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The Mary Jane Croft Appreciation Thread


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#1 Brock

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 09:49 PM

We need a thread for Mary Jane so... to kick things off, here is a photo of Mary Jane vancing with Dance. Looking at what is scribbled on the back of the photo I can't quite make out all the details but judging from the date and the word "Cleo" scribbled there, I would have guessed Van was lending his voice to a 1956 episode of The People's Choice... but that was an NBC show.

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Speaking of The People's Choice, this YouTube channel has two episodes online:

http://www.youtube.c...r/dentelTV1#g/u

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#2 Lucyilove

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:24 AM

Love Mary Jane Croft - very underrated actress. She wasn't another Vivian (who could be??) but she was a very good choice to play Lucy's friend. I always enjoyed it when she was on HERE'S LUCY when I was a kid, always found her comic whiny voice endearing.

I was determined to get Mary Jane a gig on LIFE WITH LUCY and wrote Madelyn Pugh at Aaron Spelling Studios about it. She wrote back but promised nothing except to forward the letter to Mary Jane; Ms. Croft never appeared on the show unfortunately.

It's a shame so few of the Lucy books acknowledge Mary Jane's contribution to Lucy's shows.
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#3 HarryCarter

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:03 PM

Love Mary Jane Croft - very underrated actress. She wasn't another Vivian (who could be??) but she was a very good choice to play Lucy's friend. I always enjoyed it when she was on HERE'S LUCY when I was a kid, always found her comic whiny voice endearing.

I was determined to get Mary Jane a gig on LIFE WITH LUCY and wrote Madelyn Pugh at Aaron Spelling Studios about it. She wrote back but promised nothing except to forward the letter to Mary Jane; Ms. Croft never appeared on the show unfortunately.

It's a shame so few of the Lucy books acknowledge Mary Jane's contribution to Lucy's shows.


I think it's terrific you wrote to Madelyn to find a role for Mary Jane. I would have absolutely loved that. I believe Mary Jane and Elliot Lewis were living in Oregon at the time. I swear on eBay a few years ago was a letter from Madelyn to Mary Jane about the possibility of Mary Jane appearing on the show. Your letter had some impact! I wish it could have happened.

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#4 Brock

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:46 PM

Patricia Breslin, Mary Jane's co-star on The People's Choice, died today at the age of 80.

As announced by the NFL:


BALTIMORE -- Patricia Modell, the wife of former NFL team owner Art Modell and a longtime television actress, has died. She was 80.

Mrs. Modell was pronounced dead around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens announced after being contacted by Modell's son. She had been hospitalized for around five months.

During a 22-year acting career, Patricia Breslin Modell performed on the New York stage, in motion pictures and on television. She starred in the "People's Choice" television series with actor Jackie Cooper and played the role of Meg Baldwin in the soap opera "General Hospital." She also played Laura Brooks on the prime-time soap opera "Peyton Place."

Among her many television other roles, she was a regular on "Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Perry Mason" and "Maverick."

At one point in her career, Mrs. Modell had appeared on more television shows than any other woman in U.S. history. Her record was eventually broken by one of her best friends, Lucille Ball.

She married Art Modell, former owner and president of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, in 1969. She retired from acting at that time and immersed herself in her family and community improvement.

In Cleveland, Mrs. Modell served on the board at Ursuline College and was active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Cleveland Musical Arts Association, the Cleveland Ballet, the Playhouse Square Foundation, and the Cerebral Palsy Association. She actively supported the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and she started and funded, along with her husband, the Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland.

After Art Modell moved his football team to Baltimore in 1996, his wife served on several boards, including: House of Ruth, Gilchrist Hospice, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and The Walters Art Museum. In addition, the Modells contributed money to the St. Vincent's Center and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The Modells also gave $3.5 million to the Lyric Opera House, which was recently renamed the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric.

