Friday, June 1, 2018

Ballard on Random

 Catherine Gloria Balotta (our Kaye Ballard!)
was born in Cleveland in 1925.
She began as the class clown, doing impressions
and developing a comedy act,
enough to get her into a local USO "Stage Door Canteen" performance,
in her teenage years. 
She joined up with The Spike Jones' Orchestra, 
doing vocals and the errant tuba/flute solos (really!)
in the 1940s,
and made her Broadway debut in 1946,
in a revue called "Three To Make Ready".

 She performed in London, as well,
in Touch and Go,
then back to Broadway in Annie, Get Your Gun
and Top Banana (with Phil Silvers).
Along with musicals of the 40s,
Kay did the cabaret and nightclub circuit,
performing at The Bon Soir, The Persian Room,
and The Blue Angel.

 In 1957, she played an Ugly Stepsister
(along with Alice Ghostley, above)
in Rodgers and Hammerstein's live television musical,
and got to sing "Why Would A Fella Want A Girl Like Her?"

Also during the 50s
(and 60s)
Kaye did a ton of television appearances:
Jack Parr, Ed Sullivan, Red Skelton, Carol Burnett,
all the variety shows.

 Above, a Life Mag cover when she starred in 
The Golden Apple, 1954.
Below with Henry Lascoe
in Carnival, 1961.

The Mothers-In-Law
with Eve Arden
was pretty damn infamous,
though it lasted only one season, back in 1967. 

Season Last!

  Above, with Judy Carne and John Byner
doing a guest appearance on Laugh-In.

 With Maureen McGovern
in Pirates Of Penzance.

 Looking good with Nanette Fabray...

 ...and Carol Channing.
Kaye got to play Dolly AND Mama Rose AND
Anne Sherwood (Wonderful Town)!
And not to forget Nunsense, Blythe Spirit, The Full Monty, 
and the female version of The Odd Couple.

Kaye officially retired in 2015
after almost 70 years in the biz.
She's livin' the high life now, at age 92.
The next book on my shelf will be
"How I Lost 10 Pounds In 53 Years,"
Kaye's memoir.

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