Ann B. Davis Papers
 


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Ann B. Davis Papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Ann B. Davis manuscript collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Abstract:
Ann B. Davis was a television and stage actress best known for her roles as Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz on The Bob Cummings Show and as Alice Nelson on The Brady Bunch. Born in Schenectady, New York in 1926, Davis attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a degree in drama and speech. She went on to perform in television and stage productions from the 1950s until her death in 2014. Materials in this digital collection include photographs and video from a production of Follies in Concert and photographs of Ann Davis in advertisements for Swiffer.

Biography:

Ann B. Davis (1926-2014) was born in Schenectady, New York on May 3, 1926. She moved with her family, including her older brother Evans and twin sister Harriet, to Erie, Pennsylvania at the age of three. Davis attended the University of Michigan, initially intending to become a doctor. She changed her major after seeing her brother perform in a production of the musical Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in drama and speech in 1948.

Davis moved to California in the early 1950s and was discovered while performing in cabaret musicals. She was cast in her first major television role as Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz in The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959). Davis won two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role in 1958 and 1959 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. Following her portrayal as Schultzy, she appeared in a season of The John Forsythe Show and in commercials for Ford Motor Company.

Ann Davis' second major television role was as Alice Nelson on The Brady Bunch (1969-1974). She continued to be involved in Brady Bunch productions for the following several decades, including appearances in The Brady Bunch Reunion, The Brady Brides, The Bradys, The Brady Bunch Hour, and several Brady Bunch movies. Davis, working with Ron Newcomer, released a book containing Brady Bunch inspired recipes, Alice's Brady Bunch Cookbook, in 1994.

Davis continued to perform in plays and musicals throughout her television career, and following her role on The Brady Bunch her professional life focused heavily on stage productions. She performed in stage productions including Arsenic and Old Lace, Crazy for You, Follies, and The Nearlyweds, a play written for her by Brady Bunch producer Lloyd Schwartz. In addition to theatre and occasional film and television roles, Davis also continued to be appear in commercial advertisements for companies including Shake 'n Bake and Swiffer.

Although Ann Davis continued to perform in television and theatre productions following her portrayal of Alice, the final 40 years of her life were mainly spent with an Episcopal community led by Bishop William C. Frey. She moved to Denver, Colorado to join the community in the mid-1970s, later relocating to Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

Ann Davis died at the age of 88 on June 1, 2014 after suffering a fall in the San Antonio, Texas residence in which she lived with Bishop Frey and his wife.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.



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