Alice Ghostley

Trivia and Quotes

Quotes (13)

  • Alice: (about being a ham) I have to be.

  • Alice: When I was five years old, my mother took me to the Legion Hut and stood me on a table. I recited poetry! I sang songs! I tapped danced! I didn’t know it then, but that table was my first stage. There was applause. The second time my mother took me to the Hut, I made her give me a nickel before I stood on the table. I wanted the applause, but even at five, I knew I had earned the applause.

  • Alice: When I first started out, I had this natural ability to sing. That was another reason why I chose New York, with all the musicals that were happening at the time. But I looked so different from everyone else. I was never what you would call an ingenue. I was having difficulty finding jobs. ‘Get your eyes straightened,’ they would tell me, ‘and maybe we can work with you.'

  • Alice: I’m really happiest when I’m working.

  • Alice: (finding it difficult to watch herself on the ABC sitcom, ‘Bewitched’) It’s always hard for me to critique myself.

  • Alice: (about her youngest ABC sitcom, ‘Bewitched,’ fans watching her perform as Miss Hannigan in the 1978 Broadway musical stage production of ‘Annie’) The kids didn’t care how I was made up. All they wanted to see was Esmeralda [her character on Bewitched]. I was in that show for two years, and after each matinee, they’d be standing outside the theater waiting to see me and screaming, ‘Esmeralda! Esmeralda!’

  • Alice: (about her character on the ABC comedy series, ‘Bewitched’) Esmeralda would sometimes take the long way around a situation, but she had powers that would cause excitement one way or the other. There were certain aspects of her personality, her shyness for one, that made her very lonely. She was very amiable and wanted to be a part of everything, but her bashful nature stopped her from joining in. At the same time, this made her more a human-witch than a witch-witch.

  • Alice: (about her character and storyline in “Samantha’s Magic Mirror,” Episode 224 of the seventh season of the ABC sitcom, ‘Bewitched’) I loved that because Esmeralda had the chance to express varied emotions. It gave the audience a chance to know other sides of her, to understand why she was so shy.

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Trivia (37)

  • Alice, at the start of her entertainment career, use to do a lot of backers' auditions, where actors would do portions of shows to try and raise money for the production. It was while doing such an audition that she met composer G. Wood, who convinced her to join him in a nightclub act that they premiered at the Bon Soir club in New York City.

  • Alice played Mrs. Murdock, the auto mechanics teacher, in the film version of Grease (1978), a role which she found quite ironic since she didn't drive.

  • Alice listed her year of birth as 1926, but many sources dispute the date, including comedic actress and longtime friend, Kaye Ballard, who claims Ghostley was actually about two years older.

  • Alice's last public performance as an actress occurred in 2004 on the PBS program, Great Performances, also on which aired the 1957 televised Rodgers and Hammerstein comedy musical, Cinderella, in which she was cast as the stepsister, Joy.

  • Alice had a major showcase when she debuted at the fabled Bon Soir, a basement café run by the Mafia in Greenwich Village (New York City, New York) and known for its liberal atmosphere. (It welcomed an interracial audience, and one half of the club featured a gay bar.) Ghostley and friend/fellow comedian, Kaye Ballard, performed outlandish depictions including a portrayal of Mona Lisa as an Italian prostitute whose advances Leonardo da Vinci snubs when he only wants to paint her picture.

  • Alice had a remarkable vocal range. Composer Murray Grand, whose material she sang after having built up a cabaret act of songs and comedy with pianist/composer, G. Wood, said, "G. Wrote arrangements to suit that big range of hers, like a very dramatic version of 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home.' She would start off sounding like a mezzo, then she'd be way up in the clouds."

  • Alice worked with stand-up comic/actor Paul Lynde in three different entertainment capacities: Broadway's New Faces of 1952, ABC television's Bewitched (1960s), and in the 1978 full-feature film, Rabbit Test.

  • Alice received less than stellar reviews for her work in the Broadway stage musical, Shangri-La, and as Tom Sawyer's Aunt Polly in 1957's Livin' the Life.

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