Saturday, July 28, 2018

Look Sharp, Feel Sharp, Be Sharp: The Other Gillette

Anita Gillette
was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1936,
and attended the Peabody Conservatory.
After that, it was Broadway this and Broadway that!
Gypsy, All American, Carnival, Don't Drink The Water,
They're Playing Our Song, Chapter Two...
the 1960s were a busy Broadway time for her. 
She is quoted as saying,
"At that point, it was either Susan Watson, Nancy Dussault,
or me...we could all play the 
and we could all sing."

 Two pics from All American,
in which Anita played the coed
who pines for a "Nightlife"
(above center and below with her understudy, Lori Rogers).

 In 1962, Anita had the chance to work with Irving Berlin,
in what would be his last musical,
Mr. President.
Above, recording the cast album:
Irving, Nanette Fabray, Anita, Robert Ryan and
ubiquitous producer...Goddard Lieberson.

 If you were a Broadway star
(like Anita and Alan Alda)
in the 60s,
you were game show fodder...
above, Anita with Jim Backus and Arlene Dahl on
What's My Line?

 Along with game shows
(below, on the Match Game),
Anita became Johnny Carson's go to guest,
appearing on the Tonight Show over 50 times,
and tons of television appearances,
including soap opera roles
on The Edge Of Night and Search For Tomorrow.

 Two television series in the 1970s...
Me & The Chimp (with Ted Bessel)
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
(with Robert Urich, below)
didn't last long.
(And no, that's not Ted Bessel she's holding! :)

 Loved Anita in Moonstruck,
playing the mistress of Vincent Gardenia's character.
And there's Cher, being Cher. 
She also played Tina Fey's mother on 30 Rock,
(a passel of mothers, actually)
and Jack Klugman's wife on Quincy.

Anita is still performing in her own one-woman show:
"Me & Mr. B",
a tribute to Irving Berlin.
She'll be at Birdland
on October 3, 2018.

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