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"Farm living is the life for me."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

GREEN ACRES

Green Acres is an American sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as a couple who move from New York City to a country farm. Produced by Filmways as a sister show to Petticoat Junction, the series was first broadcast on CBS, from September 15th, 1965, to April 27th, 1971. All episodes were filmed in color. The 1997 the two-part episode "A Star Named Arnold Is Born" was ranked #59 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time.

In 1950 the CBS radio network aired an eight-episode summer series titled The Granby's Green Acres. The comedy show was created by Jay Sommers, who also wrote, produced, and directed.

The principal characters, a married couple, John and Martha Granby, played by Bea Benaderet and Gale Gordon, (top left) were inspired by characters (Mr. and Mrs. Atterbury) heard on the Lucille Ball show, "My Favorite Husband." Louise Erickson played Janice, the Granbys' daughter, and Parley Baer played Eb, the farm's hired hand (top right). The nearby feed store is operated by the absent-minded Will Kimble, who was played by Howard McNear in the first episode and by Horace Murphy in subsequent broadcasts. Bob LeMond was the announcer, and Opie Cates was the music director.

The Granby's premise was that a big-city banker fulfills a lifelong dream by moving his family to a run-down farm, despite knowing nothing about farming. The show's creator, Jay Sommers, based its concept on memories of time he spent as a boy on a farm near Greendale, New York. His stepfather went broke trying to make the farm successful. In 1948, Granby's Green Acres was auditioned for a slot on ABC with Hanley Stafford originally set to star. Of the eight episodes that aired, five remain in existence, as does the unaired pilot episode.

Although Granby's Green Acres was not transferred directly to television, as were many old-time radio programs, it provided the inspiration for Green Acres. Following the success of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction, CBS offered producer Paul Henning another half-hour slot on the schedule, without requiring a pilot episode. Faced with running three shows, Henning asked Petticoat writer Sommers to create a series for the time slot. Sommers proposed reviving Granby's Green Acres. In pre-production, proposed titles were Country Cousins and The Eddie Albert Show. Sommers would go on to write and produce about one-third of the episodes of Green Acres that was set in the same universe as Henning's Petticoat Junction witch starred Bea Benaderet, which ment Benaderet's old radio show had become a spinoff of her television show. Being in the same universe as Petticoat Junction Green Acres shared many of the same characters including Joe Carson, Fred and Doris Ziffel, Sam Drucker, Newt Kiley, and Floyd Smoot as well as locations including Pixley, Crabwell Corners, Stankwell Falls and of course Hooterville.

The plot of Green Acres festured Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert), an erudite New York City attorney, fulfilling his dream to be a farmer, and Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor), his glamorous Hungarian wife, dragged unwillingly from an upscale Manhattan penthouse apartment to a ramshackle farm.

The debut episode is a mockumentary about their decision to move to a rural area, anchored by former ABC newscaster John Charles Daly. Daly was the host of the CBS game show What's My Line, and a few weeks after the show's debut Albert and Gabor returned the favor by appearing on What's My Line as that episode's Mystery Guests, and publicly thanked Daly for helping to launch their series.

Though many Green Acres episodes were still standard 1960s sitcom fare, the show developed a regular undercurrent of surrealism and satire. The writers soon developed a suite of running jokes and visual gags, and characters often broke the fourth wall to address the audience.

Oliver Wendell Douglas

Much of the humor derives from Oliver's striving toward success and happiness in an absurd situation, despite the rural citizenry, his high-maintenance wife Lisa, and his affluent mother (Eleanor Audley) who regularly ridicules him for his agricultural pipe-dreams.

Oliver is subject to ribbing by the townsfolk when he performs farming chores dressed in a three-piece suit, and when he launches into starry-eyed monologues about "the American farmer" - replete with a fife playing "Yankee Doodle" in the background (which every on-screen character except Oliver can hear).

He drives a late-model Lincoln Continental convertible, a stark contrast to the ramshackle vehicles generally shown.

Eddie Albert was a circus trapeze flier before becoming a stage and radio actor. He made his film debut in 1938 and has worked steadily since, often cast as the friendly, good-natured buddy of the hero but occasionally being cast as a villain; one of his most memorable roles was as the cowardly, glory-seeking army officer in Robert Aldrich's World War 2 film, Attack (1956).

Eddie Albert's television career is the earliest of any other performer. It began years before electronic television was introduced to the public. In June of 1936 Eddie appeared in RCA/NBC's first private live performance for their radio licensees in New York City. This was very early experimental all electronic television system. Due to the primitive nature of these early cameras it was necessary for him to apply heavy make-up and endure tremendous heat from studio lighting. The basic makeup was green toned with purple lipstick for optimal image transmission by RCA's iconoscope pick up cameras. Since television was experimental Eddie Albert applied his own make-up and even wrote the script for this performance. For more visit our Eddie Albert Trivaography Who's Who Biography page.

Lisa Douglas

Lisa and Oliver are both veterans of World War II, respectively a member of the Hungarian underground and a United States Army Air Forces flier.

Lisa's skewed world view and domestic ignorance provide fertile ground for recurring gags. Much of her early life was lived in Hungary, where she grew up pampered in a wealthy family. Instead of washing dishes, Lisa sometimes tosses them out the kitchen window (a gag also used by Phyllis Diller in The Pruitts of Southampton). In the episode "Alf and Ralph Break Up", Lisa admits that she has no cooking abilities and says her only talent is her Zsa Zsa Gabor imitation (the real-life sisters were often mistaken for one another).

