Kaye Ballard

Kaye Ballard (November 20, 1925 – January 21, 2019)[1] was an American actress, comedian and singer.

Kaye Ballard
Kaye Ballard publicity photo taken by Maurice Seymour NY in late 1950s for MCA.jpg
Ballard's late 1950s publicity photo
Catherine Gloria Balotta

(1925-11-20)November 20, 1925
DiedJanuary 21, 2019(2019-01-21) (aged 93)
Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, comedian, singer
Years active1940s–2017

Early lifeEdit

Ballard was born Catherine Gloria Balotta in Cleveland, Ohio, one of four children born to Italian immigrant parents, Lena (née Nacarato) and Vincenzo (later Vincent James) Balotta. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Calabria, a region of southern Italy.[2]


Ballard established herself as a musical comedian in the 1940s, joining the Spike Jones touring revue of entertainers. Capable of playing broad physical comedy as well as stand-up dialogue routines, she became familiar in television and stage productions.[3] A phrase her mother had used when Kaye was a child, "Good luck with your MOUTH!", became her catchphrase in her sketches and on television.[citation needed] Ballard made her television debut on Henry Morgan's Great Talent Hunt, a short-lived program hosted by Henry Morgan which first aired January 26, 1951.[4] In 1954, she was the first person to record the song "Fly Me to the Moon".[3][5]

In 1957, she and Alice Ghostley played the two wicked stepsisters in the live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, starring Julie Andrews in the title role.[6] During the 1961–1963 television seasons, Ballard was a regular on The Perry Como Show, as part of the Kraft Music Hall Players, along with Don Adams, Paul Lynde and Sandy Stewart. In 1962, she released the LP Peanuts, on which she played Lucy van Pelt from the comic strip namesake of the album (with Arthur Siegel playing Charlie Brown), and dramatizing a series of vignettes drawn from the strip's archive.[3] In 1964, she had a guest role on The Patty Duke Show, playing a teacher for would-be models.[citation needed] From 1967 to 1969, she co-starred as Kaye Buell, a woman whose son marries her next door neighbor's daughter, in the sitcom The Mothers-in-Law, with Eve Arden playing her neighbour. From 1970 to 1972, she appeared as a regular on The Doris Day Show, playing restaurant owner Angie Pallucci.[3] She made appearances on the game show Match Game. In 1977, she was a guest star on The Muppet Show. She also appeared on the television series Alice, in which she played a kleptomaniac and phony medium as well as Daddy Dearest, where she guest-starred opposite Richard Lewis and Don Rickles.[7]

Ballard starred on Broadway as Helen in The Golden Apple (1954) introducing the song "Lazy Afternoon".[3] She portrayed Ruth in Joseph Papp's The Pirates of Penzance, Rosalie in Carnival! and the title role in Molly, an unsuccessful musical adaptation of the popular radio serial The Goldbergs. She created the role of the Countess and closed out-of-town in Marc Blitzstein's Reuben, Reuben, and played Ruth Sherwood in Wonderful Town at New York City Center in 1963.

In Long Beach, California, she played Mama Morton in Chicago and fought with a vacuum cleaner as Pauline in No, No, Nanette. In 1998, she played Hattie Walker in the Paper Mill Playhouse's acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies.[8] In 2005, she appeared in a road-company production of Nunsense, written by Dan Goggin. The following year, she completed her autobiography How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years.[8]

In 1995, she was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.[9]

She appeared in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! as Madam A-Go-Go, a mysterious fortune teller who appears in the episode "Fortune Teller". She also performed with The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California.[10]

In December 2010, she, Donna McKechnie and Liliane Montevecchi starred in a production of From Broadway with Love, staged at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[11] Ballard was in the 2012 cabaret show Doin' It for Love, which premiered in Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theatre. Starring Ballard and Montevecchi, the cast included Broadway dancer Lee Roy Reams. (The Austin performance benefited the Texas Humane Legislation Network.[12]) The show then went on to play in Los Angeles on March 8 and 10, 2012. Ballard announced her official retirement in 2015 at the age of 89.[13]


Ballard died at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, on January 21, 2019, at the age of 93. The cause was kidney cancer, according to a friend.[14][15]



