1 9 6 1 – 1 9 6 6 (USA)
134 x 30 minute episodes
This primetime American sitcom was based on a series of cartoons in the Saturday Evening Post (drawn by Ted Key) and starred Academy Award-winning actress Shirley Booth as housekeeper Hazel Burke.
123 Marshall Road, Hydsberg, New York, was the residence of the Baxter family: George (Don DeFoe) – who Hazel called “Mr B” – an attorney with the firm of Butterworth, Hatch and Noell, his wife, Dorothy (Whitney Blake), their son, Harold (Bobby Buntrock).
George was always in control of everything at the office but almost nothing at home.
When he returned home from the office, he entered the world of Hazel. She ran the Baxter household more efficiently than George ran his office.
She was always right, knew exactly what needed doing, and pre-empted his authority with alarming, though justified, regularity.
Herbert (Donald Foster) and Harriet (Norma Varden) Johnson were the Baxter’s nutty neighbours, a very naive retired couple. Smiley was the family dog.
Occasionally appearing were Cathy Lewis as George’s sister, Deirdre Thompson; Robert P Lieb as Harry Thompson (Deirdre’s henpecked husband); Maudie Prickett as Hazel’s friend Rosie, also a domestic; and Howard Smith as Harvey Griffin, one of George’s clients.
When the show moved from NBC to CBS in 1965, the series got a new theme and Hazel worked for a new family of supporting cast players.
325 Sycamore Street, Hydsberg, New York, was the residence of Steve Baxter (Ray Fulmer), George’s younger brother (a real-estate salesman), his wife, Barbara (Lynn Borden) and their daughter, Susie (Julia Benjamin).
Viewers were told that George had been transferred to Saudi Arabia on business, forcing him and Dorothy to relocate and leave Harold in the care of Steve and Barbara to prevent interference with his education.
Hazel became their maid, and stories follow the original format, with Steve plagued by Hazel’s intervention in his business affairs.
Also added to the regular cast were Mala Powers as Mona Williams, a friend of Barbara’s, and Ann Milian as Steve’s secretary, Millie.
Robert P Lieb
Robert B. Williams