From the Associated Press: Georgia Engel, who played the charmingly innocent, small-voiced Georgette on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and amassed a string of other TV and stage credits, has died. She was 70. Engel died Friday in Princeton, N.J., said her friend and executor, John Quilty. The cause of death was unknown because she was a Christian Scientist and didn't see doctors, Quilty said.
"I know the world will be sad and sorry. She touched so many people," said her agent, Jacqueline Stander.
Engel was best known for her role as Georgette on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," the character who was improbably destined to marry pompous anchorman Ted Baxter, played by Ted Knight.
Engel also had recurring roles on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Hot in Cleveland." She was a five-time Emmy nominee, receiving two nods for the late Moore's show and three for "Everybody Loves Raymond."
This news was a heart-breaker for me. As much as I love Mary Richards, as soon as Georgette entered the world of WJM, I was hers. It was that wide-eyed innocence that hooked me, as it would with the character of Penny Majors from ‘Forever Fernwood’ and over in the Cineverse, Giulietta Masina’s Gelsomina in “La Strada”.
(Actually now that I think of it, it’s the look as well. Along with Ms. Engel and Ms. Masina, I would add Felicity Kendall as Barbara Goode in ‘Good Neighbors’.)
I saw Ms. Engel once in Manhattan. A friend of mine was going to look into taking a dance class and I tagged along. And there she was in her class, and there I was in heaven. Of course, over in Toobworld, my televersion was an audience of one watching Georgette Franklin Baxter.
It’s the only way I can honor her memory in Toobworld, and it’s a meager one, but Georgette Franklin Baxter has been eligible for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame since 1991 when she marked her third appearance on our TV screens. However, it was an oddity, a quirk of the magic of Toobworld, in that third appearance. So she would eventually have been inducted as part of a Birthday Honors List, or befitting her nature, the Christmas Honors List.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with Georgette….
From Wikipedia: Georgette Franklin Baxter (Georgia Engel) (1972–77) (Season 3-7) is the somewhat ditzy girlfriend (and later wife) of stentorian news anchor Ted Baxter(played by Ted Knight). Mary Tyler Moore described her as a cross between Stan Laurel and Marilyn Monroe. She and Mary got along fantastically, and she helped to somewhat fill the void that Phyllis Lindstrom and Rhoda left in Mary's life when they left for San Francisco and New York City, respectively. She made her first appearance at one of Mary Richards' parties. She worked as a window dresser at Hempel's Department Store in Minneapolis along with Rhoda Morgenstern. Later, she worked for a car rental service, as a Golden Girl, and for Rhoda selling plants. Georgette was devoted to Ted and they would eventually marry in Mary's apartment. They adopt a child named David (Robbie Rist), and later, she gives birth to a girl named Mary Lou, also in Mary's apartment.
And here are the credits that made her eligible for Hall membership.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show 57 episodes
These are the episodes which I think best exemplified the character of Georgette. (The plot summaries are from the IMDb. The remarks in parentheses are my own O’Bservations.)
Rhoda Morganstern: Minneapolis To New York Rhoda is offered a job at Bloomingdale's in New York City, and much to Mary's surprise, she accepts it. (This was Georgette’s first appearance on the show. Georgette and Rhoda worked together as window dressers at the Hempel’s Department Store.)
The Georgette Story Mary and Rhoda give Georgette some sisterly advice when Ted starts taking her for granted. (This was her best showcase; as you watch it, you’re smiling with a lump in your throat.)
An Affair to Forget Ted convinces the newsroom that he is having an affair with Mary. No one believes her when she tries to deny it and then she has to face Georgette.
Ted can't help but spread the word not only around the newsroom but around the entire office building that he and Mary are an item, and through innuendo imply that they did more than they actually did. What may be as bad for Mary is what Georgette might think if she gets wind of what happened.
Almost A Nun's Story Frustrated by Ted's errant ways, Georgette decides to live it up. And then she decides to become a nun.
When Georgette tells Mary and Rhoda she wants to become a nun, if you look closely, Rhoda is sticking up her middle finger.
Not A Christmas Story Everyone is getting on each others’ nerves when they are trapped in the newsroom by a snowstorm.
(The reason I included this one is for the showcase of Georgette singing “Silent Night”.)
Marriage, Minneapolis Style Ted asks Georgette to marry him and then he takes it back.
Ted's Wedding Ted and Georgette get married in Mary's apartment on an hour's notice.
Not With My Wife, I Don't Ted won't see a marriage counselor unless Lou goes with him.
Ted And The Kid Ted and Georgette adopted after they were told they can't have children. Then Georgette makes a startling announcement.
