Well, Ms. Mitchell is still going strong at age ninety-four, and you can get a quick look at her amazing career over at the Radio Spirits blog this a.m. The screen capture above is from an appearance she made on The Real McCoys in 1957—to my knowledge, that was the only time she was on the program—and she played the wife of Mac Maginnis, a minor character on the program essayed by another OTR vet, Willard Waterman. I find this episode (“Luke Gets His Freedom”) a delight because Mitchell and Waterman performed together on The Great Gildersleeve, the radio comedy featuring Shirley’s signature turn as flirtatious Southern belle (from Savannah, y’all) Leila Ransom. (I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Mrs. Maginnis’ first name is “Lela.”) The two performers also worked in tandem on Leave it to Joan, a 1949-50 radio sitcom starring Joan Davis, and while Waterman was still alive they attended many an old-time radio convention.
Mitchell is also the last surviving recurring cast member of I Love Lucy; she played one of Lucy Ricardo’s chums, Marion Strong, in three episodes of that iconic sitcom. Thrilling Days of Yesteryear wishes her much love and luck on her birthday today—she is truly a show business treasure.
And thus…TDOY was born. I honestly have difficulty believing sometimes that I’ve been doing this for a decade, and I’ve been enormously fortunate in that it’s not only something I love doing but that it opened up avenues to where I’ve been richly compensated (in a monetary sense), as witnessed by my long association with Radio Spirits (thanks to Mark, Nancy, Karen and the rest of them for all the work and support) and newest gig with ClassicFlix. Thanks to L.B. for coming up with the idea in the first place; thanks to S.Z. and Scott C. for showing me not only how simple it was but also how I would never be able to compete with World O’Crap (not even after massive humor injections); thanks to Stacia for being my BBFF; thanks to Philip Schweier for the guest reviewery and cub reporters Larry Shell and Tom Stillabower; and thanks to each and every one of you out there who have encouraged my behavior over the past ten years. Baby, you’re the greatest.