Year Title Role Notes
1958 The Girl Most Likely Marge
1964 A House Is Not a Home Sidonia
1970 Which Way to the Front? Senora Messina
1976 The Ritz Vivian Proclo
1976 Freaky Friday Coach Betsy
1980 Falling in Love Again Mrs. Lewis
1981 Irene Dotty Busmill TV movie
1982 Pandemonium Glenn's Mom
1988 Tiger Warsaw Aunt Thelma
1990 Modern Love Receptionist
1990 Eternity Sabrina / Selma
1990 Fate Judy
1994 Ava's Magical Adventure Leona
1998 The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mrs. Grumpy Old Man
1999 Baby Geniuses Mayor
2000 The Million Dollar Kid Mrs. Crabby
2000 Little Insects Queen Palooma (voice)
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There Herself Documentary
2017 Senior Moment Maria
2019 Kaye Ballard – The Show Goes On Herself


Year Title Role Notes
1951–1955 The Arthur Murray Party Herself 2 episodes
1954 The Steve Allen Show Herself 1 episode
1954-1955 The Colgate Comedy Hour Herself 7 episodes
1956–1963 The Ed Sullivan Show Herself 4 episodes
1957 Cinderella Portia TV special
1957–1962 Tonight Starring Jack Paar Herself 27 episodes
1958 Make Me Laugh Herself 3 episodes
1958–1960 The Garry Moore Show Herself 3 episodes
1960–1963 The Perry Como Show Herself 52 episodes
1962 Play Your Hunch Herself 2 episodes
1962 The Tonight Show Herself 2 episodes
1963 Candid Camera Herself 2 episodes
1963–1975 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Herself 55 episodes
1963–1978 The Merv Griffin Show Herself 10 episodes
1963–1979 The Mike Douglas Show Herself 34 episodes
1964 The Patty Duke Show Mrs. Selby "The Perfect Teenager"
1967–1968 The Hollywood Palace Herself 2 episodes
1967–1969 The Mothers-in-Law Kaye Buell Main role: 56 episodes
1967–1975 Hollywood Squares Herself 168 episodes
1968 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Guest "1.5"
1968-1969 Kraft Music Hall Herself 2 episodes
1968–1969 The Jerry Lewis Show Herself 4 episodes
1969 The Red Skelton Show DMV Clerk "Willie Lump Lump's Birthday"
1969 Storybook Squares Herself 1 episode
1969 Della Herself 2 episodes
1969 The Leslie Uggams Show Herself 2 episodes
1969–1970 Kraft Music Hall Herself 3 episodes
1970 All My Children Mrs. Remo TV series
1970 Love, American Style Sally "Love and the V.I.P. Restaurant"
1970 The Bob Hope Show Herself 1 episode
1970-1971 It's Your Bet Herself 2 episodes
1970–1972 The Doris Day Show Angie Pallucci Recurring role: 10 episodes
1971 The Dick Cavett Show Herself 1 episode
1971 Here's Lucy Donna "Lucy and Harry's Italian Bombshell"
1971 Love, American Style Helen "Love and the Dream Burglar"
1972 The David Frost Show Herself 1 episode
1972–1973 The Carol Burnett Show Herself 2 episodes
1973–1974 Match Game Herself 10 episodes
1973 Pyramid Herself 5 episodes
1974 Celebrity Sweepstakes Herself 1 episode
1974 Celebrity Bowling Herself 1 episode
1974 The Bob Braun Show Herself 1 episode
1974-1976 Dinah! Herself 1 episode
1975 The Montefuscos Filomena "Filomena's Visit"
1976 Police Story Nurse Ladue "Officer Dooly"
1977 Alice Seama "The Hex"
1977 The Muppet Show Guest 1 episode
1978–1981 The Love Boat Cora Bass / Joan Redmond / Babe 3 episodes
1979 Fantasy Island Elvira Wilson 'Hit Man/The Swimmer"
1980 The Dream Merchants Esther Kessler TV miniseries
1980 Broadway on Showtime Salome "The Robber Bridegroom"
1980 The Steve Allen Comedy Hour Herself 3 episodes
1980–1981 Trapper John, M.D. Beulah Krakowsky / Mother 2 episodes
1981 Irene Dotty Busmill TV film
1981 Here's Boomer Sophia "Make 'Em Laugh"
1983 Great Performances Duchess "Alice in Wonderland"
1984 Young People's Specials Mrs. Deluca "That Funny Fat Kid"
1985 Doris Day's Best Friends' Herself 1 episode
1986 The Lee Phillip Show Herself 1 episode
1987 The Law & Harry McGraw Angela Calucci "Angela's Secret"
1989 The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Madame Agogo 1 episode
1989 Monsters Faye Ingram "Rerun"
1989–1991 The Munsters Today Mother Earth / Mother Nature 2 episodes
1990–91 What a Dummy Mrs. Treva Travalony Main role: 24 episodes
1991 The Munsters Today Mother Earth "A-Camping We Will Go"
1991 Doris Day: A Sentimental Journey Herself TV Documentary
1993 Daddy Dearest Mrs. Lento "Al vs. DMV"
1994–95 Due South Mrs. Vecchio 3 episodes
1996–1999 The Rosie O'Donnell Show Herself 3 episodes
1998–2001 Biography Herself 2 episodes
1999–2001 Mysteries and Scandals Herself 4 episodes
2002 The Hollywood Greats Herself Season 8, Episode 8: "Doris Day"

