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Tribute: Ann B. Davis of “The Brady Bunch”

posted by Nell Minow

ann b davisWe bid a sad farewell to the wonderful actress Ann B. Davis, who died today at 88 following a fall in her home.  She is best known as the beloved housekeeper Alice in the blended family sitcom, The Brady Bunch. She was the six kids’ confidante, co-conspirator, and best pal.  Davis was a deft comic actor with a down-to-earth quality who most often played self-deprecating characters who were not confident about romantic relationships.  brady bunchBefore “The Brady Bunch” she played the girl Friday (as they used to be called in those days) to Robert Cummings’ playboy photographer in “Love That Bob.”  She was constantly surrounded by beautiful models, maintaining a bemused, slightly envious air.  Davis was awarded two Emmys for this part.

Davis was perfectly cast as the unflappable Alice, who enjoyed living with six rambunctious children and a dog.  She said, “If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s a perfect kid. And SIX of ‘em, yecch!” She was so identified with the role that she even published Alice’s Brady Bunch Cookbook and later appeared in commercials for cleaning products.  She was also a real-life friend to the young actors who grew up on the show, and whose real lives were not as uncomplicated as the sit-com, where all problems were solved with a hug in just 22 minutes.  Davis was a devoted Christian who took great strength from her faith.  May her memory be a blessing.

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