Danny Thomas Show
The Danny Thomas Show (also known as Make Room for
Daddy for the first three seasons and Danny Thomas in Make Room
for Grandaddy for the last) was a comedy television series starring
Danny Thomas, Jean Hagen, Rusty Hamer, Sherry Jackson and Louise Beavers.
It ran from 1953 to 1965. Thomas played Danny Williams, a successful
comedian and nightclub entertainer. Hagen was his wife Margaret, Hamer
their son Rusty, and Jackson their daughter Terry. Beavers played the maid
Louise. In 1955, Beavers was replaced in the role by Amanda Randolph.
In 1956 Jean Hagen quit the show, and the producers had her character
written out as having died. The following season, Thomas's character dated
several women, with the help of his children. At the end of the season, he
met widowed Kathy O'Hara, played by Marjorie Lord, who had a young
daughter, Linda, played by Angela Cartwright. No wedding was ever shown,
but when the show returned in 1957, with the new title, Danny and Kathy
were married, and Linda was adopted by Danny.
Hans Conried had frequent guest appearances as Danny's Lebanese
"Uncle Tonoose". Other frequent guests included Bill Dana,
Annette Funicello, Pat Harrington Jr., Sheldon Leonard (the show's
producer) and Thomas protegee Italian teenaged singer Piccola Pupa.
In 1958 the character of Terry was written out as she was supposedly
away at school. The character returned in the following year, recast with
actress Penny Parker. She, too, was written out when the character married
and left the show.
The show ended in 1965, but Danny Thomas, Marjorie Lord, Angela
Cartwright, Rusty Hamer, Sherry Jackson, and Hans Conreid returned in 1970
in the show Danny Thomas in Make Room for Grandaddy. The character
of Terry had supposedly left her son, 6-year-old Michael, played by
Michael Hughes, in the care of his grandparents while she and her soldier
husband were stationed overseas. New characters were played by Stanley
Myron Handelman and former football player Roosevelt Grier. The show only
lasted a single season.
The Danny Thomas Show is also notable as having been the vehicle
by which The Andy Griffith Show spun off. The character of Andy
Taylor appeared in an episode in which Danny Williams was caught for
speeding in the small fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina.