Friday, February 08, 2013
In 1953, Danny Thomas’s family sitcom Make Room for Daddy debuted on ABC. Thomas was ordered, against his wishes, to cast Jean Hagen as his wife, Margaret. Hagen was beloved and received three Emmy nominations. But off-screen, Thomas couldn’t stand her attitude or what he considered her slovenly appearance. “For God’s sake, Jean,” he once yelled during a rehearsal, “put on high heels, put on a little lipstick!” After the third season, Hagen quit the show, but she was too popular for the role to be recast. Thomas made sure Hagen could never return even if she wanted to: When the fourth season of Make Room for Daddy premiered in 1956, viewers were shocked to learn that Margaret was dead. She was the first main character ever killed off on a family sitcom.
Quentin Tarantino’s showbiz debut was as an Elvis impersonator on The Golden Girls.