Shirley Mitchell (November 4, 1919 – November 11, 2013) was an American radio, film, and television actress.
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Shirley Mitchell (November 4, 1919 – November 13, 2013) was an American radio, film, and television actress.
Mitchell was born in Toledo, Ohio, and attended the University of Toledo and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
After moving to Chicago, she appeared in the network broadcast of The First Nighter and played small parts in various soap operas including The Story of Mary Marlin and The Road of Life. After she relocated to to Los Angeles, she played opposite Joan Davis in The Sealtest Village Store. She also starred as Louella in The Life of Riley and joined the cast of Fibber McGee and Molly as Alice Darling in 1943. Her most prominent radio role was that of the charismatic Southern belle Leila Ransom on The Great Gildersleeve radio show beginning in September 1942.
In 1953, Mitchell joined the cast of CBS's I Love Lucy playing the part of Lucy Ricardo's friend with the funny laugh, Marion Strong. She is the only recurring adult cast member still living following the deaths of Doris Singleton in 2012 and Peggy Rea in 2011. In 1962, she played Janet Colton in thirteen episodes of another CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams, with Peter Leeds cast as her husband, George Colton.
Between 1963-1965 she made five appearances on Perry Mason in minor roles. The most significant of them was in the 1965 episode, "The Case of the Carefree Coronary," when she played Marilyn David, wife of murder victim Jack David. In 1964 she played the role of murder victim Elizabeth Bain, though her character was only heard, in "The Case of the Woeful Widower."
From 1965 to 1967, she appeared as neighbor Marge Thornton on NBC's Please Don't Eat the Daisies. In the same year she appeared in Episode 13, Season 2 of The Dick Van Dyke Show, when she played Shirley Rogers opposite Bob Crane as Harry Rogers in "Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra." In 1963, she appeared on the television program The Beverly Hillbillies as Opal Clampett (the wife of Jake Clampett, an out-of-work actor). In 1966, she appeared in Green Acres as a nurse and as Oliver Wendell Douglas's old friend, Wanda. Between 1967 and 1968, she portrayed Kate Bradley's cousin, Mae Belle Jennings, on Petticoat Junction. In 1968, she appeared in the Season 1 finale of The Doris Day Show as Mrs. Loomis, a woman who accuses Billy of stealing $5.00 from her purse after she dropped it.
In 1972, she was the voice of Laurie Holiday on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, The Roman Holidays.
In 1994, Mitchell voiced Queen Sneezle-bee in Playtoons No. 4: The Mandarin Prince.
In 2012, she voiced Betty White in the MAD episode, "Betty White & the Huntsman / Ancient Greek Mythbusters".
In 2013, she was a guest star in Poetry Contest: Poems in History.
In 1992, she married songwriter Jay Livingston and the two remained married until his death in 2001. She was previously married to Julian Frieden with whom she had two children.
In 2007, she appeared at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards where Lucille Ball was posthumously awarded the 'Legacy of Laughter' award.
Shirley died on 11/13/2013 at the age of 94. She is the last cast member of I Love Lucy to pass on.
University of Toledo & University of Michigan
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Radio, film, and television actress
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