Monday, June 6, 2011


Irene Gilbert convinced her mentor Stella Adler to open a chapter of her acting academy in Los Angeles and became one of its directors. She also appeared in about a dozen TV shows, mostly in single episode small roles.

Sadly, I never would have heard of her had she not just recently passed away.

But looking through her TV credits, the case could be made that she deserves entry into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame as a special Birthday Honors List inductee, thanks to three of those small roles back in the 1970's.

Here are those roles, in the order in which she played them:

'Medical Center' - "The Adversaries" (1969)
O.R. Nurse

'The Bold Ones: The New Doctors' - "One Lonely Step" (1971)
Desk Nurse

'Barnaby Jones' - "The Deadly Conspiracy: Part Two" (1975)
Nurse Griffin

So the argument could be made that each of those nurses were the same woman and her last name either was Griffin the whole time, or she eventually got married and Griffin was her husband's surname. But for ease in writing about her, we'll just call her Ms. Griffin, and leave her marital status undetermined. (Unless of course there's a good candidate named Griffin we can draft as her husband?)

Up to 1969 at least, Ms. Griffin worked in the operating rooms at the university-connected medical center in Los Angeles. But it is a stressful occupation - not as stressful as being an ER nurse! - and Nurse Griffin may have been keeping an eye open for new opportunities. So when the chance came to work as one of the nurses at the reception desk of the Craig Institute, she applied for the job and got it.

I can't say where Nurse Griffin was working by the time she got involved in the "Deadly Conspiracy" which was being investigated by Frank 'Cannon' and 'Barnaby Jones', because I haven't seen that two-part crossover since it first aired on CBS back in the mid-70's. And I have no idea if she survived the episode. But I'd like to think she went on to enjoy a long career in one of the most noble professions.

Perhaps, working outside the box, one could take this picture of Ms. Gilbert with Lindsay Wagner at the Stella Adler Awards of 2002 and make a suggestion to any 'Bionic Woman' fanficcers out there - perhaps this is Nurse Griffin with Jaime Sommers. Just as a suggestion of course, but maybe due to problems with the aging equipment installed in the 'Bionic Woman', Jaime needed a full-time nurse/companion.....

That's the way I'd run with it, but you fanficcers may have other ideas.

Good night and may God bless, Ms. Gilbert. And welcome to the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame!

My thanks to Lydia Doyle in the preparation of this piece.


This is the first of two new members via the Birthday Honors List.  I have so many of these "By Any Other Name" hypothetical connections that I thought I should take advantage of my birthday being in June, for which the Zodiac sign is Gemini (the Twins), that my birthday is a double number (6/6), I was born in a double number year (never mind), and that my first name officially is Thomas, which means "twin".......

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