Mary Midwife Georgette gives birth at Mary's apartment with Lou and Mary attending. Ted and Georgette have a little girl named Mary Lou, the most exciting thing to ever happen in Mary's bedroom according to Sue Ann.
Murray Can't Lose (I included this one because Georgette performed Steam Heat at the Teddy Awards.)
My Son The Genius Ted and Georgette find out that their son is a genius who tries to take advantage of Ted.
Ted Baxter: Let's assume that... someone... has a kid with an incredible IQ. And that... someone... wasn't great in the fifth grade. Do you think that would cause any problems between the two? Doctor: No problems at all, Mr. Baxter. As long as the parent is a reasonably secure, mature, well-adjusted adult. Georgette Baxter: Boy, are we in trouble.
(It’s all in the delivery.)
The Ted And Georgette Show Ted and Georgette do a show that becomes a hit, but Georgette would rather stay at home taking care of her family.
The Last Show In the upside world of WJM, there's a shake up in the newsroom and everybody but Ted gets fired including Mary who is left to turn out the lights.
Rhoda - Rhoda's Wedding: Part 1 (1974) - Rhoda's Wedding: Part 2 (1974) (Along with all of the newsroom, Georgette was in New York City to see Rhoda marry Joe Gerard.)
Okay, now we have the third appearance which qualifies her, but which needs a whole lotta splainin….
Hi Honey, I'm Home - Elaine Takes A Wife (1991)
This sitcom, which aired on ABC and Nick At Nite, was about a fictional family from TV Land who was now living in the “real” world. And with every episode, they were visited by other characters from old TV shows; but in their case they were from actual shows unlike the Nielsens.
They actually live in the main Toobworld and the characters who visit them are from a TV dimension created from the TV shows that were produced in Toobworld. The Nielsens had their own show and so the other characters are not from the TV shows we know, but the TV shows produced there in Toobworld. So this Georgette was the living embodiment of the “real” Georgette’s televersion. This means that in Toobworld, a TV show was created about the life of news producer Mary Richards and the people in her life. This may not have been the “actual” Georgette, but it acknowledges that she does exist in Toobworld. Was this Georgette played by the televersion of Georgia Engel? Perhaps. Or if there was a TV character played by Ms. Engel who was an actress….
Here’s a description of the episode:
From Wikipedia: Elaine, who keeps asking Honey for favors, feels that Lloyd is taking advantage of Honey's kindness, and convinces Elaine to look at a college catalogue. Mike finds that Babs is doing the same thing to him. A few days later, Mike and Honey, and Georgette Baxter, meet at the same class, "The Doormat Dilema – say yes to no." Georgette is the teacher, it turns out. She uses the idea of the U. S. S. Minnow and Mike and Honey being stranded. Mike is repairing the ship, while Honey is keeping the place clean, and she finds a sandwich. She gives it to him at first, then offers half to him, but spurred on by Georgette, Honey learns to become more assertive. She can't say no, but Georgette suggests she sing it. Honey can do that, and does so with great gusto. Mike wants the sandwich because he feels he needs his strength, but Honey counters that her work is just as important. In their increasing anger, they shout "Elaine" and "Babs", then refuse to give Georgette back her sandwich. Mike rips up the homework he's been doing for Babs, while Honey sings "No" to Elaine, and forces her to realize that she doesn't respect her fellow woman as much as she thinks she does.
Guest star: Georgia Engel as Georgette Franklin Baxter from ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’
It's not much of a tribute, I know, but I’m glad to finally have her in the Hall. Georgette joins Mary Richards, Ted Baxter, and Lou Grant, plus producer Grant Tinker and guest star Walter Cronkite as members of the TVXOHOF.
You will be missed, Georgette. You were nice. Very nice. Damned nice.
Georgia Engel passed away last Friday, the sweet innocence of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ as Georgette Franklin Baxter. I can say freely that she stole my heart when she joined the series, even with my worship of Mayr herself.
So today I’d like to take a look at a theory of relateeveety which would connect all seven of her major TV characters.
It would be a mythic number.”
Georgette Franklin, later to become Georgette Baxter once she married the anchorman Ted Baxter, will be the role for which Ms. Engel will be most remembered. And amazingly, it was her very first TV role!
