Kaye Ballard (November 20, 1925 – January 21, 2019) was an American musical theatre and television actress, comedian and singer.
Kaye Ballard's late 1950s publicity photo
Catherine Gloria Balotta
November 20, 1925
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||January 21, 2019 (aged 93)|
|Occupation||Actress, singer, comedian|
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 emigrated to the United States from Calabria, a region of southern Italy. Her siblings were Orlando, Jean and Rosalie.
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. 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. Ballard made her television debut on Henry Morgan's Great Talent Hunt, a short-lived NBC program hosted by Henry Morgan which first aired January 26, 1951. In 1954, she was the first person to record the song "Fly Me to the Moon".
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. During the 1961–1963 television seasons, Ballard was a regular on NBC's 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 an LP record, 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. In 1964 she had a guest role on The Patty Duke Show, playing a teacher for would-be models. From 1967 to 1969, she co-starred as Kaye Buell, a woman whose son marries her next door neighbor's daughter, in the NBC sitcom The Mothers-in-Law, with Eve Arden playing her neighbor. From 1970 to 1972, she also appeared as a regular on The Doris Day Show, playing restaurant owner Angie Pallucci . She made appearances on the American television 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 phony medium, as well as Daddy Dearest, where she guest-starred opposite Richard Lewis and Don Rickles as a DMV clerk.
Ballard starred on Broadway as Helen in The Golden Apple (1954) introducing the song "Lazy Afternoon". 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. 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.
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.
In December 2010, she, Donna McKechnie and Liliane Montevecchi starred in a Santa Fe production of From Broadway with Love, staged at the Lensic Theater. Ballard was in the 2012 cabaret show Doin' It for Love, which premiered in Austin, Texas, at the historic Paramount Theatre. Starring Ballard and Montevecchi, the cast included Broadway dancer Lee Roy Reams. (The Austin performance benefited the Texas Humane Legislation Network.) 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.
|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|
|1988||Tiger Warsaw||Aunt Thelma|
|1990||Eternity||Sabrina / Selma|
|1994||Ava's Magical Adventure||Leona|
|1998||The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer||Mrs. Grumpy Old Man|
|2000||The Million Dollar Kid||Mrs. Crabby|
|2000||Little Insects||Queen Palooma (voice)|
|1964||The Patty Duke Show||Mrs. Selby||"The Perfect Teenager"|
|1967–1969||The Mothers-in-Law||Kaye Buell||Main role|
|1968||Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In||Guest||"1.5"|
|1970||The Doris Day Show||Flossie Moore||"Kidnapped"|
|1970||All My Children||Mrs. Remo||TV series|
|1970||Love, American Style||Sally||"Love and the V.I.P. Restaurant"|
|1970–1972||The Doris Day Show||Angie Pallucci||Recurring role|
|1971||Here's Lucy||Donna||"Lucy and Harry's Italian Bombshell"|
|1971||Love, American Style||Helen||"Love and the Dream Burglar"|
|1975||The Montefuscos||Filomena||"Filomena's Visit"|
|1976||Police Story||Nurse Ladue||"Officer Dooly"|
|1977||The Muppet Show||Guest||1 episode|
|1978||The Love Boat||Cora Bass||1 episode|
|1979||The Love Boat||Joan Redmond||1 episode|
|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"|
|1981||The Love Boat||Babe||1 episode|
|1981||Irene||Dotty Busmill||TV film|
|1981||Here's Boomer||Sophia||"Make 'Em Laugh"|
|1981||Trapper John, M.D.||Beulah Krakowsky||"Cooperative Care"|
|1983||Great Performances||Duchess||"Alice in Wonderland"|
|1984||Young People's Specials||Mrs. Deluca||"That Funny Fat Kid"|
|1987||The Law & Harry McGraw||Angela Calucci||"Angela's Secret"|
|1989||The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!||Madame Agogo||1 episode|
|1989||The Munsters Today||Mother Nature||"The Not So Great Escape"|
|1990–91||What a Dummy||Mrs. Treva Travalony||Main role|
|1991||The Munsters Today||Mother Earth||"A-Camping We Will Go"|
|1993||Daddy Dearest||Mrs. Lento||"Al vs. DMV"|
|1994–95||Due South||Mrs. Vecchio||"Pilot", "They Eat Horses, Don't They?", "Vault"|
- Three to Make Ready (1946)
- Touch and Go (London, 1950)
- Top Banana (1952) (replacement for Rose Marie)
- The Golden Apple (1954)
- Reuben, Reuben (1955) (closed on the road)
- Wonderful Town (1958; 1963)
- Carnival! (1961)
- The Beast In Me (1963)
- Royal Flush (1964) (closed on the road)
- The Decline and Fall of the Entire World As Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter (1965)
- Minnie's Boys (1972)
- Molly (1973)
- Gypsy (1973)
- Sheba (1974) (closed on the road)
- Apartment 8 Strikes Back (1980)
- The Pirates of Penzance (1981) (replacement for Estelle Parsons)
- Pippin (1982)
- Hey, Ma ... Kaye Ballard (1984)
- High Spirits (1984)
- The Ladies Who Wrote the Lyrics (1985)
- Kaye Ballard: Working 42nd St. at Last! (1988)
- Nymph Errant (1989)
- Funny Girl (1991; 1997; 2002)
- Hey, Ma - Working Hollywood Blvd. at Last! (1991)
- Chicago (1992, Long Beach)
- No, No, Nanette (1994, Long Beach; 1997, Paper Mill Playhouse)
- Follies (1998, Paper Mill Playhouse)
- The Full Monty (2001)
- Nunsense (2003)
- Genzlinger, Neil. "Kaye Ballard, Indefatigable Comedian and Actress, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- Daddy Dearest Episode Guide. TV Guide.
- Ballard, Kaye (2005). How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years. Back Stage Books. pp. 183–185. ISBN 978-0823084784. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Palm Springs Walk of Stars website Archived 2012-10-13 at the Wayback Machine; accessed May 3, 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Special show held to benefit the humane treatment of animals". KVUE News. February 5, 2012.
- "Kaye Ballard, Boisterous Singer and Actress, Dies at 93". usnews.com. January 22, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- Dagan, Carmel (January 22, 2019). "Kaye Ballard, Star of 'The Mothers-in-Law,' Dies at 93". Variety. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- Kaye Ballard on IMDb
- Kaye Ballard at the Internet Broadway Database
- Kaye Ballard at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Kaye Ballard at the TCM Movie Database
- Kaye Ballard at AllMovie
- Kaye Ballard website
- "Kaye Ballard recalls a long, eventful career". Nick Thomas (November 10, 2015), The News Herald.