Kentucky Jones

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Veterinarian KIDS: Dwight Eisenhower (‘Ike’) Wong (9) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. Ike was an adopted orphan STAND-IN “MOM”:Unknown The late Mrs. Jones applied to adopt a Chinese orphan just before she died. Kentucky was left to care for a 9-year-old daughter and still manage a veterinary practice in Southern California. Kentucky was a reluctant dad in the style of …

Daktari

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Jungle Veterinarian KIDS: Paula Tracy (Cheryl Miller)(19) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead or something. STAND-IN “MOM”: none I just remember the cross-eyed lion, Clarence. Beats me about the rest of it. Wait, didn’t Paula date a guy who looked like Mike Minor from Petticoat Junction?

My Little Margie

Jim 1950s - 1960s

AIRED: 1952-55 DAD: Vernon Albright (Charles Farrell) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Investment Banker KIDS:  Margie (Gale Storm), 18 WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – so is Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”:Mrs. Odetts (Gertrude Hoff) The granddaddy of them all, My Little Margie set the stage for most TV Single Dad sitcom plots: the child decides Dad needs a new wife, and goes “shopping” for …

Bonanza

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) / Widower x 3 DAD’S JOB: Rancher WHERE’S MOM?: Each of the three Moms died in childbirth – really! (or NOT — read the Viewer Responses, below)… STAND-IN “MOM”: Hop Sing (Victor Sen Yung) As Danny DeVito said in the movie Tin Men, this show is about “a 50-year-old man with three 49-year-old sons.” Domestic …

O.K. Crackerby!

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Richest man in the world KIDS: Cynthia (Brooke Adams), Hobart (teenagers), and O.K. Jr. (age unknown) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – unknown causes. STAND-IN “MOM”: St. John Quincy (Hal Buckley), the Crackerby kids’ tutor O.K., like Jed Clampett, was a recent billionaire. The difference was that O.K. was not okay about his roots, and was always trying to get …

To Rome With Love

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: College Professor KIDS: Alison (Joyce Menges), Penny (Susan Neher), Mary Jane “Pokey” (Melanie Fullerton) WHERE’S MOM?: Died just before episode one. STAND-IN “MOM”: Harriet Endicott (Kay Medford) / Aunt, then Andy Pruitt (Walter Brennan) / Grandpa

Life with Luigi

Jim 1950s - 1960s

AIRED: 1952-53 DAD: Pasquale (Alan Reed) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Restaurant owner KIDS:  Rosa Pasquale (Jody Gilbert), 18 WHERE’S MOM?: Dead STAND-IN “MOM”:unknown A radio crossover (started on radio in 1948) – this show missed being the first TV Single Dad show by only a few months. Pasquale sponsored the title character's immigration in the hopes of having him marry …

Dudley Do-Right

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Inspector Ray K. Fenwick (voice of Paul Frees) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman KIDS: Nell (voice of June Foray) (18-ish) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – Unknown cause STAND-IN “MOM”: Nobody Dudley wound up with his own show, a decade after Rocky‘s premiere, on CBS. Trivia: watch for Hans Conreid (the voice of Snidely Whiplash) popping up in …

Hank

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Student-in-disguise KIDS: Tina Dearborn (Katie Sweet) (5) WHERE’S MOM?: Parents are dead. STAND-IN “MOM”: Franny (Kelly Jean Peters) / babysitter Okay, adult brothers can be TV Single Dads, too! (See “Kirk” on my ’90’s page.) Hank Dearborn’s parents died when he was 15, leaving him to support his little sister, Tina. Hank’s determination to go to college despite …