Oliver and Lisa are both depicted as fish out of water; however, while Oliver instigated the move from Manhattan to Hooterville over Lisa's objections, Lisa more naturally fits into the illogic of their neighbors while quickly assimilating to their quirky, offbeat surroundings. Oliver, while eager to fit in, is often at a loss to grasp the surreal situations.

Eva Gabor (February 11th, 1919 - July 4th, 1995) was a Hungarian-American actress, businesswoman, singer, and socialite. Her elder sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were also actresses and socialites.

Gabor was born in Budapest, Hungary, the youngest of three daughters of Vilmos Gabor (died 1962), a soldier, and his wife Jolie (1896–1997), a jeweler. Her parents were both from Hungarian Jewish families. She was the first of the sisters to immigrate to the US, shortly after her first marriage, to a Swedish osteopath, Dr. Eric Drimmer, whom she married in 1937 when she was 18 years old. Her first movie role was in the 1941 action film "Forced Landing" for Paramount Pictures. During the 1950s she appeared in several feature films, including The Last Time I Saw Paris, starring Elizabeth Taylor; and Artists and Models, which featured Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. In 1953, she was given her own television talk show, The Eva Gabor Show, which ran for one season (1953–54). Through the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s she appeared on television and in movies including a remake of My Man Godfrey, Gigi and It Started with a Kiss.

Gabor was best known for her television role on Green Acres but Gabor was also a successful businesswoman, marketing wigs, clothing and beauty products. Gabor later did voice-over work for Disney movies, providing the European-accented voices of Duchess in The Aristocats (1970), and Miss Bianca in The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990), as well as the Queen of Time in the English version of the Japanese film Nutcracker Fantasy (1979).

She was a panelist on the Gene Rayburn-hosted Match Game and in 1983 reunited with Eddie Albert on Broadway as the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina in You Can't Take It with You. She later toured post-communist Hungary after a 40-year absence on an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Gabor was married five times, but had no children. Her first husband was Dr. Eric Valdemar Drimmer (1937 - 1942). She was married to Charles Isaacs, an American investment broker, from 1943 to 1949). Her third husband was John Elbert Williams, MD, a plastic surgeon (1956 - 1957). She married Richard Brown, a textile manufacturer, who later became a writer and director, in 1959. They divorced in 1973. Her final marriage was to Frank Gard Jameson Sr., an aerospace executive and former vice president of Rockwell International (1973 - 1983). Gabor became a stepmother to Jameson's four children.

Gabor also had a long term on-and off affair with actor Glenn Ford which began during the filming of Don’t Go Near the Water in 1957. They dated between their marriages and almost married in the early 1970s.

After her final marriage, Gabor was involved in a relationship with TV producer Merv Griffin until her death. It was rumored that this was a platonic relationship to hide Griffin's suspected homosexuality. Gabor died in Los Angeles on July 4th, 1995, from respiratory failure and pneumonia, following a fall in a bathtub in Mexico, where she had been on vacation. The youngest Gabor sister, Eva predeceased her elder sisters and her mother. Eldest sister Magda and mother Jolie Gabor both died two years later, in 1997. Elder sister Zsa Zsa died from cardiac arrest on December 18th, 2016.

- The Gabor Sisters: Zsa Zsa, Magda and Eva, in 1955 (Photo Associated Press)

Mr. (Eustace) Haney

Mr. Haney (Pat Buttram) is the oily, dishonest local salesman who originally sold Oliver the Green Acres Farm (previously the Old Haney Place). In the early episodes Haney repeatedly profiteers from Oliver by removing all the farm's basic fittings and equipment (the kitchen sink, bath, stove, cow, tractor, plow, etc.), and selling or renting them back to Oliver at wildly inflated prices. In succeeding episodes Haney invariably arrives on cue every time Oliver needs an item or service, typically accompanied by a custom-made sign for each occasion. Pat Buttram later revealed that Haney's character was inspired by Elvis Presley manager Col. Tom Parker.

Pat Buttram was the son of a circuit-riding Methodist preacher in rural Alabama. He left Alabama a month before his 18th birthday to attend the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. An announcer from radio station WLS was on hand to interview members of the crowd and settled on Buttram as a typical visitor from the South. The interview that followed was anything but typical. He made a hit with his hilarious observations on the fair and was immediately offered a job with the station. This led to a long and happy association with the popular "National Barn Dance" radio program. During those years he met Gene Autry, who took a liking to the young comic and later brought him to Hollywood to replace Smiley Burnette (Burnette was also a resident of Hooterville with a regular role on Petticoat Junction as Charley Pratt).

Together Autry and Buttram made many western films and a television series, The Gene Autry Show (1950), which aired from 1950 until 1956. They remained close friends until Pat's death in 1994.

In 1952 Buttram married actress Sheila Ryan, whom he had met on the set of Mule Train (1950). Over the next 40 years Pat prospered in radio, films and television, making stand-up appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) and lending his vocal talents to many animated television shows and films, including several Walt Disney features. In the early 1960s he revealed a flair for dramatic acting when Alfred Hitchcock tapped him for roles in two The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962) episodes. His big television break came in 1965 with the role of "Mr. Haney" in the long-running CBS comedy Green Acres (1965).

Throughout his career Buttram was in constant demand as a toastmaster and after-dinner speaker, where his agile and sophisticated wit belied his "countrified" appearance. In 1982 he founded the Golden Boot Awards to honor actors, directors, stunt people and other industry professionals who have made significant contributions to the western film genre. Proceeds from the annual event are donated to the Motion Picture Health and Welfare Fund.

Eb Dawson

Eb Dawson (Tom Lester) is the naive, wide-eyed, yet smart-mouthed young farmhand to the Douglases. He habitually addresses the Douglases as "Dad" and "Mom", much to Oliver's consternation.

