1 9 6 1 – 1 9 6 2 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes
Gertrude Berg, who became well known to viewers as Molly Goldberg on The Goldbergs in the late 1940s – early 1950s, returned to television in 1961 as the star of her own new show on CBS.
Similar to The Goldbergs (which Berg both wrote and starred in), Berg played a Jewish woman – this time, named Sarah Green (an older and more worldly version of Molly Goldberg).
Sarah – called ‘Mrs G’ by her friends – was a matronly widow who decided in her declining years that she wanted to be better educated, and enrolled in college.
Her daughter, Susan (Marion Ross) tried to talk her out of it, her English professor (Cedric Hardwicke) and chemistry professor (Peter Lorre) tried to dissuade her, and the comments from fellow Freshmen (who were more than 40 years her junior) threatened to break her spirit, but her thirst for knowledge prevailed.
Sarah lived in a boarding house managed by a crusty and salty-tongued landlady named Winona “Maxie” Maxfield (Mary Wickes).
Fellow Freshman Joe Caldwell (Skip Ward) was an 18-year-old who also lived at Maxie’s boarding house and became Sarah’s friend and confidante.
Also appearing in the series in regular roles were Karyn Kupcinet as Joe’s girlfriend, Carol; Paul Smith as psychology professor George Howell; and Aneta Corsault as his wife, Irma. The Howell’s lived with their baby among the students in the boarding house.
There was constant competition for the only payphone in the house. When Mrs G got to use the phone (situated in the hallway) it was either to talk to her daughter, Susan, or her sister Dora in Daytona, Florida.
Originally titled Mrs G Goes To College, the show’s name was changed after a few months to capitalise on Gertrude Berg’s well-known name.
Gertrude Berg passed away only four years after the show’s demise. She died of heart failure at the age of 67.
Karyn Kupcinet – the daughter of Chicago newspaper and television journalist Irv Kupcinet – was murdered on Thanksgiving Day 1963, a case that has remained one of Hollywood’s unsolved mysteries ever since.
Winona ‘Maxie’ Maxfield