For a show that lasted only a single season, a surprising number of Baby Boomers remember the situation comedy My Living Doll. Perhaps that’s because once seen, Julie Newmar cannot easily be forgotten.
The situation was simple. Newmar was a sophisticated robot (who would still be sophisticated by today’s standards). Originally label "AF 760," she was supposed to be a secret Air Force Project. But her creator decided he was not going to turn her over to themilitary. Instead, she was placed in the care of his friend, a psychiatrist (Bob Cummings) when her creator was transferred overseas. The doctor then tried to teach the robot, who he named Rhoda, how to emulate a human female while also keeping her true nature a secret. Along for the ride were the psychiatrist’s sister (Doris Dowling), who lived with the pair so the neighbors wouldn’t gossip (those were the days) and a horny neighbor and co-worker named Peter Robinson (Jack Mullaney) who had the hots for the robot without knowing she was just a machine.
Each week, Newmar’s robot was placed in situations like a blind date, a wedding proposal, a beauty pageant, etc. that threatened to expose her decidedly unhuman nature.
Julie's training as a dancer (and her 6-foot, leggy figure) helped audience believe she was the mechanical marvel she was portraying. Her acting ability turned a character who was supposed to be devoid of emotion into someone the audience rooted for.
(What was really unbelievable about the show was the fact that her caretaker was so much of a wolf in public, yet never even allowed the robot to strip naked in private.)
But with My Living Doll, the real drama was taking place off camera.