Friday, November 18, 2005


Sheree North passed away about two weeks ago. She was an actress whose roles seemed to personify those worldly women "of a certain age" who have seen too much; who exude a hard-edged sexiness that could border on the slatternly. For the most part, her characters were the kind of woman teenaged boys hope might take them under her wing and teach them the ways of the world; a charter member of The Mrs. Robinson League.

Maybe that's why she played quite a few women named Gloria - more in keeping with the movie role of Gena Rowland's, not with Sally Struthers' TV character.

Her two best known roles in TV guest spots played upon that perception - as Charlene McGuire in 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', and as Babs Kramer in 'Seinfeld'. [Her role as Dottie Wertz on 'Archie Bunker's Place' definitely filled the bill... and paid the bills while doing it!]

I always wished Ms. North could have made another appearance as Charlene once Ed Asner got the 'Lou Grant' spin-off. And for Toobworld's convenience, I wish she had been available to play the role when another script came along on 'MTM'. I think she may have been tied up with her role on 'Big Eddie', so Janis Paige stepped in. But it just wasn't the same without Sheree North.

As for Babs, I created a unified genealogy for several characters played by Kathleen Freeman which connected 'Seinfeld', 'Topper', 'Columbo' among other shows. Babs Kramer figured into that family tree as her illegitimate daughter by Cosmo Topper. [One day I'll rerun that article from the old Tubeworld Dynamic when the generic Kathleen Freeman character gets an honorary induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.]

It's like Joni Mitchell sang, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." I just realized what a unique presence Sheree North brought to her roles and there's nobody else out there right now who can convey that world-weary allure. Who's waiting in the wings who can someday project that aura? Eva Longoria? Denise Richards? Mischa Barton?

I don't think so.

So here's to you, Ms. Sheree North. You will be missed.


"Bay City Blues" (1983) TV Series .... Lynn Holtz (1983)
"I'm a Big Girl Now" (1980) TV Series .... Edie McKendrick
"Big Eddie" (1975) TV Series .... Honey Smith

"Women in White" (1979) (mini) TV Series .... Lisa Gordon

Dead On the Money (1991) (TV)
Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989) (TV)
Are You My Mother? (1986) (TV) .... Madelyn
Scorned and Swindled (1984) (TV) .... Maxine Wagner
Legs (1983) (TV) .... Ida
A Christmas for Boomer (1979) (TV)
Portrait of a Stripper (1979) (TV) .... Sally Evers
Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill (1979) (TV) .... Lettie Norman
A Real American Hero (1978) (TV) .... Carrie Todd
The Night They Took Miss Beautiful (1977) (TV) .... Layla Burden
Most Wanted (1976) (TV) .... Melissa Dawson
A Shadow in the Streets (1975) (TV) .... Gina Pulaski
The Whirlwind (1974) (TV)
Winter Kill (1974) (TV) .... Betty
Key West (1973) (TV) .... Brandi
Maneater (1973) (TV) .... Gloria Baron
Snatched (1973) (TV) .... Kim Sutter
Trouble Comes to Town (1973) (TV) .... Mrs. Murdock
Rolling Man (1972) (TV) .... Ruby
Code Name: Heraclitus (1967) (TV) .... Sally

Then Came Bronson (1969) (TV) .... Gloria Oresko

Madigan (1968) .... Jonesy

Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980) (TV) .... Gladys Baker
"The Great Adventure" playing "Agnes Lake" in episode: "Wild Bill Hickok - the Legend and the Man" (episode # 1.12) 3 January 1964