Tom Lester was born in Laurel, Mississippi, one of two children (both sons) of Pat Lester (1913-2009), a bookkeeper with Gulf Oil, and Mary Sue Lester (1914-2009). In 1948, he became a born-again Christian and got involved in the Baptist church. He graduated from the University of Mississippi, majoring in Chemistry and taught science and biology at a school in Purcell, Oklahoma, before moving to Hollywood.

After moving to Hollywood, Lester met actress Lurene Tuttle, who became his friend and acting coach. She suggested he begin work in the Little Theater, which he did, acting in showcases at the North Hollywood Playhouse.

In the early 1960s Lester performed in a play with CBS producer Paul Henning's daughter Linda Kaye Henning (Betty Jo Bradley of Petticoat Junction), and Lester soon found himself auditioning for the role of Eb Dawson on Green Acres. Lester beat 400 other actors to play the character after a screen test. He says he got the role because he was the only one who could milk a cow in real life since he grew up on a farm in Mississippi.

Lester played the same character (Eb Dawson) on three different series: The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Petticoat Junction (1963) and Green Acres (1965). Even during the height of Green Acres' popularity, Lester lived in a small apartment atop a garage in the San Fernando Valley. Each year during the show's summer hiatus he would travel the country and speak at churches, youth rallies and revival meetings and at one time was part of the Rev. Billy Graham's organization.

Lester appeared in nearly every Green Acres episode between 1965–71, with the exception of the first half in the 1967–68 season when he suffered mononucleosis. The show's explanation for Eb's absence was that he had eloped and was on his honeymoon.

Lester's acting mentor was the late Eddie Albert. Like Eb on the series, Lester referred to actor Eddie Albert as his "surrogate father". When Green Acres was canceled in 1971, Albert and Lester remained close friends and continued to stay in touch until Albert's death in 2005.

After Green Acres Lester has kept busy with his church work, occasional acting jobs and his 250-acre timber farm in Vossburg, Mississippi. In 1997 he was selected as Mississippi's Wildlife Farmer Of The Year.

Fred and Doris Ziffel

Fred Ziffel (Hank Patterson) and his wife Doris (Barbara Pepper 1965–1968, Fran Ryan 1969–1971) are the Douglases' childless elderly neighbors. They have a pig named Arnold, whom they treat as their "son". Fred is a cantankerous old-fashioned farmer who was born during the Grover Cleveland administration. Everything about him is "no-nonsense", except for the fact that his "son" is a pig.

Hank Patterson (1888 - 1975) was an American actor and musician, best known foremost for playing two recurring characters on three television series: the stableman Hank Miller on Gunsmoke and farmer Fred Ziffel on both Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.

Patterson was born in Springville, Alabama, one of seven children. By the 1890s his family had moved to Taylor, Texas, where he spent most of his boyhood and attended school through 8th grade. In 1917 he registered for a World War I draft card in Lubbock County, Texas.

Patterson had intended to be a serious pianist, but he instead became a vaudeville piano player. By the end of the 1920s he moved to California and entered the movie business. His earliest identified screen work was an uncredited appearance in the Roy Rogers' Western film The Arizona Kid (1939). Patterson found plenty of movie work, mainly playing cantankerous types as well as blacksmiths, hotel clerks, farmers, shopkeepers and other townsmen, usually bit roles and character parts in Republic Pictures westerns, and then in popular TV westerns such as The Cisco Kid, The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Lone Ranger, Annie Oakley, Have Gun-Will Travel, Death Valley Days, Maverick, Wagon Train, Daniel Boone, The Virginian, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Bat Masterson and many others. He also guest starred on The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Burke's Law, The Untouchables, My Three Sons, and in later years The Mod Squad and Love, American Style. He also had small cameo appearances in a number of sci-fi movies by Bert I. Gordon: Beginning of the End, The Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the Puppet People, and Earth vs. The Spider.

In 1963 Patterson first appeared in what would become a recurring role as farmer Fred Ziffel on Petticoat Junction, set in the mythical farming community of Hooterville. Characters from Petticoat Junction often also appeared on Green Acres and in 1965 and 1966 Patterson frequently appeared in both shows in the same week in primetime.

The association of Patterson's character with the popular character Arnold, the pet pig whom Fred and his wife Doris treated as a son, ensured Patterson a place in TV history. Arnold attended school, watched TV and was a talented artist, piano player, and actor. He even "talked" (snorted, grunted and squealed) in a language that everyone in Hooterville seemed to understand except Oliver Wendell Douglas.

By the time Patterson was doing Green Acres he was in his late 70s and almost completely deaf, but the producers loved his portrayal so much they worked around his hearing impairment by having the dialogue coach lying on the floor out-of-shot tapping his leg with a yardstick as a cue to speak his line.

Patterson died at age 86 in 1975. His wife Daisy died died four years late, also at age 86. Patterson's great-niece is actress Tea Leoni (Madam Secretary).

Barbara Pepper (1915 - 1969) was an American stage, television, radio, and film actress, best known as the first "Doris Ziffel" on Green Acres. Pepper was born in New York City, the daughter of actor David Mitchell "Dave" Pepper, and his wife, Harrietta S. Pepper. At age 16 she started life in show business with Goldwyn Girls, a musical stock company where she met lifelong friend Lucille Ball during production of Eddie Cantor's Roman Scandals in 1933.

From 1937 to 1943 Barbara was a very prolific actress, appearing in 43 movies, mostly in supporting roles or in minor films, with exceptions being main characters in The Rogues' Tavern and Mummy's Boys, both feature films released in 1936. Among her later film parts were small roles in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and My Fair Lady (1964). She also performed radio parts. In 1943, she married actor Craig Reynolds, and the couple later had two sons. After Reynolds died in 1949 in a California motorcycle accident, Pepper was left to raise their children alone. She never remarried.