The Modells pledged $5 million to help start a public boarding school for disadvantaged students. The SEED School, which opened in the Fall of 2008, recruits middle and high school students from around the state. The gift is believed to have been one of the largest private contributions to a single public school in Maryland.

Born in New York, Patricia Modell was the daughter of Edward and Marjorie Breslin. Her father was a Special Sessions Judge in New York City. Monsignor Patrick Breslin, for whom she was named, was Judge Breslin's eldest brother.

Mrs. Modell graduated from the Academy of Mt. St. Ursuline and the College of New Rochelle.

She is survived by her husband, two sons, John and David, and six grandchildren.


SOURCE: http://www.nfl.com/n...art-modell-dies

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#5 LucyImHome

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:48 AM

Question about Mary Jane: I remember seeing her on TV participating in a symposium of some sort for Lucy. From what I remember, she was taking questions from the audience, along with several others, and I'm pretty sure Lucie was hosting it. I think it was shortly before she past away. I don't know what the occasion was or where it took place, but its the only time I've seen MJC interviewed at all. I wish I could see it again.

Is anybody familiar with this or know what I'm refering to?

#6 HarryCarter

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:25 AM

Question about Mary Jane: I remember seeing her on TV participating in a symposium of some sort for Lucy. From what I remember, she was taking questions from the audience, along with several others, and I'm pretty sure Lucie was hosting it. I think it was shortly before she past away. I don't know what the occasion was or where it took place, but its the only time I've seen MJC interviewed at all. I wish I could see it again.

Is anybody familiar with this or know what I'm refering to?


Perhaps you are thinking of one of the Loving Lucy festivals? The We Love Lucy website used to have a clip up of a panel discussion (hosted by Stu Shostak) where Mary Jane did her "Mary Jane" voice.

The only TV interview I know of with Mary Jane is from Good Morning America's weeklong salute to Lucy in 1982 where Mary Jane was one of the commenters.

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#7 Lucyilove

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:18 AM

I think it's terrific you wrote to Madelyn to find a role for Mary Jane. I would have absolutely loved that. I believe Mary Jane and Elliot Lewis were living in Oregon at the time. I swear on eBay a few years ago was a letter from Madelyn to Mary Jane about the possibility of Mary Jane appearing on the show. Your letter had some impact! I wish it could have happened.

Oh wow, I wish I had seen that letter to Mary Jane on ebay! I'm glad to know Madelyn did actually contact Mary Jane about possibly being on the show, her letter to me didn't really state it might be considered. Madelyn's letter is dated October 16th (I still have it of course!) I guess I wrote earlier that month. although it may have been too late at that point given the show's short run for anything to come of it.
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#8 LucyImHome

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:58 AM

Perhaps you are thinking of one of the Loving Lucy festivals? The We Love Lucy website used to have a clip up of a panel discussion (hosted by Stu Shostak) where Mary Jane did her "Mary Jane" voice.

The only TV interview I know of with Mary Jane is from Good Morning America's weeklong salute to Lucy in 1982 where Mary Jane was one of the commenters.


I went to the We Love Lucy Website, and determined Mary Jane was at the '97, '98 & '99 Loving Lucy Festivals. It must have been here where I saw the footage of her. Now there's several pictures of her, but the videos don't play anymore. :( Thankyou for helping me figure out what I was looking for, though!

#9 Mot Morenzi

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:59 PM

Love Mary Jane! She certainly did a good job taking over Viv's duties on The Lucy Show/Here's Lucy.

But she's also a much more versatile actress than is commonly remembered. Her role as Daisy Enright on Our Miss Brooks was a great haughty foil to Connie Brooks, rather reminiscent of her Cynthia Harcourt appearance on I Love Lucy, and VERY different from the Mary Jane Lewis role she'd do a decade later.

#10 vivfantoo*

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:20 AM

I agree, VBagley, Mary Jane did a wonderful job as Lucy's friend & neighbor after Viv left the show. I'll have to watch for her in other roles; I've only ever seen her on Lucy's shows.

