Home Television Comedy Private Secretary

Private Secretary

1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 7 (USA)
107 x 30 minute episodes

This CBS comedy debuted on 12 September 1954 with platinum movie queen Ann Sothern (who was shot on television from the waist up, reportedly to obscure her less regal proportions below) playing Susie McNamara, private secretary to the founder of International Artists Inc – a talent agency located in Suite 2201 on the 22nd floor of a building at 10 East 56th Street in New York City – to whom she served up many an important contract as well as perfect cups of mid-morning coffee.

Susie’s main job requirement seemed to be getting her boss, Peter Sands (Don Porter – later the television father of Gidget) out of embarrassing situations.

His arch-rival in the business world was fast-talking, loudmouthed, cigar-smoking Cagey Calhoun (Jesse White). Violet (“Vi”) Praskins (Ann Tyrrell) was the agency’s receptionist and switchboard operator.

Gloria Winters appeared as Susie’s niece, Patty, and Alma Townsend was Peter’s mother, Mrs Sands.

The show closed on 10 September 1957 and on 6 October, The Ann Sothern Show began, with the star performing similar turns – this time as Katy O’Connor, assistant manager of the Bartley House Hotel in New York.

At first, her boss was played by Ernest Truex, then by Don Porter again, who turned up as Katy’s new boss, Mr Devery.

Susie McNamara
Ann Sothern
Peter Sands

Don Porter
Vi Praskins

Ann Tyrrell
Cagey Calhoun

Jesse White
Bailey Thornton

Gerald Mohr
Sylvia Platt

Joan Banks
Ben Moss

George E. Stone
Tommy Simpson

Joseph Corey
Scotty

Paul Smith
Blanche Colvey

Hillary Brooke
Tyler Boone

Charles Nolte
Patty
Gloria Winters
Mrs Sands
Alma Townsend