After gaining weight, her roles were mostly confined to small character parts on television, including several appearances on I Love Lucy, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Petticoat Junction, The Jack Benny Program and Perry Mason.

A long-time friend of Lucille Ball, Barbara was considered for the role of Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy, but was passed over due to the fact that she was reportedly a drinker. William Frawley ("Fred Mertz") was, likewise, reportedly, a drinker and was already cast. It was felt that having two drinkers in the cast might eventually cause difficulties so they auditioned and found Vivian Vance to play Ethel instead.

She may be best remembered as the first Doris Ziffel on Petticoat Junction in 1964, although her character's name on the "Genghis Keane" episode of Petticoat Junction was Ruth Ziffel. Her role as Doris Ziffel continued on Green Acres from 1965 to 1968, until heart ailments finally forced her to leave the series. Veteran actress Fran Ryan replaced her on Green Acres, which would continue to run for another three years. Her final performance was in Hook, Line & Sinker (1969), in which she played Jerry Lewis's secretary. Pepper died of a coronary thrombosis at age 54 on July 18, 1969, in Panorama City, California.

Fran Ryan (1916 - 2000) was an American character actress featured in television and films. She began performing at the age of six at Oakland's Henry Duffy Theatre. She attended Stanford University for three years, and during World War II was a member of the USO entertaining troops. She performed comedy, singing and acting on stage in California and Chicago, and launched her television career two decades later. Her television debut came in episode 43 of Batman, in 1966, followed by a bit part in Beverly Hillbillies. She also appeared in a 1972 episode of Columbo, Dagger of the Mind, as "uncredited woman at the airport."

Ryan's first supporting cast television role was as Aggie Thompson in the first several episodes of The Doris Day Show. The same season, she was offered the replacement role on the series Green Acres as Doris Ziffel from 1969 to 1971. Ryan replaced Barbara Pepper, who was in poor health and died five months later of heart ailments. Ryan also starred on the long-running TV Western series Gunsmoke during its 20th and final season as Miss Hannah (Cobb). In 1987, she reprised the role of Miss Hannah in the TV movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge.

Ryan played the role of Rosie Carlson in the soap opera Days of Our Lives (1976–1979) and Sister Agatha in General Hospital in 1989. She also did voices for cartoons such as Hong Kong Phooey, Mister T and Little Dracula. She also starred in Sigmund and the Sea Monsters in 1975 as Gertrude Grouch and in the New Zoo Revue as Ms. Goodbody. Her last regular TV role was on The Dave Thomas Comedy Show.

Ryan appeared in many feature films, including Big Wednesday (1978), The Long Riders (1980), Take This Job and Shove It (1981), Pale Rider (1985), Chances Are (1989), and a cameo appearance in 1981's Stripes. Ryan made many guest appearances on TV shows, including Adam-12, CHiPs, Quantum Leap, Night Court, Taxi, Baywatch, and The Commish.

Ryan's first husband, Walter Kenneth Wayne (whom she married in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1949), died in a plane crash, in a plane he was piloting in January 1951, while Fran was pregnant with their first and only child. Fran remarried in January 1953 to Howard Schafer. Howard, too, perished in a plane crash in Oregon in May 1953 in a plane he was piloting. The wreckage of Howard's plane was not discovered until 15 years later in November 1968. The remains of Howard and his passengers were never found. All that was found at the crash site was a woman's shoe, four combs, and two pair of eyeglasses. Ryan died on January 15th, 2000, at age 83.

Arnold Ziffel

Arnold Ziffel is a pig whom the Ziffels treat as a son, understands English, lives indoors, and is pampered. Everyone understands Arnold when he grunts, as if he were speaking English, except Oliver. He is an avid TV watcher and a Western fan, attends the local grade school (carrying his book pack in his mouth), and signs his own name on paper. Only Oliver seems cognizant that Arnold is just livestock, although he frequently slips and begins treating him as a boy. Arnold makes regular appearances throughout the series, often visiting the Douglas home to watch their TV.

Arnold's trainer was Frank Inn (left bottom), a Hollywood legend who trained virtually all of the animals seen in the television comedies of the time period. He was the fellow behind Higgins, the adorable dog from Petticoat Junction who went on to become Benji. He also trained Orangey the cat, the pooch on My Three Sons, Elly May's numerous critters on The Beverly Hillbillies, and so many more.

Inn said that he had to use delicate psychology to train the pigs for Green Acres. Unlike other animals, he explained, a trainer can never force a pig to do anything or reprimand them, or else they will come to dislike the trainer and will not perform for them or even take food from them.

Arnold won three Patsy (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year) Awards for Inn during the 1960s. Arnold was the only cast member to win an award for Green Acres. After losing to Flipper in 1967, he would go on to win three times, beating the likes of Ben the Bear (Gentle Ben) and Clarence the Lion (Daktari).

Arnold was actually played by a piglet, and, since piglets quickly grow into adult pigs, at least one piglet per year had to be trained for the role of Arnold during the six years that the show was in production. In most episodes, Arnold was played by a female piglet because they grow slower and smaller. The piglet was paid $250 per day and had a union contract.

Arnold received a great deal of fan mail from children as well as adults. A class of sixth-graders from Ohio wrote with a pledge to stop eating pork chops. His popularity lead to guest appearances on other series. He turned up on What's My Line and The Joey Bishop Show.

