Ann B. Davis died yesterday, at age 88, and that name, that voice ("anybody want a hotdog?") and career are largely associated with but character over a long run that began in the early '50s: Alice - or the center square in the opening credits of "The Brady Bunchy."
But she was also Schultzy, in a long-ago-and-far-away sitcom headlined by Bob Cummings, a hugely popular star of the late '40s and '50s, whose long-running series, "The Bob Cummings Show " (known in reruns as "Love that Bob") in some respects mirrored a little bit of "Bunch." Davis played a classic TV trope -- the wise one, who was counterweight to the flights of bumbling lunacy unfolding around her. If you get through the second clip, it's easy to see that Sherwood Schwartz (the "Brady" creator) obviously had Schultzy in mind when he thought of Alice years later... (The other character actress in the "Cummings" clip is Barbara Nichols, who -- like Alice -- you'd never see on TV anymore for all-too-obvious reasons: TV and culture has changed. But the clips live on...Also in the Cummings clip is Rosemary DeCamp, a veteran sitcom actress who played the typical '50s-era mom --in this show, Margaret -- who died in 2001 at the age of 90...)