Elvia Beatrice Allman (September 19, 1904 – March 6, 1992) was an American actress in Hollywood films and television programs for over 50 years. She is best remembered for her semi-regular roles on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction and for being the voice of Walt Disney's Clarabelle Cow. Her mark in TV history is also ensured by her memorable performance as the stern, no-nonsense boss in the classic I Love Lucy candy factory episode "Job Switching" with a repeat appearance as Nancy Graham the reporter in the 1955 episode "The Homecoming".
Elvia Beatrice Allman
|Died||March 6, 1992 (aged 87)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
Wesley Benton Tourtellotte
(m. 1930; div. 1933)
(m. 1937; died 1939)
Jerome Laveck Bayler
(m. 1945; died 1978)
In 1926, Allman was a children's story reader at KHJ in Los Angeles (another source says 1930). The Los Angeles Times of the day praised her abilities as a dialectician.[better source needed] She married Wesley B. Tourtellotte on August 2, 1930, and divorced within several years. In 1933, she moved to the east coast, billing herself as the "California Cocktail" and began a musical program on NBC. On Oct. 30, 1933, the Times announced she was moving to KNX on a 15-minute program to be heard Tuesday and Thursday evenings. What was supposed to be a long-term contract ended March 3, 1935.
Allman's first big network radio successes were on the Blue Monday Jamboree (where she portrayed beauty expert Auntie MacCasser, high society matron Octavia Smith-Whiffen, and home economist Pansy Pennypincher),[better source needed] and on The Komedy Kingdom (as "Elvia, The Queen of Mirth"). She made her debut on The Pepsodent Show starring Bob Hope as man-chasing Cobina, a parody of society debutante Cobina Wright.: 47 She portrayed the role in motion pictures and even spoofed it in the Merrie Melodies cartoon Goofy Groceries. Allman was frequently heard as a supporting actress in various comedy programs well into the 1950s and in the 1970s returned to radio acting with its brief revival of new programs.
In the mid-1930s, Allman appeared in cartoons for producer Leon Schlesinger, released through Warner Bros. She can be heard in the first Porky Pig cartoon I Haven't Got a Hat in 1935. She may have originated the character of Clarabelle Cow prior to this, but there are no records indicating the specific cartoons in which she voiced Clarabelle, who was featured in 28 Disney cartoons from 1928 to 1942. In 1937 Allman voiced the title role in the cartoon Little Red Walking Hood, a spoof of Little Red Riding Hood. Allman married sports promoter C. C. Pyle on July 3, 1937, and was with him when he died on February 3, 1939.
Allman also played Tootsie Sagwell on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show during the early 1940s. Allman's other roles included Mrs. Kennedy on The Adventures of Maisie,: 12 Penelope the Pelican on The Cinnamon Bear,: 76 and Cuddles Bongschnook on The Durante-Moore Show.: 174 Programs on which she was a regular included The Abbott and Costello Show, The Baby Snooks Show,: 32 The Judy Canova Show,: 182 and The Ray Bolger Show.: 281
In 1928, Allman acted in The Living Corpse a production of the Pasadena Community Players.
Allman made her film debut as an actress in 1940's The Road to Singapore in an unbilled bit (as were the majority of Allman's motion picture appearances in the 1940s) as a homely woman who pursues Bob Hope. One of her more steady radio gigs was on the Blondie radio series in the part of Cora Dithers, the domineering wife of Dagwood Bumstead's boss.: 45-45
In the 1950s, Allman became a familiar face to television viewers with numerous guest appearances on many programs of the era, usually situation comedies. She made multiple appearances on I Married Joan, December Bride, The Bob Cummings Show, and The Abbott and Costello Show, and three appearances on I Love Lucy.
In 1957, Allman reprised her role of Cora Dithers in a short-lived TV adaption of Blondie. Allman had earlier played the role in the 1940s on several episodes of the Blondie radio series. She also appeared on seven episodes of the TV series The Jack Benny Program, having worked often with Benny on his radio program in the 1940s and 1950s.