For years, an urban legend circulated stating that Arnold was eaten when production wrapped. Not true! The mistruth was however due to someone who worked on the show, who became so tired of answering questions about Arnold's fate, he made up the sinister barbecue tale.

Inn grew quite attached to Arnold the Pig. When Arnold passed in 1972, at the age of about 7 or 8, he was cremated. Inn kept the urn of Arnolds' ashes with him until his death and left instructions to have Arnold's ashes placed in his casket and buried with him.

The Monroe Brothers

Alf (Sid Melton) and his "brother" Ralph (Mary Grace Canfield) are two quarrelsome carpenters. In the episode that introduces them, Alf confesses that Ralph is actually his sister, and explains they would not get jobs if people knew that she is a woman. The Monroes rarely finish projects, and those that they do complete are disasters, such as the Douglases' bedroom closet's sliding door that is always falling down, their unsuccessful attempts to secure the doorknob to the front door, etc. In one episode, after accidentally sawing Sam Drucker's telephone line at the general store, they splice it back together, although backwards, causing Drucker to listen at the mouthpiece and talk into the receiver. Melton left in 1970 (season four) to do Make Room For Granddaddy, so the writers developed an occasional subplot that involved sister Ralph's attempts to win the affections of "Hanky" Kimball or some other hapless Hooterville bachelor. Alf later returns for Ralph's failed wedding to Kimball.

Sid Melton (1917 - 2011) was an American actor best known for the roles of incompetent carpenter Alf Monroe in Green Acres and as Uncle Charlie Halper, proprietor of the Copa Club, in The Danny Thomas Show and its spin-offs. He appeared in about 140 film and television projects in a career that spanned nearly 60 years. Among his most famous films were Lost Continent with Cesar Romero, The Steel Helmet with Gene Evans and Robert Hutton, The Lemon Drop Kid with Bob Hope, and Lady Sings The Blues with Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. He appeared in flashback on several episodes of The Golden Girls as Salvadore Petrillo, the long-dead husband of Sophia (Estelle Getty) and father of Dorothy (Beatrice Arthur).

Melton made his stage debut in a 1939 touring production of See My Lawyer. Sid's brother Lewis was a screenplay writer in Hollywood which led to Sid being cast as Fingers in Shadow of the Thin Man. During World War II, Melton entertained American soldiers overseas. Sid met screenwriter Aubrey Wisberg, who arranged for him to have a part in his Treasure of Monte Cristo (1949). This was his first film with Lippert Pictures. The studio churned out low-budget films, most of them made in less than a week, and Melton was the comic relief in dozens of them, including Mask of the Dragon and Lost Continent. Other movies included On the Town, The Geisha Boy, The Tunnel of Love, and Blondie Goes to College.

In the late 1950s, he played several small roles in the popular Desilu show The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour and was Captain Midnight's sidekick, Ichabod "Icky" Mudd ("That's Mudd, with two D's"). Other television credits include Dragnet, The Silent Service, M Squad, Gomer Pyle, Adventures of Superman, I Dream of Jeannie and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Mary Grace Canfield (1924 - 2014) was born in Rochester, New York, the second child of Hildegard and Hubert Canfield. She grew up in Pittsford, New York. She had an elder sister, Constance, who was two years older.

Acting mostly in small theatre companies and regional theatre, between 1952 and 1964 she appeared in several Broadway plays, although most ran for no more than a month. Her Broadway credits include The Waltz of the Toreadors and The Frogs of Spring.

Canfield's first credited performance on television was in March 1954, when she portrayed Frances in the episode "Native Dancer" on Goodyear Playhouse. After making additional television appearances, she played a housekeeper, Amanda Allison, in the ABC sitcom The Hathaways during the 1961-62 season. As Thelma Lou's "ugly" cousin in an episode of CBS's The Andy Griffith Show, she had an arranged blind date with Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors. Her name on that episode was her actual name, Mary Grace. The episode was originally scheduled to air on November 25th, 1963 but it was preempted by the coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy three days earlier.

Canfield was best known for her recurring role on Green Acres as Ralph Monroe, the all-thumbs carpenter who greeted her fellow Hootervillians with her signature "Howdy Doody!" She appeared in more than 40 episodes of the show during its six-season run from 1965 to 1971. She reprised the role in the 1990 TV movie Return to Green Acres. Recalling the Ralph character in a 2006 interview, she stated, "To be remembered for Ralph kind of upsets me, only in the sense that it was so easy and undemanding." She added, "It's being known for something easy to do instead of something you worked hard to achieve."

Canfield also guest starred on the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour. In 1966, she played Abner Kravitz's sister, Harriet, on four episodes of Bewitched. Actress Alice Pearce, who played Abner's wife, Gladys Kravitz, had died from ovarian cancer, and her successor as Mrs. Kravitz (Sandra Gould) had yet to be hired. During the early 1970s, Canfield and actress Lucille Wall shared the role of Lucille March on General Hospital. Canfield appeared in such feature films as Pollyanna, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Hank Kimball

A goodnatured parody of regional government bureaucrats and civil service employees, Alvy Moore plays spacey county agricultural agent Hank Kimball, who draws folks into inane conversations and often loses his train of thought. The series was reportedly one of the first pre-recorded sitcoms to use cue cards extensively during filming, and Moore later recounted that he found them invaluable when performing Kimball's convoluted rambling, rapid-fire dialogue.

"As you all know, I'm your County Kimball, Hank Agent.
No, I don't believe I am. I'm, eh Hank Kimball, your County Agent.
Yes, that sounds better. Well, not better..."

