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Beloved actress Ann B Davis spent her early years in Hollywood making people laugh, and she spent the last few decades of her life volunteering her time and energy to a local church. Throughout it all, that same quirky sense of humor and zest for life she became known for was a mainstay, endearing her to everyone she met. Sadly, that loveable life is now officially over. She passed away this week.
According to CNN, Davis was inside her bathroom yesterday morning when she fell and hit her head. Doctors did all they could, but she was never able to regain consciousness from her subdural hematoma and was later pronounced dead. She was 88.
Ann B Davis is, of course, best known for her time playing Alice on The Brady Bunch, but she was actually famous long before that. During the late 1950s, she was a star on NBC’s The Bob Cummings Show. During her run, she was nominated for four Emmy Awards, and she actually took home two. By the time the show ended, she had her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was being paid handsomely to endorse a slew of products. In fact, she likely thought that was going to be the high point of her career, but the casting gods had other plans.
Ann B Davis was cast as Alice Nelson in 1969, and while The Brady Bunch only ran for five seasons, it had an enormous impact on the television world and the general public at large. It came back in various specials and variety shows, and for the rest of her life, Davis made appearances in cleaning commercials and various other referential sketches in a variety of mediums.
Lots of people like to call The Brady Bunch the perfect late 1960s, early 1970s American family, but despite their rather odd family dynamics, there were, in many ways, too perfect. They were too nice to each other, too decent-hearted and too clean-cut to actually represent American or even to relate to. Their quirky housekeeper Alice Nelson, however, was just zany enough and blunt enough to relate to. She dated the local butcher, made a never-ending stream of bad jokes and even threw her back out on a regular basis. In a way, she humanized all of them, and thus, was every bit as important as the eight other primary castmembers.
TV Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to all of those who loved Davis. Following the cancellation of The Brady Bunch. she moved to Colorado and became very involved with a local Episcopalian Church. By all accounts, she was a beloved and helpful member of the congregation. She will be missed both by her friends and by television fans from all over the world.