Her visibility on television increased during the 1960s with guest shots on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hazel, The New Phil Silvers Show, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Mr Ed, Bewitched, The Lucy Show, The Doris Day Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and as witness Julia Slovak in the fifth season, 1961 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Brazen Bequest". Allman's greatest fame came as Elverna Bradshaw on The Beverly Hillbillies (13 appearances, one in 1963, the rest 1968–1970). The 1960s proved to be her most prolific era with 58 appearances on various television series as well as five motion pictures including Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Nutty Professor.
Allman appeared as Oscar Madison's mother in one episode of the TV series The Odd Couple in which she and Oscar are treated to an erotic belly dance at a Greek restaurant. Allman's career slowed considerably after 1972, and her only television work during the remainder of the decade was in the 1977 television film Halloween with the New Addams Family. Her career picked up in the 1980s with eleven television appearances, including two episodes of Murder She Wrote. In addition to her acting career, Allman also worked as a real estate agent during the 1970s and '80s. In her autobiography, Mary Tyler Moore credits Allman with finding her house as did Betty White in her book Here We Go Again.
Allman's final work appropriately brought her full circle, reviving the voice of Clarabelle Cow for the first time in over 50 years in the Mickey Mouse cartoon feature version of The Prince and the Pauper in 1990.
|1938||Thanks for Everything||Violinist||Uncredited|
|1940||Road to Singapore||Homely Girl||Uncredited|
|1940||A Night at Earl Carroll's||Cobina Gusher|
|1940||Melody for Three||Radio Station Receptionist||Uncredited|
|1941||Time Out for Rhythm||Cobrina|
|1941||Swing It Soldier||Cobina|
|1942||Sweetheart of the Fleet||Cobina (as Brenda & Cobina)|
|1943||Three Hearts for Julia||Eva||Uncredited|
|1943||No Place for a Lady||Mrs. Willow||Uncredited|
|1944||In Society||Hysterical Widow||Uncredited|
|1944||A Wave, a WAC and a Marine||Elvira Allman - Woman in Cab|
|1944||Carolina Blues||Loud Kyser Fan||Uncredited|
|1948||The Noose Hangs High||Woman||Uncredited|
|1951||Week-End with Father||Mrs. G.|
|1956||The Kettles in the Ozarks||Meek Man's Wife||Uncredited|
|1956||You Can't Run Away from It||Ma, Vernon's Wife|
|1961||The Pleasure of His Company||Mrs. Mooney|
|1961||Breakfast at Tiffany's||Librarian|
|1963||The Nutty Professor||Edwina Kelp|
|1963||Johnny Cool||Beauty Salon Receptionist||Uncredited|
|1964||Honeymoon Hotel||Mrs. Sampson|
|1967||Eight on the Lam||Neighbor||Uncredited|
- DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 10.
- "A Galaxy of Prominent Artists". Los Angeles Times. July 29, 1926. p. 28. Retrieved February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Los Angeles Times: Archives - ATTRACTIONS OF WEEK FORECAST". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. November 16, 1926. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "News and Comment". The Pasadena Post. August 22, 1930. p. 5. Retrieved February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Doran, Dorothy (March 7, 1933). "'New Names For Old' May Be Radio Slogan". The Akron Beacon Journal. p. 12. Retrieved February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "RadioArchives.com". RadioArchives.com. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 5–7. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
- Elliott, Jordan (Summer 2016). "O Brother, Where Art Thou". Nostalgia Digest. Vol. 42, no. 3. pp. 4–9.
- "Elvia Allman before the footlights". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1928. p. 27. Retrieved February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Potempa, Philip (July 25, 2011). "TV's 'Beverly Hillbillies' helped put Branson on map". The Times. Munster, Indiana. p. 24. Retrieved February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Elvia Allman, 88; Character Actress on 'Beverly Hillbillies,' 'Petticoat Junction'". Los Angeles Times. March 14, 1992.