Doris Singleton

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly three-hour interview, Doris Singleton talks about her early career as a ballet dancer in New York. She describes her work as a singer and actress in network radio, where she appeared on many of the medium's now-classic shows. She speaks in great detail about her recurring role as "Carolyn Appleby" on the classic television sitcom I Love Lucy. She talks about the production of the series, Lucille Ball's working style, and the shows frequent famous guest stars, including Harpo Marx, Van Johnson, and George Reeves. She also discusses several of her other memorable guest roles on television through the years, including her appearances on My Three Sons, The Twilight Zone, Hazel, and Hogan's Heroes. During the interview she speaks frequently about her late husband, comedy writer Charlie Isaacs, to whom she was married for 60 years. Jennifer Howard conducted the interview on April 21, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA.

"Learn as you go along, listen to and watch people. Watch performers who are good performers. And don't rely on idiot cards and teleprompters and so forth. Have it in your head."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Doris Singleton on working on Lucille Ball's radio show My Favorite Husband
Doris Singleton on her character "Carolyn Appleby" on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on working with Lucille Ball and on a typical work week on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the invention of the three camera technique on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on appearing on Hogan's Heroes
Doris Singleton on advice to actors just starting out
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences; on finishing high school at age sixteen; on her first professional role in a theater production; on being a singer for WNEW; on joining the American Ballet Theatre (ABT)
On why she left ABT; on singing with Art Jarrett; on returning to California; on meeting her future husband, Charlie Isaacs; on becoming active in radio, being introduced to writer Sanford Barnett, and auditioning for Lever Brothers commercials for Lux Radio Theatre

Chapter 2

On working in radio programs with Alan Young, Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, and others; on performing in front of an audience on radio shows; on the first time she saw television and her early impressions of television
On doing early television commercials; on working on Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband and on I Love Lucy, its television successor; on the importance of the audience feedback on I Love Lucy and the challenges of performing for three cameras; on the basic premise of I Love Lucy

Chapter 3

On playing "Carolyn Appleby" on I Love Lucy; on working with the cast; on a typical work week on I Love Lucy; on the I Love Lucy episode with Harpo Marx and other favorite episodes
On working on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy; on still being recognized as "Carolyn Appleby" from I Love Lucy

Chapter 4

On I Love Lucy fans, fandom, and the popularity of the show; on working on Adventures of Superman, The Great Gildersleeve, The Bob Cummings Show, The People's Choice, and NBC Matinee Theater
On working on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, Frontier Doctor, Angel, The Ann Sothern Show, and The Loretta Young Show

Chapter 5

On working as a guest performer on 1960's television shows -- Gunsmoke, The Real McCoys, Hazel, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Munsters, and The Fugitive
On appearing on The F.B.I., The Red Skelton Show, Hogan's Heroes, and My Three Sons; on working on the TV movie The Boy Who Stole the Elephant
On working on 1970's television, including All in the Family and Phyllis

Chapter 6

On her role on Days of Our Lives; on how acting for soap operas differed from acting for sitcoms; on her role on Dynasty; on wearing her own clothes on a lot of the shows she worked on
On her acting style, advice to aspiring actors, and acting for television, stage, and radio; on McCarthyism and the Hollywood Blacklist; on her retirement; on her husband, the late television writer Charlie Isaacs; on career highlights and how she'd like to be remembered
On B-roll photos from her career: performing with Art Jarrett's band; as a pin-up girl during her radio days; with I Love Lucy cast members in the episode "Lucy Tells the Truth"; with Harpo Marx on I Love Lucy; with Norm Alden on My Three Sons; with Shirley Booth on Hazel; with John Banner on Hogan's Heroes; with Walter Brennan on The Tycoon; on Gunsmoke; with Betty Lynn on The Boy Who Stole the Elephant; and with her late husband, Charlie Isaacs
Shows

Adventures of Superman

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Doris Singleton on working on Adventures of Superman

Alan Young Show, The

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Doris Singleton on working on Alan Young's radio show, The Alan Young Show, and transitioning with the show from radio to television

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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Doris Singleton on working on Alfred Hitchcock Presents

All in the Family

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Doris Singleton on working on All in the Family

Angel (1960-61)

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Doris Singleton on working on the Jess Oppenheimer sitcom Angel

Ann Sothern Show, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Ann Sothern Show

Bob Cummings Show, The aka Love That Bob

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Doris Singleton on working on The Bob Cummings Show

Boy Who Stole the Elephant, The

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Doris Singleton on working on a TV movie The Boy Who Stole the Elephant
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Betty Lynn on The Boy Who Stole the Elephant

Colgate Comedy Hour, The

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Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, being the head writer of Colgate Comedy Hour and working with Jimmy Durante and many others

Days of Our Lives

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Doris Singleton on her role on the soap opera Days of Our Lives

December Bride

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Doris Singleton on working on the radio program, December Bride, but not working on the television version

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Doris Singleton on The Dick Van Dyke Show
Doris Singleton on coming into an established ensemble cast on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Duffy's Tavern

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Doris Singleton on working on the radio and TV versions of Duffy's Tavern

Dynasty

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Doris Singleton on her role on Dynasty

FBI, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The F.B.I. with Charles Bronson

Frank Sinatra Show, The (1957-58)

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Doris Singleton on her role in The Frank Sinatra Show on radio

Frontier Doctor

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Doris Singleton on working on Frontier Doctor with Rex Allen

Fugitive, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Fugitive

Great Gildersleeve, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Great Gildersleeve

Gunsmoke

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Doris Singleton on working on Gunsmoke
Doris Singleton on a photo of her on Gunsmoke

Hazel

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Doris Singleton on working on Hazel with Shirley Booth
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Shirley Booth on Hazel

Here's Lucy

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Doris Singleton on working on Here's Lucy

Hogan's Heroes

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Doris Singleton on appearing on Hogan's Heroes
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with John Banner on Hogan's Heroes

I Love Lucy

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Doris Singleton on her salary for her role in I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on her role in I Love Lucy and the start of the three-camera technique
Doris Singleton on the importance of the audience feedback on I Love Lucy and the challenges of performing for three cameras
Doris Singleton on the basic premise of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on her character "Carolyn Appleby" on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on working with Lucille Ball and on the process of filming an episode of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on working with the cast, writers, and guest stars on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on memorable episodes and her favorite episodes of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on still being recognized as "Carolyn Appleby" from I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the popularity of I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with I Love Lucy cast members in the episode "Lucy Tells the Truth"
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Harpo Marx on I Love Lucy

Jack Benny Program, The

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Doris Singleton on working on the radio program, The Jack Benny Program

Loretta Young Show, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Loretta Young Show

Lucy Show, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy

Lux Video Theatre

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Doris Singleton on becoming active in radio, being introduced to writer Sanford Barnett, and auditioning for Lever Brothers commercials for Lux Radio Theatre
Doris Singleton on working on Lux Radio Theatre (pre-Lux Video Theatre) with host Cecil B. DeMille
Doris Singleton on doing early radio and television commercials on Lux Radio Theatre and Lux Video Theatre

Munsters, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Munsters

My Favorite Husband

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Doris Singleton on working on Lucille Ball's radio show My Favorite Husband

My Three Sons

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Doris Singleton on appearing on My Three Sons
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Norm Alden on My Three Sons

NBC Matinee Theater

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Doris Singleton on working on three episodes of NBC Matinee Theater

Our Miss Brooks

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Doris Singleton on working on Our Miss Brooks

People's Choice, The

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Doris Singleton on playing a glamorous character on The People's Choice with Jackie Cooper and on the part getting her a movie role

Perry Mason

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Doris Singleton on working on Perry Mason

Phyllis

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Doris Singleton on working on Phyllis with Cloris Leachman

