Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door: Herbie J Pilato
Profiles are meant to highlight the life of someone in order for others to learn more about them. Within the pages of this book the author has created numerous profiles allowing readers to enter the worlds of so many that brought joy to our television screens for so many years each in their own unique way. Share the comedy of Sally Field in “”, Barbara Eden in, “I Dream of Jeannie,” and Mary Tyler Moore as Laura Petrie. Each section of this book is marked and filled with many different actresses that encompass different time periods in television history. Section One is titled The Jills of All Trades, the second The Teen Angels, the third the Country Girls, followed by Super Sleuths, Wonder Women and the Liberated Souls. Every section filled with explicit biographical information about each actress, their roles, and their impact on the public and an explanation of their lives and careers.
Let’s begin with Marlo Thomas and her role in “That Girl.” The author highlights her role, the importance and issues brought out in the show and her relationship with her parents and boyfriend. Quoting from her blog for the Huffington Post the author sums it up perfectly in Marlo’s words: Nothing is more inspiring to me than a young girl who has found her strength and confidence, and has a healthy self-image. Marlo is truly a living legend. Mary Tyler Moore is one of my favorite actresses and her role in the Dick Van Dyke Show and the Mary Tyler Moore Show was unique and priceless. Playing opposite Dick Van Dyke must have been exhilarating and with Ed Asner and Ted Knight what more can anyone want. The Lennon Sisters, The late Patty Duke who was amazing in the “Patty Duke Show” and so many movies helps to fill the pages of this book not only with comedians but serious actresses too that made a great impact on the public then and even now. Anyone that watched “Charlie’s Angels” would love Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith later adding Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts to an already amazing cast. The author writes: I loved Charlie’s angels and the fact that you never saw Charlie even though we knew he was at least voiced by John Forsythe.” It added a certain mystery to the show making the person in charge just as illusive as the killers. I would be remiss if I did not spotlight Elizabeth Montgomery. “ Actors are supposed to be prepared,” in her own words and as the author says: What’s not to love! She starred in “Bewitched.” The author writes” She was a woman who was a class act from the word go.” He includes others that worked with her and memories shared by executive Producer Harry Ackerman about her role in “Bewitched “as twin cousin Serena. Finally, the one and only Barbara Eden whose role as Jeannie and shared her thoughts in March of 2012 with Sandi Berg for Life After 50 Magazine stating: I’ve always been kind of what you see is what you get. I don’t think there is anything obtuse about me.” Her most memorable role is Jeanie on I Dream of Jeannie with Larry Hagman and others in The Andy Griffith Show and a film with Tony Randall The Brass Bottle. She is truly as the author states a Living Legend. The pictures within the book are priceless and the memoires of so many stars invaluable. For Star Trek lovers Nichelle Nichols, for the Bionic Woman there is a bio of Lindsay Wagner and if you like Wonder Woman how about Linda Carter. The last section is titled Liberated Souls with bios of those that have passed and my favorite is Gale Storm of “My Little Margie,” my mother loved her and another living legend Tina Louise from “Gillian’s Island” topping off the book with Suzanne Somers in “Threes Company. “
The author includes in the introduction that with each profile he has chronicled the appropriate female TV icon selection with dignity and respect. He includes how each one stating chose: The criteria for each were the following: she has to be or at least become young women while filming or taping her particular series; she could be a mom, but not a traditional mother and never an aunt figure or curmudgeonly older neither type. She had to appear in the lead television role from any program of any genre with the three-year period mentioned in this book namely the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. She also had to make her mark as a relatively romantic figure or a mature not matronly woman. Each woman as you read about them you will realize she is special, unique to her craft, remarkable and elevates the quality of actor. The book also includes a special appendix titled: The Other girls with Something Special. From Loni Anderson, to Sally Field, Lynda Carter, Dianne Carroll and Cher this book has something special for everyone. Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door is chocked filled with information and interesting facts you won’t learn anywhere else. How about Dawn Wells from Gillian’s Island I bet you did not know that she managed to keep her head on straight, not waver and stay in good shape even after working grueling hours. How about Agent 99 or Barbara Feldon I bet you did not know that you can learn about her married life on and off the screen and after a while she was called the Effervescent spy 99 of “Get Smart.” Of course my all time favorite CHER! What book would be the same without this fantastic performer. A true living legend staring in her own television show with her Late Sonny Bono and in films like Mermaids and Tea with Mussolini. There are infinite more but I will leave that to you the reader to learn more about the amazing Living Legends and those that have passed like Suzanne Pleshette the “Bob Newhart Show.” Herbie J Pilato: this is far by one of your greatest achievements.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine