillbillies, he crafted the 1963 rural sitcom Petticoat Junction around Bea Benaderet, starring as Kate Bradley, the widowed proprietor of the Shady Rest Hotel.

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Bea Benaderet has to walk a fine line between being humorous and tender.

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Sommers created the 1965 sitcom Green Acres, adapted from his 1950 radio program Granby's Green Acres that had starred Bea Benaderet, thus making it a spinoff of her own television show.

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Bea Benaderet filmed six appearances as Kate in the first season as both shows' casts intermingled on several episodes in a process dubbed "cross-pollination".

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Bea Benaderet played bit parts in six motion pictures from 1946 to 1962, four of which were uncredited.

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Bea Benaderet was chosen from two hundred actresses for the part of a government file clerk in Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious and completed filming in half an hour, but her scenes were cut from the final print.

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In 1958, Bea Benaderet married Eugene Twombly, a sound effects technician for movies and television who had worked on The Jack Benny Program, and they remained together until her death in 1968.

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In 1961, Bea Benaderet dressed in a Flintstones-inspired leopard-print costume to collect donations for City of Hope and March of Dimes and worked with Welcome Wagon in the San Fernando Valley.

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Bea Benaderet resisted immediate exploratory surgery as she was filming the fifth season of Petticoat Junction and feared the show would be affected by her absence.

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Bea Benaderet missed ten episodes of the show as she recuperated, during which her character of Kate Bradley was vaguely described in the storyline as being out of town, as expectations were that Benaderet would eventually recover and be able to resume filming.

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Bea Benaderet died on October 13,1968, of lung cancer and pneumonia.

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Bea Benaderet was entombed in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood.

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When Bea Benaderet was cast in Petticoat Junction, she was hailed as having "finally" become a star.

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Bea Benaderet had previously played supporting roles throughout her career, usually as a next-door neighbor, and had been openly averse to leading roles.

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Bea Benaderet garnered praise for her mastery of dialects and her work as a comedienne and character actress, while she is recognized for her voice characterizations in animation.

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Bea Benaderet is credited with over one thousand combined radio and television episode appearances, which earned her the nickname of "Busy Bea" from members of the press.

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