The Great Gildersleeve

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1955 Syndicated DAD: Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman) / Single DAD’S JOB: Water Commissioner of Summerfield KID: Marjorie Forrester(Stephanie Griffith), Leroy Forrester(Ronald Keith) / Niece & Nephew WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. So’s Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”: Birdie Lee Coggins (Lillian Randolph) / Housekeeper Technically, this show started before WWII — but it was a *radio* show when it began in 1941. …

Beverly Hillbillies

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Bazillionaire KIDS: Elly May Clampett (teenager – yeah, right) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead for quite some time – unknown. STAND-IN “MOM”: Granny Clampett / Daisy Moses (Irene Ryan) Bet you forgot Jed Clampett was a TV Single Dad. Technically, he was also a father-figure to live-in nephew Jethro, but Jed’s sister Pearl …

The Guns of Will Sonnett

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Retired cavalry scout KIDS: Jeff Sonnett (Dack Rambo) (19) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. But that’s not important. STAND-IN “MOM”: Will Sonnett — the grandfather. Let’s return to a familiar storyline — Grandpa raises the kid when the parents are dead/missing (see The Ed Wynn Show for details). In this western, Jeff Sonnett’s dad, who is also Will Sonnett’s son, …

Circus Boy

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1956(NBC)-57(ABC) KIDS: Corky (Mickey Braddock {Mickey Dolenz})(10) WHERE’S MOM?: Mom and Dad both dead – killed in a high-wire act. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown Consider the role of disastrous high-wire acts in the history of TV Single Dads. In this show, Corky the Circus Boy loses his acrobatic parents in a trapeze mishap, and winds up sharing adventures with Big …

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Traveling Doctor KIDS: Jaimie McPheeters (Kurt Russell) (12) WHERE’S MOM?: Unknown STAND-IN “MOM”: Mrs. Kissel? (Meg Wylie)/ traveling companion Long before he was Snake Pliskin, Kurt Russell was lovable Jaimie McPheeters, crossing the Rockies in a wagon train with his shifty dad, played by a stovepipe-hat-wearing Dan O’Herlihy. Don’t cry because the series was cancelled, because these actors …

Accidental Family

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Nightclub comedian KIDS: Sandy (Teddy Quinn)(11) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. STAND-IN “MOM”: Sue Kramer / divorced “nanny” Am I the only one who remembers this show? This was kinda like Green Acres without Eva Gabor. Jerry Webster was a comedian who bought a farm so that his son would have a place to stay while Jerry was on the …

Bachelor Father

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe) / Single (!) DAD’S JOB: Lawyer KIDS: Kelly (Noreen Corcoran)(14) WHERE’S MOM?: Mom and Dad both dead. Bentley was Kelly’s parents’ attorney and executor – wound up with wardship! STAND-IN “MOM”: Peter Tong (Sammee Tong) Should have been called “Suddenly Dad;” this show was a retake on the My Little Margie scenario, except Uncle Bentley …

Milton the Monster

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Mad Scientist KIDS: Milton (voice of Bob McFadden)(last week) WHERE’S MOM?: 10000 cemeteries? STAND-IN “MOM”: Count Kook Producer Hal Seeger patterned this Saturday-morning cartoon after the success of such “monster” hits as The Munsters and The Addams Family. Milton was accidentally created with “too much tenderness” by Professor Weirdo, and was therefore a disappointment to his “dad.”

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Magazine Editor (or something like that) KIDS: Eddie (Brandon Cruz) (10) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead recently – unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki) This show is based on the 1963 Glenn Ford movie of the same name. The epitome of TV Single Dads, Bill Bixby is, along with Brian Keith, among the first TV Single Dads brought …

Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1955-57 DAD’S JOB: Legionnaire KIDS: Cuffy Sanders (Cullen Crabbe)(11) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – – so’s Dad – he’s an orphan. STAND-IN “MOM”: Sergeant Du Val (Gilles Queant) Somewhat like Rin-Tin-Tin, only subtract the dog and add the desert. I’m pretty sure this is a first: Buster Crabbe’s foster child was played by his real-life son Cullen. This show was …