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The Mary Jane Croft Appreciation Thread

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A General Service Studios reference, circa 1960 - how cool! (And rehearsal footage of the hunky Nelson brothers in tights practicing a trapeze act.... nice! 😱)

So what of the writing credits? Not unusual especially in episodic television for there to be multiple writers credited, some only for story (especially if they're "new" writers as they may have been here:  Bensfield & Grant went on to write many varied sitcom episodes, from "The Andy Griffith Show" to "One Day at a Time", "The Partridge Family", "I Dream of Jeannie" and even an episode ('Lucy and the Submarine') of "The Lucy Show".  Looks like TAOOAH was their first big "gig" where they worked on many of the over 200+ episodes, but it appears more in the capacity of story editors rather than authors of entire teleplays, which would explain why they got "story by" credit here. 

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I found it amazing that Mary Jane Croft did more episodes as Clara Randolph on Ozzie and Harriet than she did as Mary Jane Lewis on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy combined.  (75 O&H's, 65 TLS/HL's as Mary Jane; 8 more as Audrey Simmons, according to IMDB).    She did O&H for TEN years 1956 to 1966 so it was simultaneous to Betty Ramsey, Audrey and (for one season 65-66) Mary Jane Lewis.  The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet ran a staggering 14 years.  "Adventures" is a bit of an over-sell, but there's something charmingly innocent about their pre-Seinfeld 'show about nothing' approach.   Even the picture-perfect Nelsons were not immune for the unavoidable tragedies of life later on.  

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