Friday, March 9, 2012

Milll* (for Mill*)

Ann Morgan Guilbert has a long résumé as a TV actress and comedienne. Better known to most of us as Millie Helper, the dowdy, pouty, put-upon, but sorta sexy, next-door neighbor and kooky confidante to the Petries on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Guilbert is also fondly recalled by somewhat younger viewers as Fran Drescher's grandma, Yetta Rosenberg, on The Nanny. In one episode, Guilbert's character touchingly displays a photo of the late Jerry Paris (Jerry Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show), calling him her former husband. Seeing as how she was older than and not as pretty as Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner was opposed to hiring Guilbert to play Millie, but Paris convinced him to give her a chance. Ann Guilbert was born in 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and began her career as a singer and dancer in the Billy Barnes Revues, continuing to appear in numerous film, television, and theater roles for many years. She graduated from Stanford University, where she majored in speech and drama and met her first husband, the late writer/producer George Eckstein. They had two daughters, both of whom followed their parents into the acting field. Guilbert married the character actor Guy Raymond in 1969; they were together until Raymond's death in 1997. Guilbert currently resides in Pacific Palisades, California. There were 16 cases of Milll* in OhioLINK, and 297 in WorldCat.

(Ann Guilbert, courtesy of The Ann Guilbert Fan Site.)

Carol Reid

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