1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 2 (USA)
93 x 30 minute episodes
Ann Sothern, an important film actress in the 1930s and 1940s, was one of the first Hollywood stars to have a popular situation comedy series on television.
Private Secretary was on the air from September 1954 until September 1957, when Sothern decided to change the format of her series and changed its name to The Ann Sothern Show.
On her new show, Ann played an entirely different character. Private Secretary Susie McNamara became Katy O’Connor, an assistant manager at the plush Bartley House Hotel at 36 East 56th Street in Manhattan, New York City.
Other regular characters included Katy’s henpecked boss, Jason Macauley (Ernest Truex); his domineering wife, Flora (Reta Shaw); Katy’s Greenwich Village roommate and best friend Olive Smith (Ann Tyrell); bell-hops Johnny Wallace (Jack Mullaney) and Woodrow ‘Woody’ Hamilton (Ken Berry); dashing desk clerk Paul Martine (Jacques Scott); hotel dentist Dr Delbert Gray (Louis Nye); and Oscar Pudney (Jess White).
In 1959, Jason and Flora were transferred to the Calcutta Bartley House.
Hotel owner Tom Bartley Sr (Lester Matthews) then hired James Arlington Devery (Don Porter) to manage the hotel. He became Katy’s love interest.
Both Don Porter and Ann Tyrell had previously appeared with Sothern on Private Secretary.
In fact, most people considered the series a continuation of Private Secretary, even though the settings and character’s names were different – and after watching Ann playing what they felt was the same role, the viewing audience began to lose interest in the format after nine years, and The Ann Sothern Show was cancelled.
Ann Sothern was plagued with health problems in later years and died at her Idaho home in 2001. She was 92.
Dr Delbert Gray
Woodrow ‘Woody’ Hamilton
Tom Bartley Sr