Real McCoys, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Real McCoys

Red Skelton Show, The

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Doris Singleton on hitting Red Skelton on The Red Skelton Show

Twilight Zone, The

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Doris Singleton on working on The Twilight Zone episode, "A Kind of Stopwatch"

Twilight Zone, The: "A Kind of Stopwatch"

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Doris Singleton on working on The Twilight Zone episode, "A Kind of Stopwatch"

Tycoon, The

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Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Walter Brennan on The Tycoon
Topics

Advertising and Sponsorship

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Doris Singleton on becoming active in radio, being introduced to writer Sanford Barnett, and auditioning for Lever Brothers commercials for Lux Radio Theatre
Doris Singleton on her role in The Frank Sinatra Show on radio
Doris Singleton on sponsor spots on several of Dinah Shore's shows

Advice

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Doris Singleton on the most important advice anyone ever gave her about acting
Doris Singleton on advice to actors just starting out

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Doris Singleton on censorship on I Love Lucy

Characters & Catchphrases

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Doris Singleton on her character "Carolyn Appleby" on I Love Lucy

Classic TV series episodes

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Doris Singleton on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy "Baby Pictures" episode
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy "Lucy Tells the Truth" episode
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode "The Dancing Star" with Van Johnson 
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy and Superman"
Doris Singleton on the "Edith Has Jury Duty" episode of All in the Family

Comedy

View Topic
Doris Singleton on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy "Baby Pictures" episode
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy "Lucy Tells the Truth" episode
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode "The Dancing Star" with Van Johnson 
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy and Superman"
Doris Singleton on the "Edith Has Jury Duty" episode of All in the Family

Fame and Celebrity

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Doris Singleton on still being recognized as "Carolyn Appleby" from I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the popularity of I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball

Historic Events and Social Change

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Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, volunteering for service in World War II

Hollywood Blacklist

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Doris Singleton on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels

Industry Crossroads

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Doris Singleton on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels

Pop Culture

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Doris Singleton on her character "Carolyn Appleby" on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy "Baby Pictures" episode
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy "Lucy Tells the Truth" episode
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode "The Dancing Star" with Van Johnson 
Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy and Superman"
Doris Singleton on still being recognized as "Carolyn Appleby" from I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the popularity of I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball
Doris Singleton on the "Edith Has Jury Duty" episode of All in the Family

Technological Innovation

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Doris Singleton on the differences between working in radio and television
Doris Singleton on the invention of the three camera technique on I Love Lucy

Television Industry

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Doris Singleton on becoming active in radio, being introduced to writer Sanford Barnett, and auditioning for Lever Brothers commercials for Lux Radio Theatre
Doris Singleton on her role in The Frank Sinatra Show on radio
Doris Singleton on censorship on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on sponsor spots on several of Dinah Shore's shows
Doris Singleton on the most important advice anyone ever gave her about acting
Doris Singleton on advice to actors just starting out
Doris Singleton on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels

War

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Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, volunteering for service in World War II

World War II

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Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, volunteering for service in World War II
Professions

Actor

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Doris Singleton on advice to actors just starting out

Actress

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Doris Singleton on honing her acting skills in radio
Doris Singleton on learning comedic timing from her work in radio
Doris Singleton on performing in front of an audience on radio shows
Doris Singleton on how acting for soap operas differed from acting for sitcoms
Doris Singleton on her acting style
Doris Singleton on the most important advice anyone ever gave her about acting
Doris Singleton on acting for television, stage, radio