Jack Alvin "Alvy" Moore (1921 - 1997) was an American actor best known for his role as scatterbrained county agricultural agent Hank Kimball on Green Acres. His character would often make a statement, only to immediately negate the statement himself and then negate the corrected statement until his stream of statements was interrupted by a frustrated Oliver Wendell Douglas portrayed by Eddie Albert. Moore appeared in 140 of the 170 total Green Acres episodes.

Moore was born in Vincennes, Indiana, but the family moved to Terre Haute, where his father was a grocery store manager. Moore was president of the senior class at Wiley High School in 1940–41. He then attended Indiana State Teachers College, both before and after service with the United States Marine Corps during World War II, in which he saw combat in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

He became an actor and furthered his training at the Pasadena Playhouse, succeeding David Wayne in the role of Ensign Pulver opposite Henry Fonda's Mister Roberts on Broadway, and later toured with the play for 14 months. He made his screen debut playing the quartermaster in Okinawa (1952).

Moore appeared in guest and supporting roles in a number of movies and television shows, including My Little Margie in 1952, as Dillard Crumbly, an efficiency expert fresh out of Efficiency College, and The Mickey Mouse Club, where he hosted "What I Want to Be" segments as the Roving Reporter. He had a small role as a member of Marlon Brando's motorcycle gang in the 1953 film The Wild One, and a similar bit part the same year as one of the Linda Rosa townspeople in The War of the Worlds. Moore co-starred with Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds in the 1954 film Susan Slept Here, in which he displayed his natural gift for physical comedy. In 1955 he co-starred with Brian Keith and Kim Novak in 5 Against the House. In the early 1960s he was cast in the recurring role of Howie on the CBS sitcom Pete and Gladys, with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.

In 1962 Moore was cast as the Scottish botanist David Douglas, for whom the Douglas fir tree is named, in an episode of the western anthology series Death Valley Days with Keenan Wynn and Iron Eyes Cody.

Moore TV credits include Perry Mason, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle, The Andy Griffith Show, Little House on the Prairie, How the West Was Won and Frasier. In the 1980s Moore appeared in many cult horror films, including Scream (1981), Mortuary (1983), They're Playing With Fire (1984), Intruder (1989), and The Horror Show (1989).

Moore met his wife Carolyn in 1947 while both were actors with the Pasadena Playhouse. They married in 1950 and were married 47 years. They had three children: Janet, Alyson, and Barry. Carolyn continued to be involved in acting, doing dinner theater and various church productions. For over 50 years she was a member of Beta Sigma Phi, a women's sorority group that raises money for charity. In 2008 she received the "International Award of Distinction," the highest honor the organization bestows on active members. She also was a member and treasurer of the "Motion Picture Mothers" for over 30 years. Moore died of heart failure in 1997 at age 75. Carolyn Moore died at age 79 in 2009.

Sam Drucker

Storekeeper Sam Drucker (Frank Cady) is a regular character in both Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. The first bar of the Petticoat Junction theme song is usually played during the establishing shot of his store.

Drucker also serves as a newspaper editor and printer, volunteer fireman with the Hooterville Volunteer Fire Department, notary, constable, justice of the peace, and postmaster. As editor of the Hooterville World Guardian, his headlines are often decades old.

Drucker is often the only character who is inspired by Oliver's rural patriotism. He filters Oliver's idealism to the townsfolk and, conversely, filters the plebeian backwoods notions of the community back to Oliver.

Frank Cady (1915 - 2012) was best known for playing storekeeper Sam Drucker, a role he reprised in Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies. He was also known for an earlier role as Doc Williams on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

Cady was born in Susanville, California, the youngest of three children of Leon and Clara Cady. In high school, he worked at a local newspaper, The Lassen County Advocate. Cady's family later moved to Wilsonville, Oregon.

He studied journalism and drama at Stanford University, where he was involved with the campus humor magazine, the Stanford Chaparral. Following college graduation, Cady served an apprenticeship at the Westminster Theater in London, appearing in four plays. In England, he made an early television appearance on the BBC in late 1938.

He returned to Stanford in 1939 for graduate studies and a position as a teaching assistant. While at Stanford, Cady met and later married his wife, Shirley Katherine Jones, in 1940. Born in Oakland, California, Shirley Cady, a Stanford graduate, had several vocations – professional singer, teacher, and legal secretary.

Dissatisfied with academia, Frank began a series of jobs two years later, as an announcer and news broadcaster at various California radio stations. His career was put on hold in 1943 when he joined the United States Army Air Corps, serving in England, France, and Germany during World War II.

After being discharged from military service in 1946, Cady appeared in a series of plays in the Los Angeles area that led to movie roles, including uncredited roles in D.O.A. (1949) and Father of the Bride (1950). He had a small part in the noir classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and appeared in When Worlds Collide (above 1951). Other film roles were Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole (1951), Rear Window (1954) and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964). He played the husband of Eileen Heckart characters in two films: The Bad Seed (1956) and Zandy's Bride (1974).

Cady did some radio programs early in his career including Gunsmoke. He appeared on the Make Room For Daddy episode that was the pilot for The Andy Griffith Show and played Doc Williams in Ozzie and Harriet (1953-1964). In 1961, he made a guest appearance on Perry Mason as twin brothers Joe and Hiram Widlock in "The Case of the Pathetic Patient". He was the only actor to play a recurring character on three television sitcoms at the same time, which he did from 1968 to 1969, appearing on The Beverly Hillbillies (10 episodes), Green Acres (142 episodes), and Petticoat Junction (152 episodes). Also as Sam Drucker, he was one of only three co-stars of Petticoat Junction who stayed with the series for its entire seven-year run (1963–1970), along with Edgar Buchanan and Linda Henning.

