Former ‘Brady Bunch’ Cast Member, Ann B. Davis, Dies at 88

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Ann B. Davis in 1973.
Ann B. Davis in 1973.
Ann B. Davis, known to millions as the beloved housekeeper Alice on ABC’s sitcom The Brady Bunch, has died at a San Antonio hospital, she was 88.

Davis suffered a fall Saturday at a home in San Antonio she shared with retired bishop, Bill Frey and his wife. She died Sunday at University Hospital without gaining consciousness.

For five years (1969 – 74) Davis played housekeeper Alice Nelson on the hit ABC sitcom, The Brady Bunch. In her blue and white maid’s uniform Alice was the glue to the Bradys and was considered a member of the family. Davis would reprise her role for several TV-movies, and three spin-off series.

Before her Brady days, Davis struggled as a comedienne in an underground beer and wine bistro on Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd. Under the show name ‘Typhoid Mary’ Davis earned about a couple of dollars a night.

But her act would get her far more notice than the six years of little theater, summer stock and travelling musicals in the bush leagues.

Eventually she was noticed and cast as Charmaine “Schultzy” Schultz on The Bob Cummings Show. Davis’ character was as an unattached secretary who was secretly in love with her bachelor boss. She won two Emmy awards in 1958 and 1959 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She was nominated in 1956 and 1957.

Davis received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Ann Bradford Davis was born 1926 with a twin sister in Schenectady, New York. Davis attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where she was enrolled as a pre-med major but switched over to drama after seeing her older brother perform in the stage musical Oklahoma! She graduated in 1948 with a degree of drama and speech.

Davis was never married.

“I could have married for love once and once for money,” she told the Blytheville Courier News “But I would have had to give up acting – and that I can’t do.”

Credit(s): The Globe and Mail, CBC News, Blytheville Courier News, NEA, and Erskine Johnson.






















Author: James Robert Shaw

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