Results 1 to 45 of 45

Thread: Joan Davis: I Married Joan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,085

    Joan Davis: I Married Joan

    Joan Davis was a very popular radio star in the 40s. She also was just as popular in the 50's with her "Lucy" like sitcom I Married Joan which also starred a young Jim Backus, years before Gilligan's Island.

    I know she died of a heart attack in 1961 at a young age ( still in her 50s ) but not really a whole lot is out there about her. Over the years I heard she was involved in some sort of a bizzarre story involving a beauty shop in Hawaii ( Bleach in her eyes? ) and how she and Backus HATED each other.

    Also there was her daugher..Beverely Wells. A few years after Joan's death, she, her kids and Joan's mother all died in a house fire . Hardly anything is said about that other than smoking was the cause.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MS
    Posts
    573
    Yeah, that show "I Married Joan" actually still comes on occasionally on the Ion network. I think her daughter also had a role on her show.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    25
    I loved that show...I remember back in the mid 80's TBN (yes the religious network) used to run alot of old sitcoms late at night and I used to stay up to watch that show...I will have to check out the listings for ION to see when it comes on now so I can watch it again...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NoHo Arts District-L.A.
    Posts
    5,802
    I remember it, too. Yep, on TBN! I still know the theme song!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Memphis
    Posts
    25
    I watched it too on TBN, along with Bachelor Father and Burns and Allen. I would stay up all night watching those shows!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NoHo Arts District-L.A.
    Posts
    5,802
    Wow! Are we THAT old!?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1

    Talking CBN

    Don't touch that dial, won't you stay for awhile...we're here to entertain you...stay with us...we're C.B.N!
    Is this the network you guys are talking about? I LOVED this channel!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Pageflipme View Post
    Don't touch that dial, won't you stay for awhile...we're here to entertain you...stay with us...we're C.B.N!
    Is this the network you guys are talking about? I LOVED this channel!

    My bad, I thought it was TBN (trinity broadcasting network) thanks for the correction...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    801
    I love this Forum!!!!!!!!!!!! Seeing old names I hadn't thought about in years is exciting. Joan Davis was an excellent comediac actress. She was also a nice looking woman. I loved watching her on I MARRIED JOAN tv series.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
    Posts
    8,386
    Quote Originally Posted by joplinfrk View Post
    Wow! Are we THAT old!?
    You guys are talking reruns. I watched these shows first run.
    John Trim On Face Book
    On the internet you can be anything you want.
    It is strange that so many people choose to be stupid.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NoHo Arts District-L.A.
    Posts
    5,802
    Wow John..you are old! Just playing! Thank you for the Myspace message; That's so neat that you met Janis. I was lucky enough to have lived on the Earth with her for seven months before she was taken. I wish I had been born 20 years earlier. When I was born in 1970, the party was starting to end and everyone was leaving!
    peek-a-boo!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    35
    AHHHHHHHHHH. When I see the thread for this, I can't get that darn song out of my head..."I Mar-ried Joan...." lol

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    87
    I don't know that Joan and Backus hated each other- but he wrote some uncomplimentary things about her after she died. he said something like, "her psyche, if indeed she had one, was as dark and uncharted as the wide sargasso sea." From all accounts, she was hard to deal with on the set (see Hold That Joan by Ben Ohmart, a recent biography). The series cannot compare to I Love Lucy in terms of production value or writing but Joan herself makes it worth watching for me. One episode I remember has two memorable and funny set pieces-in the first she has a fight with another lady in a hat shop, then later while trying to avoid the same lady in a supper club, gets inadvertently caught up in some acrobats' act.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    3,415
    Jumping ship from radio to television, Davis started her own production company, which produced Davis's NBC comedy I Married Joan from 1952 through 1955. Somewhat surprising is that she hired ex-husband Si Wills to write for the series. Davis also cast her daughter Beverly Wills in the role of Joan's younger sister. After I Married Joan left the air in 1955, the wealthy Davis more or less retired. She shot a few pilots for proposed TV programs, but none were successful in finding a network. IN May 1961, Davis suffered a heart attack and died in Palm Springs at the age of 53. Tragically, just two years later Davis's daughter Beverly Wills fell asleep smoking a cigarette; her Palm Springs home caught fire, killing her, her two sons, and Davis's mother.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SE Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    8,804
    The daughter was supposedly close to James Dean (according to an mdb bio).

    She was kind of annoying in her radio show, but Verna Felton and Lionel Stander made up for it. I didn't mind I married Joan either.
    You can't "nu uh" death. That's bad debating.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    new zealand
    Posts
    2,593
    i married joan was a favorite of us kids too. she seemed so old at the time, but i'm older than she is now at the time of her death lmao judge bradley j. stephens, and that entrance picture of her in her wedding dress kissing the little bridegroom doll lol what corn lol
    pull the string!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX.
    Posts
    3,049


    I couldn't find many photos of her, but here's one.