Stage workEdit


Year Albums / Singles Material Co-Singers
1950 Love Like Ours / Thinking Of You Single
1952 Oklahoma Studio Cast of the Musical Nelson Eddy
1952 Roberta Studio Cast of the Musical Nelson Eddy
1953 Gershwin Rarities Volume 1 Compilation
1954 The Golden Apple Original Broadway Cast Anna Maria Alberghetti
1954 In other Words / Lazy Afternoon Single
1954 Triumph Of Love / Where Were You Last Night Single
1955 In Love And Out Again / Don't You Tell Pa Single
1955 Lyrics by Lerner Album
1956 The Girl most likely Original Movie Cast Jane Powell
1957 Cinderella Original TV Cast Album Julie Andrews
1957 The Parade Is Passing Me By / A Difference In Age Single
1959 Kaye Ballard swings! Live Album
1959 The Fanny Brice Story in Songs Album
1960 Hush Little Baby / Resta Cu'mme (Stay Here With Me) Single
1961 Boo Hoo Ha-Ha Album
1961 Carnival Original Broadway Cast
1961 Kaye Ballard Live? Album
1962 Peanuts Album Arthur Siegel
1962 Mr. President Studio Cast of the Musical Perry Como
1963 I'll Remember Him / Here And Now Single
1964 Cole Porter Revisited Compilation
1964 I Want You To Be The First To Know / Maybe This Time Single
1965 My Dog met your Dog / An Onion and You Single
1966 Ben Bagley's The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter Compilation
1972 Unpublished Cole Porter Compilation
1981 So long, 174th Street Studio Cast of the Original Musical Robert Morse
1983 Ben Bagley's Jerome Kern Revisited Vol. II Compilation
1983 Ben Bagley's Jerome Kern Revisited Vol. III Compilation
1985 The Ladies who wrote the Lyrics Album
1985 Contemporary Broadway Revisited Compilation
1986 Mostly Mercer Compilation
1990 Nymph Errant Live Recording
1992 Hey, Ma Live Recording of Show
1995 Then & Again Album
1995 Long Time Friends Album Jaye P. Morgan
1998 Follies Papermill Playhouse Cast
2000 Another Final Farewell Appearance Live Recording of Show
2001 Kaye Ballard sings her favorite Songs Album


  1. ^ Genzlinger, Neil. "Kaye Ballard, Indefatigable Comedian and Actress, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.calabriansmostfamous.com/kaye-ballard/
  3. ^ a b c d e Barnes, Mike; Byrge, Duane (2019-01-22). "Kaye Ballard Dead: 'Mothers-in-Law' Star Was 93". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-01-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 451. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. ^ Billboard. 1954-05-08. p. 24. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  6. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2019-01-22). "Kaye Ballard, Indefatigable Comedian and Actress, Dies at 93 (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  7. ^ Daddy Dearest Episode Guide. TV Guide.
  8. ^ a b Ballard, Kaye (2005). How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years. Back Stage Books. pp. 183–185. ISBN 978-0823084784. Retrieved March 26, 2018. follies.
  9. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars website Archived 2012-10-13 at the Wayback Machine; accessed May 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Gordon "Whitey" (2006). Star Walk: A Guide to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Palm Springs, California: Hall/Sloane. p. 6; 99. ISBN 978-0-9638683-4-3.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew (September 1, 2010). "Kaye Ballard, Donna McKechnie and Liliane Montevecchi Set for From Broadway with Love". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  12. ^ "Special show held to benefit the humane treatment of animals". KVUE News. February 5, 2012.
  13. ^ Thomas, Nick (2015-11-10). "Kaye Ballard recalls a long, eventful career". Morganton.com | The News Herald. Archived from the original on 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  14. ^ "Kaye Ballard, Boisterous Singer and Actress, Dies at 93". usnews.com. January 22, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  15. ^ Dagan, Carmel (January 22, 2019). "Kaye Ballard, Star of 'The Mothers-in-Law,' Dies at 93". Variety. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  16. ^ "Kaye Ballard". Discogs. Retrieved 2021-12-12.

External linksEdit