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David Denby

David Denby

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One of the most employed TV sitcom second bananas of the 1950s and 60s, Mary Jane Croft was so busy she co-starred in several series at the same time, but is best recalled for her work alongside Lucille Ball on the last season of "I Love Lucy" as the somewhat snooty Connecticut friend Betty Ramsey. She later replaced Vivian Vance as Lucy's sidekick on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy". Croft wore her blonde hair in the same manner for 25 years, and the blandness of the style made her adaptable to playing uppercrust matrons or lower rung career gals. In addition to reprising her radio role of Miss Daisy Enright on "Our Miss Brooks" (CBS, 1952-54), she played neighbor to the Nelsons on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (ABC, 1954-66) and provided the voice of Cleo, the commenting basset hound, on "The People's Choice" (NBC, 1955-58). Other credits included recurring roles on "I Married Joan" (NBC, 1952-55), and "The Life of Riley" (NBC, 1953-58). But it is her work with Ball that has given her the most longevity for the TV viewer. Although not as memorable as Vivian Vance as Ball's cohort, Croft actually worked with the red-haired comedienne for more years, She also did not perform the outrageous...

One of the most employed TV sitcom second bananas of the 1950s and 60s, Mary Jane Croft was so busy she co-starred in several series at the same time, but is best recalled for her work alongside Lucille Ball on the last season of "I Love Lucy" as the somewhat snooty Connecticut friend Betty Ramsey. She later replaced Vivian Vance as Lucy's sidekick on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy". Croft wore her blonde hair in the same manner for 25 years, and the blandness of the style made her adaptable to playing uppercrust matrons or lower rung career gals. In addition to reprising her radio role of Miss Daisy Enright on "Our Miss Brooks" (CBS, 1952-54), she played neighbor to the Nelsons on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (ABC, 1954-66) and provided the voice of Cleo, the commenting basset hound, on "The People's Choice" (NBC, 1955-58). Other credits included recurring roles on "I Married Joan" (NBC, 1952-55), and "The Life of Riley" (NBC, 1953-58).

But it is her work with Ball that has given her the most longevity for the TV viewer. Although not as memorable as Vivian Vance as Ball's cohort, Croft actually worked with the red-haired comedienne for more years, She also did not perform the outrageous stunts that her predecessor did, instead providing a comfortable confidante in lieu of a comrade-in-arms. After the demise of "Here's Lucy", Croft more or less retired yet was a frequent interviewee on retrospective tributes to Ball and appeared at We Love Lucy Fan Club conventions.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 On Cukor (2000)
2.
 Culture Shock (2000)
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