  18. #18
    Joan Davis (June 29, 1907May 22, 1961) was an American comedic actress whose career spanned vaudeville, film, radio and television. Remembered best for the 1952–55 television comedy, I Married Joan, Davis also had a successful earlier career as a B-movie actress and as a leading star of 1940s radio comedy. Born Madonna Josephine Davis in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Davis was a performer since childhood. She appeared with her husband Si Wills in vaudeville. [1]

    Film career
    Her first film was a short subject for Educational Pictures called Way Up Thar (1935), featuring a then-unknown Roy Rogers. Educational's parent company, Twentieth Century-Fox, signed Davis for feature films. Tall and lanky, with a comically flat speaking voice, she became known as one of the few female physical clowns of her time. Perhaps best known for her co-starring turn with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hold That Ghost (1941), she had a reputation for flawless physical comedy. Her pantomime sequence in the starring vehicle Beautiful but Broke (1944) is a slapstick construction-site episode, and she times her movements and reactions precisely.

    She co-starred with Eddie Cantor in two features, Show Business (1944) and If You Knew Susie (1948). Cantor and Davis were very close offscreen, as well, and reportedly had an affair in the 1940s.

    Radio
    Joan Davis entered radio with an August 28, 1941 appearance on The Rudy Vallee Show and became a regular on that show four months later.
    Davis then began a series of shows that established her as a top star of radio situation comedy throughout the 1940s. When Vallee left for the Coast Guard in 1943, Davis became the host of his show. With a title change to The Sealtest Village Store, Davis was the owner-operator of the store from July 8, 1943 to June 28, 1945 when she left to do Joanie's Tea Room on CBS from September 3, 1945 to June 23, 1947. Sponsored by Lever Brothers and Swan Soap, the premise had Davis running a tea shop in the little community of Smallville. The supporting cast featured Verna Felton, and Harry von Zell was the announcer.

    The tea shop setting continued in Joan Davis Time, a CBS Saturday night series from October 11, 1947 to July 3, 1948. With Lionel Stander as the tea shop manager, the cast also included Hans Conried, Mary Jane Croft, the Choraliers quintet and John Rarig and his Orchestra.
    Leave It to Joan began on July 4 to August 22, 1949 as a summer replacement for Lux Radio Theater and continued from September 9, 1949 to March 3, 1950. She was also heard on CBS July 3August 28, 1950. She was a frequent and popular performer on Tallulah Bankhead's legendary radio variety show, The Big Show (1950–52). [1]

    Television
    When Lucille Ball's I Love Lucy premiered in October 1951 on CBS Television and became a top-rated TV series, sponsors wanted more of the same with another actress who wasn't afraid of strenuous physical comedy. I Married Joan premiered in 1952 on NBC, casting Davis as the manic wife of a mild-mannered community judge (Jim Backus) who got her husband into wacky jams with or without the help of a younger sister, played by her real-life daughter, Beverly Wills. The series continued until 1955. [1]
    Last edited by lobosco107; 01-11-2009 at 01:30 PM.

  19. #19
    Death
    On May 22, 1961, Davis died of a heart attack at the age of 53.[2] She was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery mausoleum in Culver City, California.

    On October 24, 1963, Davis' mother, daughter Beverly Wills and grandchildren were all killed in a house fire in Palm Springs, California. [3]
    For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Joan Davis has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1501 Vine Street.

    Legacy
    A quarter-century after her signature series left the air, Davis re-entered the American television viewer's consciousness. The original CBN cable television network began showing the old episodes of I Married Joan in 198182, as part of a late-night hour that also included episodes of My Little Margie. This resurrection of I Married Joan remained on the air almost as long as the show's original run.

    Since 2004, various episodes of I Married Joan and have become available on budget DVD releases and through Netflix. I Married Joan also became available on the Retro Network.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    new zealand
    Posts
    2,593
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post


    I couldn't find many photos of her, but here's one.
    oh thats a cute one! they look so young! lol
    pull the string!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,125
    Quote Originally Posted by John Trim View Post
    You guys are talking reruns. I watched these shows first run.
    Me too John lol

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Da Beach
    Posts
    24
    She was beautiful

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    316
    Yep, the daughter, Beverly Wills (who played her younger sister on 'I Married Joan') was close to James Dean - check out her thread!!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    1,004
    Quote Originally Posted by John Trim View Post
    You guys are talking reruns. I watched these shows first run.

    I was about to agree with you, John. Then I checked the dates. The show went off the air first run in 1955, when I was a mere three years old. I guess I saw it in its first set of reruns!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3,207
    Quote Originally Posted by Spazz View Post
    She was beautiful
    In that photo she look good but I remember her as kind of funny looking.
    I always thought her daughter was her look-a-like sister.
    I loved her in I Married Joan though!

