Alice Ghostley

Active - 1954 - 2000  |   Born - Aug 14, 1926   |   Died - Sep 21, 2007   |   Genres - Comedy

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Born in Missouri and educated at the University of Oklahoma, Alice Ghostley created a sensation in her first Broadway production, New Faces of 1952. In the company of such powerhouse co-stars as Paul Lynde, Robert Clary and Carol Lawrence, Ghostley stole the show with her plaintive renditions of the satirical ballads "The Boston Beguine" and "Time for Tea." Within a year of New Faces, she was headlined in the film version of that popular revue and was cast as a regular on the network-TV series Freedom Ring. Ghostley has been convulsing audiences ever since, playing a rich variety of man-chasing bachelorettes, overprotective mothers and dotty neighbors. While most of her film appearances have been in comedies (Viva Max!, The Graduate, Grease), Ghostley proved quite effective in the comparatively straight role of Stephanie Crawford in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). In 1965, she won a Tony award for her performance in the Broadway seriocomedy The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. In addition, Ghostley has been a regular or semi-regular on a multitude of TV series: The Jackie Gleason Show, Car 54 Where Are You, Captain Nice, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Golddiggers, Designing Women and a host of others. She is most fondly remembered for her portrayal of bumbling witch Esmerelda on the long-running (1964-72) sitcom Bewitched. On both this series and 1972's Temperatures Rising, Alice Ghostley was reunited with her old New Faces cohort, Paul Lynde. Ghostley died of colon cancer at age 81 in September 2007.

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