Here is the list in descending order of her seven major TV roles, both as regulars and as recurring: The Mary Tyler Moore Show Georgette Franklin Baxter
The Betty White Show Mitzi Maloney
Goodtime Girls Loretta Smoot
Jennifer Slept Here Susan Elliot
Coach Shirley Burleigh
Everybody Loves Raymond Pat MacDougall
Hot in Cleveland Mamie
I’m not going to put that much pressure on Georgette’s mother to claim that she gave birth to all but Loretta. If she did, however, it’s no wonder we never saw her in an episode of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ – she was probably dead, especially if they were septuplets!
No, I’m sure they were all of separate parentage, although some of them could be sisters. Since we knew the most about Georgette, I think she was an only child and sadly I believe both her parents were dead. As I don’t think they had been named, at least I don’t think they were, I’m going to make the claim – for now, that her mother was the former Loretta Smoot from ‘Goodtime Girls’.
I place the birth dates for the “present day” characters played by Ms. Engel to be in the same birth year as hers – 1948, but perhaps of different birth months. Therefore, Loretta Smoot met and married a man named Franklin and they then had Georgette as their only child.
I also then surmise that Franklin’s first name was George and his daughter was named after him.
Taking that particular branch of the family further, George Franklin may have been the uncle to the two Sam Franklins we know about – the butcher of ‘The Brady Bunch’ (Boy, that sounds so wrong!) and the other being the painter seen in an episode of ‘Columbo’ whose work was seen in yet another episode of that great cop drama.
So tying in Georgette with Loretta as her Mom, that leaves us with five other Georgia Engel characters to deal with. I think all of them were “identical cousins” to Georgette. And by “identical cousins”, I mean both Toobworld interpretations of the phrase – the origin of the phrase referred to actual cousins whose fathers were identical twins. But a darker interpretation could be that somebody in their family tree had cheated on their spouse with somebody with close genetic ties to Loretta Smoot Franklin.
But let’s just go with the flow, that the remaining five characters were all first cousins to Georgette and that one or the other of their parents were siblings to Loretta Smoot Franklin.
Mainly because their names were so similar, I’m going to claim that Mitzi Maloney of Hollywood, who was a friend of actress Joyce Whitman, and Elka Ostrovsky’s friend in Cleveland, Mamie, were sisters. I don’t know if Mamie’s last name was ever mentioned, and I don’t know if she had ever been married, but for now let’s hypothesize that her maiden name could have been Maloney.
As for the other three – Susan, Shirley, and Pat – I’m going to swing for the fences and make the claim that they were triplets. We don’t have to worry about the surnmes – all three of those are their married names. Ta Da! Their original last names could have been Smoot and they could then be Loretta’s nieces.
I usually have to make the decision that a TV character should be considered as having died around the same time as the actor who played the role. So with most of those “Georgia Women”, their date of death has recently happened or will be happening soon. (Loretta Smoot Franklin was born in 1910 and more than likely died before 1973.)
But for now, I’d like to maintain the illusion that Georgette Baxter herself is still alive, playing grandmother to the children of her son David and her daughter Mary Lou. (I once posited that Colleen Haskell from the first season of ‘Survivor’ could have been Mary Lou grown up. She had the right look and temperament, and was the right age for the role. She also gained acting experience even if it was in the Rob Schneider movie “The Animal”. I see no reason to discard this wish-craft. Of course, David would still be played by Robbie Rist.)
So there’s my theory of relateeveety for all of the characters played by Georgia Engel. I ran behind in putting it together and it’s shockingly short on graphics, but I will add them in later today. Sorry about that, Chief.
Today was a combination of being busy trying to write up a couple of memorial tributes for Georgia Engel and being at a loss for a topic for a Wednesday post. But, thanks to this special guest appearance by my British blogging buddy, Rob Buckley, we’re taking a look at the new ‘Twilight Zone’ and its attempt to recreate the Valenzetti Equation sensation from ‘Lost’, albeit with a different combination of numbers. Apparently the
We’re talking about “1015”, which can trace its parentage to the original series of ‘The Twilight Zone’.
So let’s give the spotlight to Rob:
It’s very important in “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet” (time of departure, the flight number and the entry code for the flight deck, and is referenced in the dialogue)
In the third one [“Replay”], it’s repeatedly highlighted as the license plate on the cop’s car
I think it’s in “The Comedian” as well, judging by a quick Google, and was the flight number in the original “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet”.”
There have been plenty of call-backs to the original series in these first handful of episodes. I’ve only seen the first one, thanks to YouTube. (I’ve reached my self-imposed limit of three premium platforms and even with that I’m getting four.)
So in that first one, I noticed the use of names for other T-Zone characters, plus the appearance of the ventriloquist dummy Willie. And including the use of the number “1015”, I think they may all be serving as lucky tokens outside the box.