Cady loved to write humorous poems, limericks, and parodies of songs. He also loved playing golf with friends, as well as traveling; he enjoyed many years of hiking in Switzerland. Cady and his wife Shirley were married 68 years, had two children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Shirley died in 2008, at the age of 91. Frank died in 2012 at age 96.

Eunice Douglas

Eunice Douglas (Eleanor Audley) is Oliver's mother, who seems to side with her daughter-in-law far more than her son. She is aghast at the prospect of Oliver and Lisa moving to Hooterville and often tries to convince Lisa to come back to New York City with her (or as she puts it, "Come back to America") and escape the primitive life of the farm. Eunice is a recurring character on the first four seasons of the show.

Audley also played a recurring character on The Beverly Hillbillies as Millicent Schuyler-Potts, headmistress of the Potts School where Jethro attends the third grade. She is also known for her voice work in classic animated Disney films. She played Lady Tremaine, the evil stepmother in Cinderella (1950), and the dastardly fairy Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (1959).

The folks from Petticoat Junction

Shady Rest Hotel owner Kate Bradley appears in a few early episodes. She tries to help Lisa adapt to country living, most notably giving her the recipe for her hotcakes, which Lisa ends up botching, resulting in Lisa's infamous "hotscakes". Uncle Joe Carson (who soon develops a romantic interest in Oliver's mother) is seen at times playing checkers, loafing or mooching fruit at Drucker's Store with Petticoat Junction regulars Newt Kiley and train conductor Floyd Smoot. Betty Jo Bradley appears in one episode as Eb Dawson's date. Her sister Bobbie Jo appears in the same episode. Blonde-haired Billie Jo is the only Bradley sister never to appear in Green Acres. Western film actor Smiley Burnette guest-stars several times as railway engineer Charley Pratt in 1965 and 1966. Burnette and Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney) were both comic sidekicks of singing cowboy Gene Autry in his '50s Westerns.

Crossovers with The Beverly Hillbillies

In the March 1967 episode "The Beverly Hillbillies" (season 2, episode 23), the Hooterville theater puts on a play in homage to "famous television show" The Beverly Hillbillies. Oliver plays Jethro opposite Lisa as Granny Clampett.

Starting in 1968, The Beverly Hillbillies aired episodes with the Clampetts in Hooterville visiting distant cousins the Bradley family. This brought the world of all three shows into the same reality. "The Thanksgiving Story" includes a split-second insert of Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor at the dinner table with the casts of all three series. There is a sub-plot with Eb Dawson falling in love with Elly May Clampett that continues in the following episode "The Courtship of Homer Noodleman". The Clampetts return to the Shady Rest Hotel in "Christmas in Hooterville" with Eb still fawning over a reluctant Elly May.

During its six-season run, many familiar actors guest-starred on the show, along with other lesser-known performers who later achieved stardom, among them: John Daly, Elaine Joyce, Gary Dubin, Herbert Anderson, June Foray, Bob Cummings, Sam Edwards, Jerry Van Dyke, J. Pat O'Malley, Johnny Whitaker, Jesse White, Al Lewis, Gordon Jump, Bernie Kopell, Len Lesser, Bob Hastings, Don Keefer, Don Porter, Alan Hale, Melody Patterson, Rusty Hamer, Regis Toomey, Heather North, Allan Melvin, Parley Baer, Jack Bannon, Reginald Gardiner and Rick Lenz.

Al Molinaro and Pat Morita guest-starred on separate episodes, while Rich Little made a cameo appearance as himself.

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The Rural Purge

Green Acres received solid ratings during its six-year run. In 1970–1971, during the series' sixth season, Green Acres placed 34th out of 96 shows. Despite the respectable ratings and winning its timeslot, the network cancelled the show in the spring of 1971 after 170 episodes, part of the "rural purge" by CBS.

CBS at the time was under mounting pressure from sponsors to have more urban-themed programs on its schedule. To make room for the newer shows, nearly all of the rural-themed shows were cancelled, later known as the "rural purge," of which Pat Buttram said, "CBS cancelled everything with a tree – including Lassie."

There was no series finale. The final two episodes of Green Acres were backdoor pilots for Pam and Carol, two shows that no network ever picked-up.

Starting with The Real McCoys in 1957 on ABC, U.S. television had undergone a "rural revolution", a shift towards situation comedies featuring "naive but noble 'rubes' from deep in the American heartland". CBS was the network most associated with the trend, with series such as The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mister Ed, Lassie, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw. CBS aired so many of these rural-themed shows, many produced by Filmways, that it gained the nickname the "Country Broadcasting System". Another nickname was the "Hillbilly Network", a play on the network's original self-proclaimed nickname of "The Tiffany Network".

By 1966, industry executives were lamenting the lack of diversity in American television offerings and the dominance of rural-oriented programming on the Big Three television networks of the era, noting that ratings indicate that the American public prefer hillbillies, cowboys, and spies. CBS vice president Michael Dann personally hated the rural-oriented programming he was airing, but kept the shows on the air because of their strong overall ratings and CBS president James T. Aubrey believed rural sitcoms were a crucial part of the network's formula for success.

By the late 1960s many viewers, especially young ones, were rejecting rural-themed shows as irrelevant to modern times. Mayberry's total isolation from contemporary problems was part of its appeal, but more than a decade of media coverage of the civil rights movement had brought about a change in the popular image of the small Southern town. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., was set on a U.S. Marine base between 1964 and 1969, but neither Gomer nor any of his fellow marines ever mentioned the war in Vietnam. CBS executives, afraid of losing the lucrative youth demographic, purged their schedule of hit shows that were drawing huge but older-skewing audiences.

