Bettye Ackerman

Bettye Louise Ackerman (February 28, 1924 – November 1, 2006) was an American actress primarily known for her work on television.

Bettye Ackerman
Bettye Ackerman.jpg
Bettye Ackerman as Dr. Maggie Graham and Vince Edwards as Ben Casey
Bettye Louise Ackerman

February 28, 1924
DiedNovember 1, 2006(2006-11-01) (aged 82)
Other namesBettye Ackerman Jaffe
OccupationActress, artist
Years active1953–1994
Sam Jaffe
(m. 1956; died 1984)

Early yearsEdit

Ackerman was born in Cottageville, South Carolina (another source says she was born in Williston, South Carolina),[1] the daughter of Clarence Kilgo Ackerman and Mary Baker Ackerman, and grew up in Williston, in Barnwell County in southwestern South Carolina, one of four children. She graduated from Columbia College in South Carolina in 1945 and left for New York City soon after. She studied theater at the graduate level at Columbia University[2] in New York and pursued art studies with Joseph Mugnaini and George DeGroat at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.[3]


Ackerman played Dr. Maggie Graham on the ABC medical drama, Ben Casey, from 1961 until 1966. She played Anne Frazer on Bracken's World and the original Constance MacKenzie on the daytime program Return to Peyton Place.[1] She appeared in an early episode of prime time soap Falcon Crest portraying the character of Elisabeth Bradbury. She also appeared in two episodes of Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr: in 1965 she played the role of Amy Reid in the episode, "The Case of the Thermal Thief," and in 1966 she played Laura Brandon in "The Case of the Positive Negative." In 1977, she appeared in "Never Con a Killer," the pilot for the ABC crime drama The Feather and Father Gang.


Ackerman played the title role in the one act play Salome, by Oscar Wilde, as part of the Alexander Kirkland Acting Group. The production was released on Magic-Tone Records (CTG 4011). Ackerman's Broadway credits include A Meeting by the River (1979).[4]


Ackerman's film debut came in Face of Fire in 1959.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

On June 7, 1956, Ackerman, at 32, married her future Ben Casey co-star Sam Jaffe, who was then 65. Although there was a 33-year difference in their ages, the couple had a very successful and happy marriage[citation needed]- until Jaffe died of cancer in 1984.[5] They had no children.

She sold her home in Beverly Hills, California, and returned to South Carolina to be near her large extended family in 1998.[6] Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Ackerman was also a noted artist, who had numerous exhibits in both Beverly Hills and Columbia, South Carolina.[3]


Ackerman died November 1, 2006, after having suffered a stroke in Columbia, South Carolina.[6] She was 82.[2]




  • Ben Casey (ABC) (1961–1966) as Dr. Maggie Graham
  • Breaking Point (ABC) as Eunice Osment in "Better Than a Dead Lion" (1964)
  • Bracken's World (NBC) (1970) as Anne Frazer, Bracken's secretary
  • The Sixth Sense (ABC) (1972) as Helene, a piano instructor, and mother of a psychic, who attempts murder
  • Falcon Crest (1982) as Elisabeth Bradbury


  1. ^ a b "Bettye Ackerman". Variety. November 20, 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Betty Jaffe". Pennsylvania, Indiana. The Indiana Gazette. November 21, 2006. p. 36. Retrieved February 16, 2016 – via  
  3. ^ a b "Actress plans to exhibit monotypes at Erskine". South Carolina, Greenwood. The Index-Journal. March 1, 1982. p. 5. Retrieved February 16, 2016 – via  
  4. ^ "Bettye Ackerman". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  5. ^ Peter B. Flint (March 25, 1984). "Sam Jaffe, a Character Actor on Stage and Film, Dies at 93". The New York Times.
  6. ^ a b "Bettye Jaffe". Illinois, Chicago. The Daily Herald. November 22, 2006. p. 19. Retrieved February 15, 2016 – via  

External linksEdit