    Cool film of the show!

    http://www.archive.org/details/I_Married_Joan_GE

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    I remember watching "I Married Joan" in the 1980s. I remember that the show was funny, but not quite like the "I Love Lucy" funny. Joan was very cute and a nice looking lady. I always thought that it was strange that Joan's own daughter played her sister. She and Jim Backus may not have liked each other, but they sure put on a great show together.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,458
    Quote Originally Posted by stegosaurus View Post
    I watched 'I married Joan' for the first time yesterday, it was the episode where she gets the latest hairstyle and then gets embarrassed by it and doesn't want to leave the house. I used to avoid watching this for many years as I saw a brief clip of Joan some years earlier and found her annoying - but giving her another chance she made me laugh and now I am addicted to the series. I also watched her in 'If you knew Susie' with Eddie Cantor (been on a bit of a nostalgia trip) and that made me hoot too.
    I am not a fan of too many old sitcoms (especially Lucille Ball who makes me want to puke) but this one has me now. Anybody else enjoy I married Joan?
    this was one of the old tv shows that got me watching old movies, believe it or not. it was in the 90's and they were showing it on TVland, (i think) late at nite, and they had burns and allen, and this show. i love old stuff. no nasty cursing or whatevs. yeah i'm old lol (45)

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    CUMberland, Maryland
    Posts
    1,672
    Quote Originally Posted by PiggyTx View Post
    this was one of the old tv shows that got me watching old movies, believe it or not. it was in the 90's and they were showing it on TVland, (i think) late at nite, and they had burns and allen, and this show. i love old stuff. no nasty cursing or whatevs. yeah i'm old lol (45)
    I Married Joan never did air on TV Land or Nick@Nite but back in the 80s and 90s it did seem to pop up everywhere else such as the many of low powered TV Stations of the era ( ours did ). Great show !! There is even a Joan Davis channel on You Tube.

    Beverly Wills ( Joan's daughter ) , I seem to remember that she was close to James Dean but she was also close to getting a regular part on Mister Ed in the early 60's too. I think she was tapped to play the role of Carol's friend on that show and come to think of it I think she did at least one episode of that show too. Unfortunately then came the fire that had killed her and the role was never to be.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,458
    Quote Originally Posted by choff View Post
    I Married Joan never did air on TV Land or Nick@Nite but back in the 80s and 90s it did seem to pop up everywhere else such as the many of low powered TV Stations of the era ( ours did ). Great show !! There is even a Joan Davis channel on You Tube.

    Beverly Wills ( Joan's daughter ) , I seem to remember that she was close to James Dean but she was also close to getting a regular part on Mister Ed in the early 60's too. I think she was tapped to play the role of Carol's friend on that show and come to think of it I think she did at least one episode of that show too. Unfortunately then came the fire that had killed her and the role was never to be.
    this is what I love about this site, learn trivia and other stuff about old hollywood. there's just something about old tv shows and movies.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    jacksonville, florida
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by choff View Post
    I Married Joan never did air on TV Land or Nick@Nite but back in the 80s and 90s it did seem to pop up everywhere else such as the many of low powered TV Stations of the era ( ours did ). Great show !! There is even a Joan Davis channel on You Tube.

    Beverly Wills ( Joan's daughter ) , I seem to remember that she was close to James Dean but she was also close to getting a regular part on Mister Ed in the early 60's too. I think she was tapped to play the role of Carol's friend on that show and come to think of it I think she did at least one episode of that show too. Unfortunately then came the fire that had killed her and the role was never to be.
    Beverly Wills has a small part as one of the performers in the classic movie "Some Like it Hot" and was playing a friend to the girls on Petticoat Junction at the time of her death.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    I believe that Joan's daughter, Beverly had some trouble with alcohol. She was said to have fallen asleep with a lit cigarette and died in the same house that her mother passed away in two years earlier. Seems as if some of the members of "I Married Joan" had some short lives. Geraldine Carr (?) who played Joan's best friend Mabel passed away in an automobile accident at age 40.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    CUMberland, Maryland
    Posts
    1,672
    Quote Originally Posted by Noelle1966 View Post
    I believe that Joan's daughter, Beverly had some trouble with alcohol. She was said to have fallen asleep with a lit cigarette and died in the same house that her mother passed away in two years earlier. Seems as if some of the members of "I Married Joan" had some short lives. Geraldine Carr (?) who played Joan's best friend Mabel passed away in an automobile accident at age 40.
    Here is an article from 1963 on the death of Beverly Wills. Doesn't say anything about alcohol but then again it was 1963 and considering the press back in those days even if she had a problem with booze I am not surprised that this bit of info was overlooked.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ly+wills&hl=en