The wave of cancellations was instigated by new CBS president Robert Wood begining in 1969, who replaced longtime CBS programming head Michael Dann with Fred Silverman, following research highlighting the greater attraction to advertisers of the young adult urban viewer demographic. Much of CBS's existing product either drew audiences that were too old and rural, or drew another undesirable demographic: young boys, who lacked disposable income of their own. Another factor in the changeover was the loss of one half-hour of prime programming time each night as a result of the Prime Time Access Rule, which took effect in 1971; as a result of the new rule, the networks (all of which had previously started prime time at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time) had to trim the equivalent of seven half-hour programs from their weekly schedules and return control of these slots to the local stations.

The first rural-themed show canceled by Silverman (above) was Petticoat Junction in 1970. The following fall, The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered, and All in the Family premiered in January 1971 as a midseason replacement. Both shows provided the urban demographic, cutting-edge social relevance, and ratings that CBS was looking for. These early successes prompted Silverman and the network to cancel Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry R.F.D., Hee Haw, and The Jim Nabors Hour at the end of the 1970–71 season, as well as cut short The New Andy Griffith Show, a comeback vehicle for Andy Griffith, after only ten episodes. (The New Andy Griffith Show was a last-minute replacement for Headmaster, Griffith's unsuccessful effort to reach a more refined, urban audience; Headmaster was canceled after only 14 episodes.) Another series, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, lasted until the end of the 1971–72 season. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was the first of the rural-based shows to leave the air (1969), but was not part of the "purge" but to Jim Nabors's desire to move to something else. He was given a new show, The Jim Nabors Hour, as a replacement for the next season but was canceled in 1971.

ABC-TV also was looking for younger audiences, and in May 1971 canceled shows that skewed toward rural viewers (such as The Johnny Cash Show, which had ranked 17th in the ratings) or older viewers (Make Room for Granddaddy and The Lawrence Welk Show). NBC-TV also targeted rural and older oriented programs in its cuts, eliminating long-running programs such as Wild Kingdom, The Andy Williams Show, and The Virginian.

Life After The Purge

Lawrence Welk's program, a mainstay of television since the summer of 1955, immediately moved to first-run syndication, where it ran an additional 11 years before Welk's retirement in 1982. Reruns of the show began almost immediately.

Wild Kingdom, Lassie, and Hee Haw also continued in first-run syndication after their cancellations in 1971. Lassie ran until 1973, while Hee Haw had even greater success, lasting until 1991. Wild Kingdom primarily aired reruns, but continued to produce occasional new episodes in syndication through 1987. Both Andy Williams and Johnny Cash returned with short-lived revivals of their shows in 1976 and continued to produce annual specials into the 1980s.

The Red Skelton Show, which had finished the 1969–70 season as the number 7 show moved back to NBC (in a half hour format) after it's cancellation by CBS. The program had originated on NBC in 1951 and ran to 1953 when it moved to CBS. The new format didn't work with viewers and the program ended in March 1971,

Petticoat Junction was already in decline, due in part to shifting tastes and to the death of star Bea Benaderet in 1968, by the time it was canceled in 1970.

The success of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, and newer, more urban variety shows such as The Carol Burnett Show in 1967 and The Flip Wilson Show in 1970, allowed cancellations of most of the "undesired shows" at the end of 1971, despite their high ratings and popularity. Both Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies had dropped from the Nielsen top 30 by the 1970–71 season, yet both shows continued to win their respective time slots and had a loyal following, warranting renewal for another season. Other shows still pulling in even higher ratings when canceled included Mayberry R.F.D., which finished the season at number 15, Hee Haw at number 16, and The Jim Nabors Hour at number 29.

Series such as ABC's The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family were never truly ratings hits, but both appealed to a younger demographic and were renewed for three more seasons.

Fred Silverman replaced much of the canceled programming in 1971 and 1972 with "relevant" fare including the All in the Family spinoffs Maude and The Jeffersons.

Following the success of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the series' production company MTM Productions (established in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore and her then-husband Grant Tinker) would develop other popular shows including: The Bob Newhart Show (1972 - 1978), Rhoda (1974–1978), WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982), Newhart (1982–1990), Lou Grant (1977–1982) and The White Shadow (1978–1981). M*A*S*H was added to the network in 1972.

The surviving members of Green Acres (except for Eleanor Audley, who had retired from acting 20 years earlier) were reunited for a TV movie titled Return to Green Acres. It aired on CBS on May 18th, 1990 and was set two decades after the series had ended. Oliver and Lisa have moved back to New York but are miserable there.

The Hootervillians implore the couple to return and save the town from a scheme to destroy it, cooked up between Mr. Haney and a wealthy, underhanded developer (Henry Gibson).

The Monroe brothers still have not finished the Douglases' bedroom, while a 20-something Arnold survived his "parents" and subsequently bunks with his "cousin", the Ziffels' comely niece. With a nod to the times, Haney's latest product is a Russian miracle fertilizer called "Gorby Grow".

Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor whould play their Green Acres characters again for the 1993 CBS special The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies. The retrospective special was the final appearances of several Paul Henning characters, as portrayed by the actors who originated the roles: Jethro Bodine (Max Baer, Jr.), Cousin Roy (Roy Clark), Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen), Donna Douglas (Ely May Clampett), Sonny Drysdale (Louis Nye) and Dash Riprock (Larry Pennell). The Beverly Hillbillies special was a rare tribute from CBS, which owed much of its success in the 1960s to that series and it rural cousins, but has often seemed embarrassed by it in hindsight, often downplaying the show in retrospective television specials on the network's history and rarely inviting cast members to participate in such all-star broadcasts.

Content intended for informational and educational purposes only under the GNU Free Documentation Areement.

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