#11 Lucyilove

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:02 AM

Thanks for remembering the birthday of the wonderful Mary Jane Croft :maryjane2: LUCY LOUNGE!!
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#12 HarryCarter

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:28 AM

There's a letter from Mary Jane to a fan from 1984 on eBay right now. In it she says she's "about to plunge back into television." I wonder if she actually did have plans to go back to TV. It's a shame she didn't.

Mary Jane letter

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#13 Brock

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:58 AM

There's a letter from Mary Jane to a fan from 1984 on eBay right now. In it she says she's "about to plunge back into television." I wonder if she actually did have plans to go back to TV. It's a shame she didn't.

Mary Jane letter


That's a very interesting letter. I wonder what would have been Mary Jane's all time dream role. I have always wondered that, actually. Gale often said that it would have been his "ultimate" to have a crack at playing a "Western heavy", which was pretty surprising. Mary Jane could have done anything she set her mind to.

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#14 Neil

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:06 AM

That's a very interesting letter. I wonder what would have been Mary Jane's all time dream role. I have always wondered that, actually. Gale often said that it would have been his "ultimate" to have a crack at playing a "Western heavy", which was pretty surprising. Mary Jane could have done anything she set her mind to.


How about Mary Jane replacing Olivia deHavilland (replacing Joan Crawford) in "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte"?

Or replacing Olivia (again) in "Lady in a Cage"? She could have used her line on Ann Sothern/Sade: "Is she still in that closet??"

My complaint about her Lucy Show/Here's Lucy role is that they didn't flesh out her character enough. Except for "Mary Jane's Boyfriend" I can't think of a plot she was pivotal to. It would have been great if there had been a little conflict with the Lucy character like the Lucy/Viv fights. For instance in "Bean Queen", she could have complained about sitting in Lucy's empty apartment all alone while the plot thickened without her.

#15 HarryCarter

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:26 AM

How about Mary Jane replacing Olivia deHavilland (replacing Joan Crawford) in "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte"?


Mr. Mooney seems to think she's more the Baby Jane type.

My complaint about her Lucy Show/Here's Lucy role is that they didn't flesh out her character enough. Except for "Mary Jane's Boyfriend" I can't think of a plot she was pivotal to. It would have been great if there had been a little conflict with the Lucy character like the Lucy/Viv fights. For instance in "Bean Queen", she could have complained about sitting in Lucy's empty apartment all alone while the plot thickened without her.


Mary Jane most definitely should have been given more to do. There are a few episodes where she is officially Lucy's sidekick like "Lucy and Sheldon Leonard" and "The Not-So-Popular Mechanics." She does stand up to Lucy in "Lucy and the Franchise Fiasco" and, as Brock wrote in another thread, seems more like Audrey Simmons.

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#16 Neil

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:27 AM

She does stand up to Lucy in "Lucy and the Franchise Fiasco" and, as Brock wrote in another thread, seems more like Audrey Simmons.


Audrey Simmons was the Carolyn Appleby of Danfield, don't you think?

#17 LucyImHome

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:19 AM

Audrey Simmons was the Carolyn Appleby of Danfield, don't you think?


Actually, Audrey seemed to me a continuation of Betty Ramsey. But I suppose Carolyn, also.

#18 Annaleigh

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:51 AM

Random comment but, I must say I love her hair, especially in the '60s. Doesn't look as though it was a wig either.

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#19 Brock

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:34 PM

Radio promo shots for Meet Corliss Archer featuring Mary Jane and Janet Waldo:

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#20 Will

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:42 PM

I agree Mary Jane wasn't used enough. I just love Mary Jane's Boyfriend. It is a realistic, funny show. Mary Jane does great in it. Lucy and Sheldon Lenord had Mary Jane filling Viv's shoes the most and is hilarious. "Why do we have to dress up like trick or treat?" She was great also iN Lucy Meets the President.




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