Fictional TV characters from the Hudson Valley
Here are some of the most memorable fictional characters who have called Westchester County or the Hudson Valley home during their run on the small screen.
Show: "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) is the head writer of a comedy/variety show in New York and lives with his wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), and son in New Rochelle. During the five-year run of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on CBS from 1961 to 1966, viewers were given a behind-the-scenes look at how a television show (the fictitious "Alan Brady Show") was produced. Alan Brady, the show's host, was played by Carl Reiner, who was also the creator of the hit show. (Jan. 29, 2012)
Show: "That Girl"
Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas) is an aspiring actress who moves from her hometown of Brewster to New York City in search of her dreams. "That Girl" began its five-year run on ABC in 1966. As Ann Marie adjusts to life in the big city, she takes a number of "temp" jobs to support herself while she attends auditions.
Maude Findlay (Beatrice Arthur) called Tuckahoe in Westchester County home during the CBS show's run from 1972 to 1978. "Maude" was a top 10 show for most of its run. The character of Maude Findlay was introduced to America on the hit CBS show "All in the Family," when she played the cousin of Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker's wife. Much like "All in the Family," "Maude" was a situational comedy that dealt with many controversial issues in the 1970s, especially dealing with women's rights. (Dec. 9, 2008)
Show: "Facts of Life"
Housemother Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) guides several young girls who attend the fictional all-female Eastland School in Peekskill. Among the girls attending the Eastland School were Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel), Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey (Kim Fields) and Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn). "The Facts of Life" began its run on NBC in 1979 as a spinoff of the popular sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," where Mrs. Garrett was the housekeeper for the Drummonds. The series finale aired in May 1988.
Show: "Dear John"
John Lacey (Judd Hirsch) is a high school teacher in New Rochelle who is dumped by his wife, Wendy, when she writes him a "Dear John" letter. "Dear John" was a comedy that began its run on NBC in 1988 and aired until 1992. In the show, John loses everything in the divorce, including custody of his son. After relocating to Ozone Park, Queens, John joins a self-help group for divorced, widowed and lonely people. (Oct. 24, 2011)
In the series finale episode of "Friends" in May 2004, Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Monica Gellar (Courteney Cox) adopt a set of twins and announce that they are leaving their Manhattan apartment and moving to Westchester County. The "Friends" finale was seen by more than 52 million people, ranking it No. 4 among the most-watched season finales in American television history. (May 10, 2006)
Madison Avenue advertising executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his wife, Betty (January Jones), call Ossining home during the first three seasons of "Mad Men" in the 1960s-based drama on AMC. Betty continues living in the house after her divorce from Don, when she marries again. At the end of the fourth season, Betty and Don complete the sale of the house as Betty moves to Rye with her new husband and Don's three children. (Feb. 23, 2012)
Show: "Boardwalk Empire"
Nelson Van Alden, played by Michael Shannon, is a senior agent with the Bureau of Prohibition in the Department of Internal Revenue. Van Alden and his wife, Rose, live in 1920s White Plains at the height of Prohibition in the HBO show "Boardwalk Empire." (Feb. 25, 2012)
Tessa Altman (Jane Levy) is a teenager from the city who is uprooted to the suburbs by her father, George, played by Jeremy Sisto, who hopes to give her a better life. The Altmans relocate from New York City to a fictional town in Westchester County, believed to be in the vicinity of New Rochelle. "Suburgatory" began in October 2011 and currently airs on Wednesday nights on ABC. (Nov. 15, 2011)