Performers

View Profession
Doris Singleton on honing her acting skills in radio
Doris Singleton on learning comedic timing from her work in radio
Doris Singleton on performing in front of an audience on radio shows
Doris Singleton on how acting for soap operas differed from acting for sitcoms
Doris Singleton on her acting style
Doris Singleton on the most important advice anyone ever gave her about acting
Doris Singleton on advice to actors just starting out
Doris Singleton on acting for television, stage, radio
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Doris Singleton on working on Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband and on I Love Lucy, its television successor
Doris Singleton on playing "Carolyn Appleby" on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on working on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy
Doris Singleton on working on dramas and comedies
Doris Singleton on the popularity of I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball
Doris Singleton on working on Adventures of Superman, The Great Gildersleeve, The Bob Cummings Show, and The People's Choice
Doris Singleton on working on the Jess Oppenheimer sitcom Angel
Doris Singleton on working on The Ann Sothern Show
Doris Singleton on working on The Real McCoys
Doris Singleton on working on Hazel with Shirley Booth
Doris Singleton on working on The Dick Van Dyke Show
Doris Singleton on coming into an established ensemble cast on The Dick Van Dyke Show
Doris Singleton on working on The Munsters
Doris Singleton on appearing on Hogan's Heroes
Doris Singleton on appearing on My Three Sons
Doris Singleton on working on All in the Family
Doris Singleton on working on Phyllis with Cloris Leachman

Commercials

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Doris Singleton on becoming active in radio, being introduced to writer Sanford Barnett, and auditioning for Lever Brothers commercials for Lux Radio Theatre
Doris Singleton on doing early television commercials

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Doris Singleton on her role on the soap opera Days of Our Lives
Doris Singleton on her role on Dynasty

Drama Series

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Doris Singleton on working on dramas and comedies
Doris Singleton on working on NBC Matinee Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Perry Mason
Doris Singleton on working on The Loretta Young Show
Doris Singleton on working on The Fugitive
Doris Singleton on working on The F.B.I. with Charles Bronson

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, being the head writer of Colgate Comedy Hour and working with Jimmy Durante and many others
Doris Singleton on hitting Red Skelton on The Red Skelton Show

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Doris Singleton on working on The Twilight Zone episode, "A Kind of Stopwatch"

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Doris Singleton on working on a TV movie The Boy Who Stole the Elephant

Western Series

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Doris Singleton on working on Frontier Doctor with Rex Allen
Doris Singleton on working on Gunsmoke
People

Fred Allen

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Doris Singleton on her late husband, writer Charlie Isaacs, and Fred Allen

Rex Allen

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Doris Singleton on working on Frontier Doctor with Rex Allen

Desi Arnaz

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Doris Singleton on Desi Arnaz's involvement with the production of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on working with Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy

Lucille Ball

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Doris Singleton on her working relationship with Lucille Ball when December Bride transitioned to television
Doris Singleton on working on Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband and on I Love Lucy, its television successor
Doris Singleton on working with Lucille Ball and on a typical work week on I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on the "Baby Pictures" episode of I Love Lucy
Doris Singleton on working with Lucille Ball in The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy
Doris Singleton on the popularity of I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball
Doris Singleton on Lucille Ball being affected by the Hollywood Blacklist
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with I Love Lucy cast members in the episode "Lucy Tells the Truth"

Sanford Barnett

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Doris Singleton on becoming active in radio, being introduced to writer Sanford Barnett, and auditioning for Lever Brothers commercials for Lux Radio Theatre

Shirley Booth

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Doris Singleton on working on Hazel with Shirley Booth 
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Shirley Booth on Hazel

Walter Brennan

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Doris Singleton on working on The Real McCoys
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Walter Brennan on The Tycoon

Charles Bronson

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Doris Singleton on working on The F.B.I. with Charles Bronson

Eddie Cantor

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Doris Singleton on working with Eddie Cantor

Johnny Carson

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Doris Singleton on her late husband, television writer Charlie Isaacs, working for Johnny Carson

Jackie Cooper

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Doris Singleton on playing a glamorous character on The People's Choice with Jackie Cooper and the part getting her a movie role

Bob Crane

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Doris Singleton on working with the cast of Hogan's Heroes

Cecil B. DeMille

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Doris Singleton on working on Lux Radio Theatre (pre-Lux Video Theatre) with host Cecil B. DeMille