"Seinfeld" playing "Babs Kramer, Cosmo Kramer's Mother"
in episode: "The Finale: Part 1" (episode # 9.21) 14 May 1998
in episode: "The Switch" (episode # 6.11) 5 January 1995
"The Golden Girls" playing "Virginia Hollingsworth"
in episode: "Ebb Tide" (episode # 5.11) 7 December 1989
in episode: "Transplant" (episode # 1.4) 5 October 1985
"Hunter" playing "Dorothy Nickens" in episode: "Shield of Honor" (episode # 6.8) 2 December 1989
"Freddy's Nightmares" playing "Joyce Burton" in episode: "Bloodlines" (episode # 2.8) 26 November 1989
"Murder, She Wrote" playing "Norma Lewis" in episode: "No Laughing Murder" (episode # 3.18) 15 March 1987
"Matlock" playing "Alice Jenkins"
in episode: "The Don: Part 2" (episode # 1.7) 4 November 1986
in episode: "The Don: Part 1" (episode # 1.6) 28 October 1986
"Trapper John, M.D." playing "Tilly Whiteside" in episode: "The Unholy Ghost" (episode # 6.18) 10 March 1985
"Magnum, P.I." playing "Blanche Rafferty, Luther's Secretary" in episode: "The Return of Luther Gillis" (episode # 4.16) 16 February 1984
"Archie Bunker's Place" playing "Dotty Wertz"
in episode: "Barney and the Hooker" (episode # 1.13) 25 November 1979
in episode: "Archie and the Oldest Profession" (episode # 1.3) 7 October 1979
"Fantasy Island" playing "Julie" in episode: "The Prince/The Sheriff" (episode # 1.5) 11 February 1978
"Hallmark Hall of Fame" playing "Adele Serkin" in episode: "Have I Got a Christmas for You" 16 December 1977
"Westside Medical" playing "Laurie"
in episode: "My Physician, My Friend: Part 2" (episode # 1.10) 18 August 1977
in episode: "My Physician, My Friend: Part 1" (episode # 1.9) 11 August 1977
"Baretta" playing "Amy" in episode: "Big Bad Charlie" (episode # 3.23) 30 March 1977
"Family" playing "Constance Hume" in episode: "On the First Day of Christmas" December 1976
"Marcus Welby, M.D." in episode: "How Do You Know What Hurts Me?" (episode # 7.16) 13 January 1976
"Medical Center" playing "Sylvia Ronston" in episode: "Half a Life" (episode # 6.23) 17 March 1975
"Mary Tyler Moore" playing "Charlene Maguire, Lou Grant's Girlfriend"
in episode: "The Shame of the Cities" (episode # 5.19) 25 January 1975
in episode: "Lou and That Woman" (episode # 5.4) 5 October 1974
"Wide World of Mystery" playing "Mrs. Swimmer" in episode: "The Cloning of Clifford Swimmer" 1 November 1974
"Barnaby Jones" playing "Roxy Morgan" in episode: "Forfeit by Death" (episode # 3.6) 15 October 1974
"Hawaii Five-O" playing "Doris Brown" in episode: "A Hawaiian Nightmare" (episode # 7.2) 17 September 1974
"Kojak" playing "Mrs. Giancana"
in episode: "The Chinatown Murders: Part 2" (episode # 2.2) 15 September 1974
in episode: "The Chinatown Murders: Part 1" (episode # 2.1) 15 September 1974
"Hec Ramsey" playing "Widow Helpinstall" in episode: "Dead Heat" (episode # 2.3) 3 February 1974
"Hawkins" in episode: "Murder in Movieland" (episode # 1.2) 2 October 1973
"Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law" playing "Mrs. Knight" in episode: "The Pool House" (episode # 3.3) 26 September 1973
"Kung Fu" playing "Noreen Gallagher" in episode: "The Third Man" (episode # 1.14) 26 April 1973
"McMillan and Wife" playing "Dr. Marion Voight" in episode: "No Hearts, No Flowers" (episode # 2.5) 14 January 1973
"Cannon" playing "Millie Carroll" in episode: "Stakeout" (episode # 2.5) 11 October 1972
"Alias Smith and Jones" playing "Bess Tapscott" in episode: "The Men That Corrupted Hadleyburg" (episode # 2.18) 27 January 1972
"Medical Center" playing "Karen Porter"
in episode: "Shock!: Part 2" (episode # 3.16) 5 January 1972
in episode: "Shock!: Part 1" (episode # 3.15) 29 December 1971
"The Smith Family" in episode: "Lost Lady" (episode # 2.4) 6 October 1971
"The Most Deadly Game" playing "Lottie" in episode: "Who Killed Kindness?" (episode # 1.5) 7 November 1970
"The Name of the Game" playing "Mrs. Palmer" in episode: "One of the Girls in Research" (episode # 2.25) 3 April 1970
"Here Come the Brides" playing "Felicia" in episode: "A Hard Card to Play" (episode # 1.5) 23 October 1968
"Mannix" playing "Rose Anderson" in episode: "Comes Up Roses" (episode # 2.2) 5 October 1968
"The Fugitive" playing "Willy" in episode: "The Walls of Night" (episode # 4.27) 4 April 1967
"The Iron Horse" playing "Alix" in episode: "A Dozen Ways to Kill a Man" (episode # 1.15) 19 December 1966
"The Big Valley" playing "Libby Mathews" in episode: "The Man From Nowhere" (episode # 2.9) 14 November 1966
"Run for Your Life" playing "Jeannie Lake" in episode: "The Day Time Stopped" (episode # 2.1) 12 September 1966
"The Virginian" playing "Della Saunders" in episode: "That Saunders Woman" (episode # 4.27) 30 March 1966
"The Loner" playing "Cora" in episode: "Escort for a Dead Man" (episode # 1.14) 18 December 1965
"The Fugitive" playing "Marianne Adams" in episode: "An Apple a Day" (episode # 3.8) 2 November 1965
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Mary" in episode: "The Crime" (episode # 3.2) 22 September 1965
"Burke's Law" playing "Cleo Delaney" in episode: "Who Killed Rosie Sunset?" (episode # 2.19) 27 January 1965
"Burke's Law" playing "The Maharani of Kooshipoo" in episode: "Who Killed Davidian Jonas?" (episode # 2.15) 30 December 1964
"The Greatest Show on Earth" playing "Gloria" in episode: "This Train Don't Stop Till It Gets There" (episode # 1.28) 14 April 1964
"Ben Casey" playing "Gloria Cooper" in episode: "Dress My D Pretty" (episode # 3.28) 18 March 1964
"The Virginian" playing "Karen Anders" in episode: "Walk in Another's Footsteps" (episode # 2.24) 11 March 1964
"Breaking Point" in episode: "Don't Cry Baby, Don't Cry" (episode # 1.15) 30 December 1963
"The Eleventh Hour" playing "Peggy Lewis" in episode: "There Should Be an Outfit Called 'Families Anonymous'!" (episode # 2.11) 11 December 1963
"Burke's Law" playing "Myrtle 'Gigi' String" in episode: "Who Killed the Kind Doctor?" (episode # 1.10) 29 November 1963
"Gunsmoke" playing "Avis Fisher" in episode: "Lover Boy" (episode # 9.2) 5 October 1963
"Breaking Point" playing "Lisa Adams" in episode: "Solo for B-Flat Clarinet" (episode # 1.1) 16 September 1963
"Ben Casey" in episode: "For This Relief, Much Thanks" (episode # 3.1) 9 September 1963
"The Untouchables" playing "Claire Simmons" in episode: "Search for a Dead Man" (episode # 4.13) 1 January 1963
"Playhouse 90" playing "Suzy" in episode: "Trapeze" (episode # 2.3) 26 September 1957
"Shower of Stars" in episode: "Lend an Ear" (episode # 1.2) 28 October 1954

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