Home Television Comedy How to Marry a Millionaire

How to Marry a Millionaire

1 9 5 7 – 1 9 5 9 (USA)
52 x 30 minute episodes

Three beautiful young women hoping to snare wealthy husbands set up housekeeping in a swank New York apartment that they can barely afford.

How to Marry a Millionaire was one of the first TV sitcoms to be adapted from a hit movie, a practice that would eventually become quite commonplace. The series tried to emulate the success of the 1953 film without enlisting the services of original stars Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe.

Savvy Mike (Merry Anders) works in a stockbroker’s office, while Greta (Lori Nelson) is employed as a hostess on a $64,000 Question–style television quiz show called Go for Broke, seen on the United Telecasters network.

Beautiful, kindhearted and naive Loco (Barbara Eden, who would go on to become famous as the star of I Dream of Jeannie) is pursuing a modelling career, but without her glasses, she is so nearsighted that she can’t distinguish between the elevator button and the fire alarm, and reads the girls’ bank balance as $1038 when it’s actually $10.38. Still, she instinctively takes them off upon hearing a male voice – even if it’s only on the phone.

Always short on money, the girls sometimes find that they can charm store owners into extending their credit. From time to time they develop a new scheme to stay afloat, as in the episode ‘Subletting the Apartment’ where the girls rent daytime access to their penthouse (Apartment G) to a trio of musicians playing nighttime gigs at a local club.

When the three friends *do* meet millionaires – as happens in almost every episode – they invariably manage to queer the pitch in one way or another.

A moderate success during its initial run, the show was renewed to return for an abbreviated second season but did so without Lori Nelson, who quit in a huff. Greta was said to have married a gas station owner and moved to California, and Lisa Gaye joined the cast as Gwen Kirby.

Greta Hanson
Lori Nelson
Mike McCall
Merry Anders
Loco Jones
Barbara Eden
Gwen Kirby
Lisa Gaye