Many of the memorable TV stars were not what I remember. Can we learn that age is relative by watching television? I think so. Yippee!
I thought Carroll O’Connor was at least 65 when he played Archie Bunker in the 1970s series, “All in the Family.” I was wrong as much as I hate to admit it. Archie was only 47. Maybe it was his personality that was ancient.
Jean Stapleton, who played Archie’s wife, Edith, also known as Dingbat, was slightly older. She was 48 when the show began.
“I Love Lucy” premiered in October 1951, so you might be able to see the reruns as I did. Comedian Lucille Ball was 40 at the start of the program. Desi Arnaz, her husband on the show and in real life, was 34. Desi seemed older as he was always scolding Lucy.
The TV show “Miami Vice” starred Don Johnson in the role of Detective Sonny Crockett. He was 35 years old in the first episode in 1984 and was a hunk who wore a sports jacket with jeans. Tom Selleck, another sex symbol, was a private investigator in the show “Magnum P.I.” He was also 35 during the first year of series that ran from 1980 to 1988.
Would you have guessed Selleck was four years older than Johnson? Ted Danson was 35 when he was cast as womanizer Sam Malone in “Cheers.” So, I have concluded that those hottest men must be about 35.
Lisa Kudrow played the popular Phoebe Buffay in “Friends.” Phoebe was 27 in the pilot, and 37 in the finale. Joey Tribbiani, portrayed by Matt LeBlanc, was 25 in the pilot and 36 when the show ended.
Mary Tyler Moore played 30-year-old Mary Richards in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” when she was 34. She was a single woman who moved to Minneapolis following a broken engagement. Moore already played Dick Van Dyke’s wife in another series so I thought she was older. I guess I was correct in figuring she was about Selleck’s age but he dated another character in “Friends.”
Blanche Devereaux was one of the main characters on the sitcom, “The Golden Girls,” which ran from 1985 to 1992. Rue McClanahan played the part. It was once told that Blanche was 17 in 1949, which would have made her 53 when the show started. I was way off in my guess. The actress was actually 51 at that time. I thought she was older. Betty White’s character, Rose Nylund, was 55 at the start of the series. But, White was born in 1922 and was actually 63 years old in 1985.
Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli was at least 19 when he bought beer in Wisconsin at the beginning of the series, “Happy Days.” The actor, Henry Winkler, was 29. His co-star, Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard, was a high school teenager in the show, which first aired when he was 20.
“Bewitched” star Elizabeth Montgomery was 31 when the show started. John Ritter was 29 when he played Jack Tripper during the first year of “Three’s Company.”
Everyone knows the questions about women are resolved by Ginger and Mary Ann. Usually, when people say that, they are talking about glamour verses down-home. Tina Louise began portraying Ginger Grant in “Gilligan’s Island” when she was 30, in 1964. Dawn Wells was Mary Ann Summers in the comedy series. She was 26 in 1964 when the boat went on the three-hour tour.
“Married with Children’s” Al Bundy, played by Ed O’Neill, was 41 when the show first aired. Katey Sagal, who portrayed his wife, Peggy, was 33.
So, am I to conclude that the most desirable women are between 26 and 33? I’m not convinced.
Look at Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. In 2006, when Kermit made a guest appearance on TV it was disclosed that he was born in 1955 which would make him 64. Miss Piggy’s first public appearance was 45 years ago. So, she has to be older than that. She’s not telling and neither is www.muppetcentral.com But, everybody loves Kermit and Miss Piggy, so who cares. Yippee! It’s just a number.