Within the box? Who knows? This is a TV show which deals with multiple dimensions – at least it did in the original series. So as far as the power of this particular combination of numbers (and I wish at least one numeral from the Valenzetti Equation – “23” – would show up in an episode), I don’t know what effect it has on the TV characters who come into contact with it.
But maybe one day “1015” will play an integral part in an episode. Thanks again, Rob!!!
On Monday, April 15th, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris was destroyed in a massive fire. At this time, it looks to have been accidental. I would think something went wrong during the renovations and the fact that the building was wrapped in wooden scaffolding didn’t help. Thankfully, no lives were lost.
I haven’t found many instances of the Cathedral of Notre Dame being cited in the TV shows – so far! – but it still ranks as one of the three most used shots to establish a TV show’s location in Paris (along with the Eiffel Tower and the Arc d’ Triomph.)
Of course, in popular culture it is most often seen in adaptations of Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame” which has been filmed since the days of silent movies, with even an animated Disney version
But as for Toobworld, or rather, the greater TV Universe, there have been several TV movies, all of which can be relegated to other TV dimensions in order to spread the wealth. And with the TV version of the Tooniverse, there was an animated feature as well. (But the animation quality did not match that of Disney’s.)
Despite the difference in animation styles, two other references to the Cathedral are included in that same Tooniverse. One would be the series ‘The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo’ and then there’s this spin-off from another animated TV series:
“THE RUGRATS IN PARIS: THE MOVIE”
From the IMDb: The Rugrats travel to Paris, France, where Chuckie hopes to find a new mother and keep his father from marrying an evil business woman.
Wishes come true in Rugrats in Paris The Movie, and love makes its way into the hearts of those young, old and overseas. Chuckie's dad, Chazz, starts dating again, and it's Chuckie's wish to find a new mom. When Stu Pickles is summoned to Reptarland, an amazing new amusement park in Paris, to work on his Reptar invention, Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Phil, Lil, Dil, Didi and the whole gang tag along to the city of romance. But the Rugrats' big adventure turns out to be more than glamour, fashion and smelly cheese. Chuckie learns that when it comes to princesses and potential mommies, things are not always what they seem, and for Chazz, finding the right woman can be difficult in any language. As the Rugrats' travels take them from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame and everywhere in between, the world's favorite babies learn new lessons about courage, loyalty, trust and above all, true love.
One last entry for the Tooniverse.
The Bullwinkle Show The Three Moosketeers: Parts 5-6 (1961)
Rocky and Bullwinkle "Three Moosketeers" Part 5, Fractured Fairy Tales "Felicia and the Pot of Pinks", Peabody's Improbable History "Kit Carson", Rocky and Bullwinkle "Three Moosketeers" Part 6. It’s listed in the IMDb, “Old Reliable”, as being a reference to the Cathedral, but I watched it on YouTube and heard no mention of Notre Dame. (I’ll watch it again before I post this.)
And finally we come to the main Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time.
There was a TV series about Quasimodo, back in 1966 which served as the Toobworld adaptation of the novel. Unfortunately, all seven episodes appear to be lost. Even so, it stands as the Quasimodo of Toobworld since it was first among actual series adaptations.
And if the Cathedral was seen in that series, it was the same televersion of the Cathedral as seen in other TV shows.
The Musketeers Sleight of Hand (2014)
From the IMDb: Vadim is determined to make life as unbearable as possible for the authorities that have imprisoned him, after he manages to organize a full-scale riot.
The Musketeers were led to believe Vadim was plotting to kill the King and Queen....
if I was planning to kill the king, how would I do it?
Notre Dame. The royal family always shows themselves to the people after Easter mass. It’s tradition.
Richelieu: Not anymore....
But he really intended to rob the palace while everybody was involved with the attack at Notre Dame.
It would stand to reason that the Cathedral would figure into any iteration of Dumas’ novel. But this is the only one in which a reference is listed in the IMDb keywords. I wonder if it was at least mentioned if not seen in the 1960s series of ‘The Three Musketeers’ which starred Jeremy Brett and Brian Blessed?
Fantasy Island We're Not Worthy (1998)
From the IMDb: A newlywed who had a whirlwind courtship with his bride wants to learn if she really loves him by reading her mind; an insecure professor wants to become beautiful.
Cindy was transformed into a beautiful woman while a man she met at the hotel was transformed into Quasimodo because he wanted the chance to ring the bells of Notre Dame. (Mr. Roarke was able to create a vortex which allowed him to travel back in Time to the era of the Hugo novel.