Jimmy Durante

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Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, being the head writer of Colgate Comedy Hour and working with Jimmy Durante

William Frawley

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Doris Singleton on the working relationship between I Love Lucy's William Frawley and Vivian Vance 

Gale Gordon

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Doris Singleton on working with actor Gale Gordon on Here's Lucy

Cary Grant

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Doris Singleton on adoring Cary Grant and playing his girlfriend on The Burns & Allen Show (radio)

Bob Hope

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Doris Singleton on working with Bob Hope on radio and television
Doris Singleton on working with Bob Hope on his radio show

Charles Isaacs

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Doris Singleton on meeting her future husband, Charlie Isaacs
Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs
Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, playing a joke on her about Cary Grant
Doris Singleton on a scene that her husband, Charlie Isaacs, wrote for NBC that was similar to an I Love Lucy episode
Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, knowing Carl Reiner from Dinah Shore's shows
Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, being the head writer of Colgate Comedy Hour and working with Jimmy Durante
Doris Singleton on being told that her husband, Charlie Isaacs, was listed in Red Channels
Doris Singleton on her late husband, television writer Charlie Isaacs
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with her late husband, Charlie Isaacs

Seaman Jacobs

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Doris Singleton on attending a party at writer Seaman Jacob's house and on Lucille Ball's love of backgammon

David Janssen

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Doris Singleton on working on The Fugitive

Van Johnson

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Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode, "The Dancing Star," with guest star Van Johnson 

Don Keefer

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Doris Singleton on working with her Angel co-star, Don Keefer

Kate Drain Lawson

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Doris Singleton on working with NBC costume designer Kate Drain Lawson

Cloris Leachman

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Doris Singleton on working on Phyllis with Cloris Leachman 

Norman Lear

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Doris Singleton on working on All in the Family and getting direction from Norman Lear

Parke Levy

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Doris Singleton on working on the radio program December Bride, but not working on the television version

Betty Lynn

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Doris Singleton on working with Betty Lynn in the TV movie The Boy Who Stole the Elephant
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Betty Lynn on The Boy Who Stole the Elephant

Fred MacMurray

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Doris Singleton on the unconventional shooting style on My Three Sons

Harpo Marx

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Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode with Harpo Marx 
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with Harpo Marx on I Love Lucy

Butterfly McQueen

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Doris Singleton on working on the radio program, The Jack Benny Program

Mary Tyler Moore

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Doris Singleton on how The Dick Van Dyke Show got its hairdresser 
Doris Singleton on coming into an established ensemble cast on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Jess Oppenheimer

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Doris Singleton on I Love Lucy's writer, Jess Oppenheimer
Doris Singleton on working on the Jess Oppenheimer sitcom Angel

George Reeves

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Doris Singleton on the I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy and Superman" with guest star George Reeves

Carl Reiner

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Doris Singleton on her husband, Charlie Isaacs, knowing Carl Reiner from Dinah Shore's shows
Doris Singleton on coming into an established ensemble cast on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Dinah Shore

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Doris Singleton on sponsor spots on several of Dinah Shore's shows

Red Skelton

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Doris Singleton on hitting Red Skelton on The Red Skelton Show

Everett Sloane

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Doris Singleton on working with Everett Sloane on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and on him having an allergic reaction to pancake makeup

Bob Sweeney

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Doris Singleton on her role on Dynasty, working with director Bob Sweeney, and bringing her own clothes for her role

Vivian Vance

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Doris Singleton on the working relationship between I Love Lucy's William Frawley and Vivian Vance
Doris Singleton on a photo of her with I Love Lucy cast members in the episode "Lucy Tells the Truth"

Cara Williams

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Doris Singleton on not enjoying working with Cara Williams

Alan Young

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Doris Singleton on working on Alan Young's radio show, The Alan Young Show, and transitioning with the show from radio to television

Loretta Young

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Doris Singleton on working on The Loretta Young Show
Doris Singleton on Loretta Young not allowing swearing on her set

All Interviews

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