Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I think the reason I remember the name of Bettye Ackerman from my readings of various TV books here at the Toobworld Central Library is because of that unique spelling of her first name. Ms. Ackerman was an actress who recently passed away at the age of 82 in her home state of South Carolina.

She had a lengthy career in Television as a guest star, but perhaps her most famous role, the one the New York Times pegged as her best-known, was as Dr. Maggie Graham. Maggie Graham was a recurring role on 'Ben Casey', in which she was the love interest for the surly young doctor. (In real life, Ms. Ackerman was married to the co-star, the late Sam Jaffe, who played Dr. Zorba, Ben Casey's mentor.)

Looking over her list of credits, there are several guest-starring roles which could be surmised to be Dr. Maggie Graham, but after she had gone on to marry somebody else once her relationship with Dr. Ben Casey fell through:

Dr. Michaels, 'Trapper John, M.D.'
Dr. Hamill, 'The Streets Of San Francisco'
Rita Claman, 'Mannix'
[If "Maggie" was short for "Margarita"...]

She also played a role in the first version of "The Strange World Of Horace Ford", which aired on 'Studio One' and starred Art Carney. (The better known version starred Pat Hingle and was broadcast as an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.) In a departure for Toobworld policy, it is the second version that is part of Earth Prime-Time, while the first version is relegated to an alternate dimension.

"Return to Peyton Place" (1972) TV Series .... Constance MacKenzie #1 (1972)
"Bracken's World" (1969) TV Series .... Anne Frazer, Bracken's secretary

"The Waltons" .... Belle Becker (2 episodes, 1977-1981)
- The Revel
- The Achievement
"Medical Center" .... Nurse Marsh (2 episodes, 1969-1973)
- Question of Guilt (1973)
- 24 Hours (1969)
"Ben Casey" .... Dr. Maggie Graham (4 episodes, 1962-1963)
- La Vie, La Vie Interieure (1963)
- For I Will Plait thy Hair with Gold (1963)
- A Story to Be Softly Told (1962)
- Imagine a Long Bright Corridor (1962)

A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (1982) (TV) .... Belle Tucker
Trouble in High Timber Country (1980) (TV) .... Mrs. Lomax
Doctors' Private Lives (1978) (TV) .... Sylvia
Heat of Anger (1972) (TV) .... Stella Galvin
... aka Fitzgerald and Pride

Murder or Mercy (1974) (TV) .... Nurse Cantelli
Companions in Nightmare (1968) (TV) .... Sara Nicholson

"St. Elsewhere" (1 episode, 1986)
- Lost Weekend
"Tales of the Unexpected" .... Ruby (1 episode, 1985)
- Nothin' Short of Highway Robbery
"Trapper John, M.D."
- Promises, Promises (1984) TV Episode .... Dr. Michaels
- Maybe Baby (1982) TV Episode .... Mrs. Bayard
"Double Trouble" .... The Judge (1 episode, 1984)
- Dueling Feet
"Dynasty" .... Katherine (2 episodes, 1982)
- Kirby
- The Will
"Falcon Crest" .... Elizabeth Bradbury (1 episode, 1982)
- For Love or Money
"240-Robert" .... Eileen Phillips (1 episode, 1979)
- Stuntman
"Police Woman" .... Helen Fletcher (1 episode, 1978)
- Good Old Uncle Ben
"Wonder Woman" .... Asclepia (1 episode, 1977)
- The Return of Wonder Woman
"CHiPs" .... Mrs. Burgess (1 episode)
- Undertow
"The Feather and Father Gang" (1 episode, 1977)
- Never Con a Killer
"Barnaby Jones"
- Renegade's Child (1976) TV Episode .... Mrs. Nesbitt
- Venus as in Fly Trap (1974) TV Episode .... Margery Kinner
"Police Story"
- Three Days to Thirty (1976) TV Episode .... Katherine Moran
- Glamour Boy (1974) TV Episode .... Martha Dunnhill
"Petrocelli" .... Ann Hendricks (1 episode, 1975)
- Too Many Alibis
"Harry O" .... Laureen Lister (1 episode, 1975)
- The Acolyte
"The Streets of San Francisco" .... Dr. Hamill (1 episode, 1975)
- Asylum
"The Rookies"
- Solomon's Dilemma (1975) TV Episode .... Judge
- Sound of Silence (1973) TV Episode .... Ellen Tabnor
- Run Scared (1974) TV Episode .... Sylvia Harris
- A Matter of Love and Death (1969) TV Episode .... Dr. Pat Manners
"Lucas Tanner" .... Francis Shaw (1 episode, 1974)
- By the Numbers
"Gunsmoke" .... Zisha Gorofsky (1 episode, 1973)
- This Golden Land
"The Sixth Sense" .... Helene (1 episode, 1972)
- Can a Dead Man Strike from the Grave? (1972)
Columbo: Blueprint for Murder (1972) (TV) .... Miss Sherman
"The F.B.I."
- Antennae of Death (1970) TV Episode .... Mary Binyon
- The Prey (1969) TV Episode .... Mrs. Kurland
- Homecoming (1968) TV Episode .... Annette Jurgens
"Mannix" .... Rita Claman (1 episode, 1969)
- Only Giants Can Play
"Bonanza" .... Estelle Dawson (1 episode, 1967)
- Second Chance
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" .... Dorothy Reynolds (1 episode, 1967)
- Verdict for Terror
"Perry Mason"
- The Case of the Positive Negative (1966) TV Episode .... Laura Brandon
- The Case of the Thermal Thief (1965) TV Episode .... Amy Reid
"Breaking Point" .... Eunice Osment (1 episode, 1964)
- Better Than a Dead Lion
"Alcoa Premiere"
- Chain Reaction (1963) TV Episode .... Dorothy Swift
- The Jail (1962) TV Episode .... Ellen
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" .... Lorna Dickson (1 episode, 1962)
- The Tender Poisoner
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" .... Mrs. Inkel (1 episode, 1959)
- Specialty of the House
"Studio One" .... Betty (1 episode, 1955)
- The Incredible World of Horace Ford



Anonymous said...

Bettye Ackerman was also very involved with the Muscular Dystrophy and Cerabal Palsy Association in Southern CA and served as Chairman of the fund raising for MDA from 1964-68. Bettye was an absolutely lovely and compassionate human being. She was not only beautiful physically but beautiful internally as well. Both she and her husband Sam Jaffe donate thousands of dollars to MDS and the Cerebal Palsy Association over the years. Bettye was a person who was not interested in self glorification...she loved her husband, her family and her friends. Some people made life wonderful just by being, Bettye was one of those people. I can not wait to get to heaven to see and talk to her!

Toby said...

That was a nice tribute, Anon. Thank you for sharing it...