From the TARDIS wiki: [The Cathedral of Notre Dame] could be seen from the window of Reinette's Paris bedroom in 1727. (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace)
The Fourth Doctor and Romana II walked past the Notre Dame after the randomiser took them to Paris in 1979. (TV: City of Death)
The TARDIS Wiki also claim this: Unlike most of the Earth, the Notre Dame Cathedral was left untouched during the Year That Never Was. When the time came to help the Tenth Doctor, a number of surviving humans gathered in front of the ancient building and chanted the word "Doctor", allowing him to rejuvenate himself. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)
However, I have seen other sources saying that it was the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Reims, not of Paris.
As for another appearance by the Cathedral….
“THE FACTS OF LIFE GOES TO PARIS”
From the IMDb: The girls and Mrs. Garrett head to Paris. The girls are going to spend some time in the French counterpart of their school while Mrs. Garrett attends a cooking school. The girls were hoping to spend some time in Paris but find themselves stuck in the countryside with a strict guardian. When they discover that their last week of school will be spent in Paris, they plan to sneak away and discover the city on their own. Jo decides to go to Le Mans and meets a French boy, Blair encounters a local of her own, while Natalie and Tootie run into an author that Natalie admires. When they discover that he is struggling with writer's block, they decide to help him with his article. Meanwhile, Mrs. Garrett is struggling in trying to impress the French Chef in charge of the class.
Research into TV shows that might have had establishing shots of the Cathedral would take awhile and I expect to eventually include them in the Hall of Fame Gallery as I find them. But here are some TV series in which I might expect to find such images:
‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’
‘Make Room For Daddy’
If you can think of any others in which I might search for screencaps or mentions in dialogue, let me know.
But for now, this is the beginning ot the celebration of the Cathedral by the TVXOHOF.
And here are two other references to this monument to Humankind:
In the first episode of Lord Kenneth Clarke’s series ‘Civilization’, Clarke said he knew the signs of Civilization when he saw it. And then he turned to look behind him where the Cathedral looming large in the background.
‘Jeopardy!’ October 4, 2018 The category - ON THE ROOF. ($1000)
"Look up at this Paris cathedral and you’ll see the famous gargoyles, like the one shown here."
Now I’m worried about those gargoyles…..
This will be a growing list as I look into other options. But we have enough to make the grade for now.
This is just my poor little attempt to remember the Cathedral of Notre Dame as it once was.
From Wikipedia: Notre-Dame de Paris (French meaning "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.
The BBC ‘Travel Show’ 12 days ago did a story on the massive cost of saving Notre-Dame:
The cost of restoring Paris’ most visited landmark after centuries of damage is astronomical, but the French government has devised a surprising plan to raise the funds.
From The New York Times: PARIS —A large fire broke out at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on Monday evening, causing part of the historic church’s spire to collapse as the blaze spread along its roof.
André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the cause of the fire remained unknown, and there was no immediate indication that anyone had been hurt.
There hasn’t been this much of an impact on the architecture of Toobworld since the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001. Of course, as historically powerful as the Cathedral of Notre Dame is, the Twin Towers was a worst disaster because of the tragic loss of human life. So far, hopefully, it looks like there have been no deaths. As of this writing, I haven’t heard anything about injuries either.
UPDATE: One of the firefighters was seriously injured. Prayers.....
As I reach this part of the post, I’ve now heard on the news that they were able to save at least the façade of the Cathedral’s front entrance. This was the iconic “face” of the edifice with the two towers and that beautiful rose window. They were lucky to save that as the left hand tower was on fire as well. And thankfully because of the renovations (which were probably the cause of the fire, abetted by the wooden scaffolding), it appears most of the treasures, including the Crown of Thorns, had already been removed from the site. (There are questions about the structural integrity of what is left. But it is comforting to see the pictures that the crucifix and altar survived the inferno.)
The reason I’m posting this as a Tuesday News Day story is because of the Cathedral’s place in the greater TV Universe. Later today we’re going to conduct a memorial induction ceremony for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame to bring the Cathedral de Notre Dame into the fold, in memory of what once was. We did the same for the City of Las Vegas after the horrific massacre and for the World Trade Center after the Twin Towers were downed by terrorists.
As the Trickster once said, "Reality is boring, that's why I change it whenever I can."
I'm just "The Man Who Viewed Too Much", and "Inner Toob" is a blog exploring and celebrating the 'reality' of an alternate universe in which everything that ever happened on TV actually takes place.
Most of my theories about the TV Universe come from thinking inside the box and thus can't be proven. But I've never been one to shy away from a tall tale.....
Remember: "The more you watch, the more you've seen!"