Sunday, November 1, 2015

Remembering Emmaline

Marty Ingels and John Astin, flanking Emmaline.
Even on a show never overburdened with subtlety, Amanda Bellows was hardly a low-key character. But that was part of what made her appearances on I Dream of Jeannie so much fun.

Actress Emmaline Henry, born on this date in 1928, first came to public attention playing John Astin's wife in the short-lived ABC sitcom I'm Dickens...He's Fenster (which I covered in Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television). She played another sitcom spouse on Mickey Rooney's show in 1964. But it was the forceful, slightly spoiled, and comically frustrated Mrs. Bellows that would provide her most memorable TV role. She was cast in that recurring gig in Jeannie's second season, after playing an unrelated guest part in a previous episode.

Emmaline's television success was cut short when she died of cancer in 1979, only 50 years old. She had recently played Chrissy's boss on Three's Company, and it could have easily become another popular recurring role for the talented actress. But we weren't that fortunate, nor was she. It's nice to know that we can still enjoy her comic chops in reruns.

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