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Classic TV Remembered: Family Affair

If you were on the planet in the mid to late 1960′s, you might remember a lot of turmoil.

There was, of course, the Viet Nam war. Unrest on college campuses. Draft dodgers. The violent death’s of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

There was also historic event’s. The Moon landing. Woodstock. The summer of love. Hippies. Drugs. Music that kids loved…and parents hated.

And if you wanted to get away from it all, at least for a half hour a week, well, you could always count on Uncle Bill, Mr. French, Cissy, Jodie and Buffy.

Oh yeah, and Mrs. Beasley. We can’t forget Mrs. Beasley!

What a great, warm memory. ‘Family Affair’ aired on CBS (KELO TV for our house!) from 1966-1971. Uncle Bill Davis is big New York City was taking care of his brother’s kids, with the help of his ‘Gentleman’s Gentleman’, Mr. French.

Each week, Buffy and Jodie would get into…well, not trouble…but situations. And usually with the help of older (and wiser) sister Cissy and the 2 grown-ups, by the end of the 1/2 hour, all was well until the next incident next week.

Lame? Yeah, I guess when you put it up against what’s on TV these days. But it sure was family-friendly on the console television on the farm.

So what happened to those folk’s from ‘Family Affair’?

Well, Brian Keith was Uncle Bill. He had a long, successful acting career which began in 1952. Suffering from emphysema and lung cancer, Brian Keith took his own life in 1997 at the age of 75.

Sebastian Cabot was the ever-correct Mr. French. This London born actor began his acting career at the age of 17 way back in 1935 and appeared in many movies and TV shows (I remember him in a classic ‘Twilight Zone’). Sebastian Cabot died of a stroke in 1977 at the age of 59.

Kathy Garver was older sister Cissy. Kathy is alive and well at 67, and has written cookbooks in the past several years.

Jodie? That was Johnny Whitaker. Johnny had an addiction to drugs, but has reportedly been sober for over 15 years and at the age of 53 he has dedicated his life to addiction rehabilitation.

And Buffy? Buffy was Anissa Jones. Anissa died of a drug overdose at the young age of 18 in 1976, another Hollywood tragedy.

Oh yeah, and Mrs. Beasley? Well, if you aren’t old enough to know or remember, well, Mrs. Beasley was Buffy’s doll. And if I remember right, there were million’s of Mrs. Beasley’s sold all around the world.

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