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Mary Jane Croft

Mary Jane Croft

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Also Known As: Died: August 24, 1999
Born: February 15, 1916 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Muncie, Indiana Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the most employed TV sitcom second bananas of the 1950s and 60s, Mary Jane Croft was so busy she co-starred in several series at the same time, but is best recalled for her work alongside Lucille Ball on the last season of "I Love Lucy" as the somewhat snooty Connecticut friend Betty Ramsey. She later replaced Vivian Vance as Lucy's sidekick on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy". Croft wore her blonde hair in the same manner for 25 years, and the blandness of the style made her adaptable to playing uppercrust matrons or lower rung career gals. In addition to reprising her radio role of Miss Daisy Enright on "Our Miss Brooks" (CBS, 1952-54), she played neighbor to the Nelsons on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (ABC, 1954-66) and provided the voice of Cleo, the commenting basset hound, on "The People's Choice" (NBC, 1955-58). Other credits included recurring roles on "I Married Joan" (NBC, 1952-55), and "The Life of Riley" (NBC, 1953-58). But it is her work with Ball that has given her the most longevity for the TV viewer. Although not as memorable as Vivian Vance as Ball's cohort, Croft actually worked with the red-haired comedienne for more years, She also did not perform the outrageous...

One of the most employed TV sitcom second bananas of the 1950s and 60s, Mary Jane Croft was so busy she co-starred in several series at the same time, but is best recalled for her work alongside Lucille Ball on the last season of "I Love Lucy" as the somewhat snooty Connecticut friend Betty Ramsey. She later replaced Vivian Vance as Lucy's sidekick on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy". Croft wore her blonde hair in the same manner for 25 years, and the blandness of the style made her adaptable to playing uppercrust matrons or lower rung career gals. In addition to reprising her radio role of Miss Daisy Enright on "Our Miss Brooks" (CBS, 1952-54), she played neighbor to the Nelsons on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (ABC, 1954-66) and provided the voice of Cleo, the commenting basset hound, on "The People's Choice" (NBC, 1955-58). Other credits included recurring roles on "I Married Joan" (NBC, 1952-55), and "The Life of Riley" (NBC, 1953-58).

But it is her work with Ball that has given her the most longevity for the TV viewer. Although not as memorable as Vivian Vance as Ball's cohort, Croft actually worked with the red-haired comedienne for more years, She also did not perform the outrageous stunts that her predecessor did, instead providing a comfortable confidante in lieu of a comrade-in-arms. After the demise of "Here's Lucy", Croft more or less retired yet was a frequent interviewee on retrospective tributes to Ball and appeared at We Love Lucy Fan Club conventions.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kathy O' (1958) Harriet Burton
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Notes

Croft first appeared on "I Love Lucy" in 1954 playing Cynthia Harcourt, Lucy Ricardo's wealthy friend in the episode in which Lucy and Ethel dress as Martians. Croft guested again in 1956 as Lucy was returning from Europe, playing a mother seated next to Lucy, who was smuggling cheese disguised as a baby.

She last worked with her "I Love Lucy" and Desilu boss Desi Arnaz in a 1969 episode of "The Mothers-in-Law", which was produced by Arnaz.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Elliott Lewis. Producer, screenwriter, actor. Died on May 29, 1990 at age 73.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Eric Zoller. Killed in combat in Vietnam in January 1967 at age 21.

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