Ann Sothern

Ann Sothern

A good friend of Zachary Scott's former wife, Elaine Anderson, stage manager for many Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Broadway productions, Ann introduced Elaine Scott to novelist John Steinbeck, who eventually married her. Upon Steinbeck's death Elaine became the administrator of the writer's estate.

A singer in her early career, she sang with Artie Shaw's band among others. She was also a published songwriter and recorded two albums.

Ex-daughter-in-law of Arthur Pryor.

Good friends with Lucille Ball and Ann Dvorak, both of whom she met while working as a chorus girl (Ball at the Goldwyn Studios, Dvorak at MGM).

Had been so busy in the entertainment industry for so many years, once quipped that she had done everything in the business except rodeo.

Her mother was a concert singer who traveled; Ann followed suit studying singing and musical composition. In later years her mother became a diction and vocal coach and taught microphone technique for talking pictures.

Her paternal grandfather, Simon Lake, was the inventor of the modern submarine.

Her sister Marion was once a secretary to columnist Abigail Van Buren ("Dear Abby").

Her younger sister was the prolific singer/songwriter Bonnie Lake who wrote several popular standards such as "Sandman", "I've Got Your Number" and "Gracias" - songs later recorded by such big band stars as Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. In the 1940s, Bonnie founded the Bonnie Lake Music Publishing Company.

In 1953, her film career waned and she decided to give TV a try. When a TV series based on her popular "Maisie" film character failed to materialize, she made her series debut with Suzie McNamara on "Private Secretary" (1953).

In her role as Susie McNamara on "Private Secretary" (1953) (which ran 1953-1958), Sothern played the first working woman on an American TV sitcom.

Left visibly overweight by a bout of hepatitis, she only wore black outfits in her 1950s sitcoms "Private Secretary" (1953) and "The Ann Sothern Show" (1958).

Mother of look-alike, sound-alike actress Tisha Sterling. The two appeared in The Whales of August (1987), with Tisha, in the prelude scene, portraying a younger-day Ann.

Portrayed Maisie Ravier on Mutual Radio's "The Adventures of Maisie" (1949- 1951).

Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. [1999]

Replaced Kim Stanley at the last minute in A Death of Innocence (1971) (TV), featuring her daughter Tisha Sterling, when Stanley was unable to perform.