62 (passed away Oct. 13th, 1968)
Apr. 4th, 1906
New York City, New York, USA
Bea Benaderet's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1951 - A Bear for Punishment
1949 - On the Town
1946 - Baseball Bugs
1946 - Notorious
1943 - Red Hot Riding Hood
Guest TV Roles
Bea Benaderet had a remarkable career in radio and television. In the days before television, she provided the voices for hundreds of characters on the radio, on shows like "Fibber McGee and Molly," "My Favorite Husband" (with Lucille Ball), and the "Jack Benny Show." Benederet was born in New York City but raised in San Francisco and made her radio debut when she was 12 years old. After doing voice-overs and various roles, Orson Welles gave her a regular role on "Campbell Playhouse." Benederet made a smooth move from radio to television as she was cast in the role as Blanche Morton in "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" (1950). It was because of her role as Blanche that she could not accept the part of Ethel Mertz in "I Love Lucy" (1951), which was offered to her by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. She also provided the voice for several Warner Brothers cartoons, usually for females (the ones Mel Blanc could not do). Later, she worked with Blanc again on one of the most famous cartoons!
- A prolific dialectician, she was one of the few female voice artists associated with Warner Bros. studio in its early days (as 'Mel Blanc' (qv) provided the majority of character voices at the time, even for the female characters). She never received screen credit due to Blanc's WB contract. She went on to play the "Granny" character from 1937 into the 1950s when 'June Foray' (qv) took over the vocal part. She reunited with Blanc in the 1960s when he voiced Barney Rubble to her Betty.
- You'd never guess it from her wholesome TV and radio appearances, but Bea could outcuss a navy boatswain. She would crack up her cast members on _"The Jack Benny Program" (1950)_ (qv) by betting on which lines announcer 'Don Wilson (I)' (qv) would screw up on each show.
- Attended St. Rose Academy High School and began her acting studies at the Reginald Travis School of Acting in San Francisco.
- Was originally considered for the role of Granny in _"The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962)_ (qv), but got the part of Cousin Pearl Bodine instead.
- Born in New York City and raised in San Francisco, Bea was discovered by the manager of radio station KGO, who spotted her singing in a children's production of The Beggar's Opera, and put her on the radio as a singer.
- She was one of producer/creator 'Paul Henning (I)' (qv)'s favorite character actresses. When developing _"The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962)_ (qv), he kept Bea in mind, and, although she was interested in the role of Granny, Henning felt she was too "busty" for the role. During auditions for the role of Granny, it was Benaderet who pointed to 'Irene Ryan' (qv) and told Henning, "There's your 'Granny'!".
- Her second husband, Gene (Eugene Twombly), a sound-effects technician (both worked on the Jack Benny Program), died of a heart attack just four days after she died of cancer.
- Benaderet became ill with cancer in 1967, which led to her leaving _"Petticoat Junction" (1963)_ (qv) in what it was hoped would be a temporary retirement. 'Rosemary DeCamp' (qv) was brought in to play the Bradley girls' Aunt Helen in the scripts that were obviously written for Benaderet's character, Kate Bradley. Benaderet only managed to return twice on the show after her departure. Following her death, 'June Lockhart' (qv) was brought in as a surrogate mother figure and lady M.D. who sets up practice at the Shady Rest Hotel. Benaderet's anchoring presence was missed by the public, however, and the show lasted only two more seasons (1968-1970).
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