    Looking at here credits her last TV appearance was indeed Petticoat Junction. The episode of Mister ED she was in didn't air until after her death. According to IMDB Joan Davis had done two pilots for NBC in the early 60's both titled "The Joan Davis Show" one of which she was to play a department store saleswoman while the other pilot she had ran an answering service. Neither pilot sold.
    Last edited by choff; 10-24-2014 at 06:45 PM.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    Wow, what a find. Not sure were I read about her having an alcohol problem. It may or may not be true.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    Steg - awesome find! I think that is where I read about Beverly's drinking problem. Apparently, Joan wanted Beverly to be a star and that wasn't in Beverly's plan. Sorry that there was so much tragedy in a family that put on shows about humor.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Burlington,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    3,060
    Great article ! I can see why she might have started drinking, her mothers plans for her didn't gel with her own is my guess. There is a book called Fallen Angels and it has a story on her, Joan was apparently very difficult to work with, and it crossed into her home life, so I can only imagine the strain Beverley was under to make it. Talented, but often called a "carbon copy" of her mother.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    CUMberland, Maryland
    Posts
    1,672
    Am I the only one who felt that the pic of a young Beverly Wills with her mouth wide open standing next to Joan Davis was..well creepy ?? Good article though.

    I went back to the link I had posted earlier from the 1963 Milwaukee Journal to see if there was anything else about Wills or even Joan. Found nothing more about either woman but I still did catch something interesting. In the same issue announcing the death of Beverly Wills I did see ads for a then-small Wisconsin supermarket chain that is known today as a major coast to coast retail store. You know them today as KOHL'S

    kohls63.png

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    Choff - I really didn't think that it was a flattering photograph of Beverly, but I've had really unflattering photographs of myself, as well
    I do feel that it is a bit sad that Beverly rather felt that she couldn't live up to Joan's expectations. It was rumored that Joan suffered from insomnia because she would collapse after putting on a show. She put that much energy into her work. I could absolutely see that on her shows. She was a tough act to follow.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    413
    I remember the show and the theme song( it is now playing in my head!). Watched it often as a kid, probably the first time they were re-runs. I did not know about her daughter playing her sister and the tragedies they endured. Sad. Now I have to find that Petticoat Junction episode!! Steg thanks for all the info!!

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,427
    I'm FB "friends" with actress Hope Holiday. She's probably best known as the kook in the bar - Mrs Margie MacDougall - that gets toasted with Jack Lemmon on Christmas Eve night in Billy Wilder's The Apartment. She was also "Lolita" in Irma la Douce.

    Anyway, she's old-time Hollywood and knows everyone. She just posted a photo and wrote this caption:

    "The murder house where Beverly Wills --Joan Davis's daughter was murdered in 1963 --along with her two little sons and her grandmother--by her x --but nobody could prove it ---he's dead and so is Pat Blair his next wife --our mutual friend--case closed --if only the walls could talk"

    Hmm. Pat Blair would be actress Patricia Blair (she played Fess Parker's wife on Daniel Boone) who, according to the IMDb married Beverly's widower Martin Colbert in 1965. Blair died in 2013.

    VCNJ~
    Last edited by VeuveClicquotNJ; 12-21-2014 at 10:06 AM.
    Professional Thread-Killer

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    CUMberland, Maryland
    Posts
    1,672
    Never heard about the murder thing either.

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    That's a new one. Certainly interesting. That's cool that you are friends with Hope Holiday. How did you meet her?
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,427
    Because I'm friends with Jackie Joseph (Ernest T Bass's girlfriend - Ramona Ankrum - on The Andy Griffith Show, as well as Audrey in the original Little Shop of Horrors). I've come to know a lot of fellow vintage film/TV/noir folks, and a lot of them are friends with the stars I grew up with. Ms Joseph, Charles Dierkop from Police Woman, William "Big Bill" Smith, Christopher Lee, Arch Hall Jr. - you'd be surprised who you end up knowing. lol Most of them are very nice and are happy to meet their fans.

    I had a mutual friend with Charles Dierkop, and because of that, I guess FB allowed him to comment on my wall. I had posted something about The St Valentine's Day Massacre (he was in it that, too) and he made a comment about it. Made my day

    VCNJ~
    Professional Thread-Killer

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,209
    I just became friends with Jackie Joseph. I had a mutual friend through Chris Noel. She sure seems to be into animal rights. I'm glad that I am friends with her. I looked on Hope Holiday's page. Sure enough, she does talk about the house as being the murder house. New twist on the story.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,427
    It's really fun to connect with people who were a part of your childhood

    VCNJ~
    Professional Thread-Killer

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Burlington,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    3,060
    Wow ! That's quite the statement to make, and being Hollywood you have to wonder ! I loved her in Irma La Douce, she stole every scene she was in.12988603_ori.jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •