1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 3 (USA)
Before it became a successful sitcom on television, The Aldrich Family had been a long-running and popular radio show (1939 – 1953). While the radio show aired for 14 years, the TV series (which ran concurrently with the radio programme) lasted only three and a half years.
The NBC TV series debuted on 2 October 1949 and centred on a typical, middle-class American family – the Aldriches – primarily focussing on the adolescent problems of the Aldriches teenage son, Henry.
The series was set in the fictional town of Centerville, where the family lived on Elm Street (what a nightmare!).
Each episode began with the introduction that had become most famous on radio. Henry’s mother would call “Hen-reeee . . . Henry Aldrich!” and Henry’s squeaky adolescent voice would call back, “Coming Mother!”.
No fewer than five actors played Henry Aldrich, while three different actresses played Henry’s sister, Mary, and three other actresses played his mother, Alice.
If that wasn’t confusing enough for viewers, Lois Wilson (one of the women who played Mrs Aldrich) also appeared as Henry’s Aunt Harriet when she wasn’t playing his mother!
Henry’s father, Sam Aldrich, was played by House Jameson, who had also played the part in the radio series. Also from the radio show was Jackie Kelk, playing Sam’s best friend, Homer Brown. Marcia Henderson played Henry’s girlfriend, Kathleen.
The show (like the radio series before it) was based on the hit Broadway play What A Life, by Clifford Goldsmith. The final episode of the TV series aired on 29 May 1953.
Robert Casey (1)
Richard Tyler (2)
Henry Girard (3)
Kenneth Nelson (4)
Bobby Ellis (5)
Charita Bauer (1)
Mary Malone (2)
June Dayton (3)
Mrs Alice Aldrich
Lois Wilson (1)
Nancy Carroll (2)
Barbara Robbins (3)
Mr Sam Aldrich