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The Parent Trap (1961)

Is there a Baby Boomer male who didn’t have a crush on Hayley Mills back in the early 60’s?

If there was, he probably never saw her in her magnum opus, The Parent Trap.

The film trades on the extremely popular, but probably psychologically unhealthy fantasy of a lot of divorced kids that they can somehow get their parents back together again.

In this case, the too dumb for their own good ‘rents are played by Brian Keith (who owns every young girl’s fantasy of a California horse ranch) and Maureen O’Hara (who inhabits no one’s fantasy of a stuffy Boston home, relieved only by Charlie Ruggles as a grandfather with a permanent twinkle in his eye).

In The Parent Trap, their kids are both Hayley Mills (or Hayley and her body double, Susan Henning) as twins who were separated at birth by their idiot parents.

Read more: The Parent Trap (1961)

6 Things You Didn’t Know About “Leave It to Beaver”

Why did June Cleaver always wear high heels & pearls when performing household chores? The heels actually started in the second season – and for a very good reason. Her boys were growing taller and producers wanted June to maintain a height advantage over Wally & the Beaver to reinforce her role as mother.

The pearls were Barbara Billingsley’s idea and for a very good reason. She had a surgical scar at the base of her neck that she didn’t like. The pearls hid the scar.

Was Beaver ever in Viet Nam? Despite the rumor that somehow spread from coast-to-coast, Jerry Mathers was never in Viet Nam. He tried enlisting in the Marines, but they turned him down because they thought they’d get too much negative publicity if they sent him overseas and he died. So, Mathers ultimately enlisted in the Air National Guard and spent his service time in the United States.

 

Does one of the cast actually have a piece of art in the Louvre? Yes! Tony Dow, who played Wally, is also a sculptor and one of his pieces has indeed been on display in that most famous of art galleries.

Was Eddie Haskell actually an L.A. traffic cop? Again, yes! Actor Ken Osmond transitioned to L.A. police force following the end of the original run of Leave It to Beaver. He was shot 3 times in the line of duty and was saved by his body armor.

Did Jerry Mathers also play Little Ricky on I Love Lucy? This is also true, but with a qualifier. Mathers appeared in only one episode as Little Ricky and it was during a fantasy sequence Lucy was dreaming about. It’s a season 3 episode called “Ricky’s Old Girlfriend,” where Lucy dreams her husband has left her and her child for an old flame. Mathers did not receive an on-screen credit for the part.

KRAMDEN VS. FLINTSTONE

The popular 1960s cartoon The Flintstones became a hit around the world but was not well received by one of television’s most iconic actors of all time, Jackie Gleason. According to Alan Reed Jr. (son of Alan Reed, who voiced Fred Flintstone), The Flintstones was inspired by The Honeymooners, Fred taking on the short-tempered and overbearing characteristics of Gleason’s vociferous Ralph Kramden while Barney’s rather goofy nature was modeled on Art Carney’s Ed Norton.

Gleason was none too pleased that the modern stone-age family was patterned after his beloved show and contemplated suing the creators of the cartoon. Although Gleason’s lawyers informed the actor that he could have The Flintstones canceled, they cautioned him that he would be known as “the guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air.” Understanding that many children and parents would be saddened, Gleason ultimately decided to let bygones be bygones.

TV That Time Forgot: I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster (1962)

A wild sitcom that lasted only a single season, but should have lasted longer, I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster had a talented cast. John Astin was Harry Dickens while Marty Ingels played Arch Fenster, two borderline incompetent carpenters. Emmaline Henry appeared as Dickens’ wife, Kate.

Other series regulars were the construction crew that joined the title character on jobs:  Frank DeVol as Myron Bannister, David Ketchum as Mel Warshaw, Henry Beckman as Bob Mulligan, and Noam Pitlik as Bentley. Notable guest stars who appeared during the show’s brief run included Harvey Korman, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Meriwether and Yvonne Craig.

The show debuted in September of 1962 on ABC in what should have been a very cushy spot between The Flintstones and 77 Sunset Strip. The show was also filmed before a live audience, which was unusual at that time for a show that didn’t feature a well-known star (like Lucille Ball). Alas, the show ran opposite Sing Along with Mitch on NBC and Route 66 on CBS and never attracted enough of an audience for the network to greenlight a second season.

All the principals went on to greater glory. Astin, of course, became famous as Gomez Addams, Ingels had a lucrative career doing voices for Saturday morning cartoon series (and marrying Shirley Jones) and Emmaline Henry was regularly seen on I Dream of Jeannie as the wife of Dr. Bellows. She was also slated to become a regular on Three’s Company when she passed away at the young age of 50.

Despite it lasting only one season, a DVD set of 16 of the show’s 32 episodes is now

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