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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When You're Smilin'.......

This is yet another example of My Curse: My ability to remember everything I have ever seen on TV or in the movies to the most minute detail.
And usually have it come back and bite me in the ass.
I have been TIVOing "Mr. Lucky" on MEtv for quite a while now.
Not because it is particularly good.
But I watched it as a kid and enjoyed it.
And it certainly has a sense of humor.
Like having Ross Martin in it, who was very funny.
Like, as I've mentioned, having the lead actor look just like Cary Grant but not be able to act his way out of a paper bag.
That's pretty funny.
"Mr. Lucky" is a show that I'm able to multi-task my way through.
Because the plots are so predictable that you really don't have to make much eye contact with it.
So I was keeping one eye on an episode of "Mr. Lucky" last week, and something caught my eye.
A gangster came aboard Mr. Lucky's yacht to commandeer it into foreign waters.
He had his little eight year old daughter with him.
The kid looked a lot like Shirley Temple did at that age.
This is what struck me immediately: The little kid was Tammy Marihugh, the winner of the "Howdy Doody Smile Contest" on the Howdy Doody show in 1958.
And there it was.
Her name in the closing credits.
It's the first time I had laid eyes on Tammy Marihugh since 1958, and even I was astounded that I remembered her name and the contest.
I mentioned this to a friend of mine, and she was far more astounded than I was that anyone would remember a Daily Double like this one..
She told me that I must write about this, hence, this is appearing here.
My insatiable curiosity and the ease of the Internet led me to try to discover whatever became of Tammy Marihugh.
Did she ever have any kind of show business career?
Is she still alive?
I knew who she was,, and what she had done.
And now, to quote Paul Harvey, the rest of the story......
According to the IMDB, she appeared in several movies and TV shows as a child, and one appearance as a 17 year old on an episode of "My Three Sons"
And that was it.
Apparently, she made the same transition to late adolescence as Shirley Temple.
The kicker was what I then spotted on her IMDB page:

"After leaving acting, Tammy became an exotic dancer and by the late 1970's she was a dancer in Las Vegas. She eventually married bodybuilder Rodney Larson, ten years younger than her, who turned out to be a violent and abusive husband. In March 1996, after a night of heavy drinking, Tamra, as she was known by then, arrived at home and shot her husband in the back. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and in September 1997, was found guilty but given probation."

Talk about biting me in the ass.
There are some things I really would have preferred not knowing.
44 years old and still working the pole.
And now, she's 61.
And she went from Howdy Doody to Jury Duty.
I'll bet that when she was given probation, she smiled.
Maybe even her Howdy Doody smile.
I think Buffalo Bob would be turning over in his grave.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays", and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. I think she also did an episode of TOUR OF DOODY....

  2. I feel bad about Tammy, but prouder than ever of the lifetime accomplishments of Shirley Temple Black. And Shirley managed one post-childhood movie role that really suited her in The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. Cary Grant was the Bachelor, Shirley was the Bobby Soxer. Mellow Greetings, Yooky, Dooky!

  3. I speak as one who shares The Curse.
    I've had it all my TV-watching life, which goes back to the '50s.
    Once I started reading TV Guide (as a little kid), The Curse took full root.
    Matching up the names in the cast lists with the faces on the screen was one of the main ways I learned how to read.
    The older I got, the more i knew - and the more I wanted to know.
    My father was the same way; we'd atch old movies and new TV, and Dad would point out the actors who appeared in each - frequently the same actors, twenty years apart.

    The disappearances of kid actors once they aged out of being cute is one of those facts of life I've learned to live with.
    I often woder about this or that cute little girl who once starred in a TV show and then disappeared once puberty set in.
    That so many seemed to meet bad ends - well, those are the ones who get written up in the tabloids; many of the others seem to just vanish back into "normal life", whatever that may be. You only hear about them when they die, at advanced ages, leaving behind loving families who sometimes never realized that Mom was once a "star".

    Back in the day, there was a kid actress named Susan Gordon, about my age, on whom I'd had a mild crush. She mainly did TV, shows like "Twilight Zone", "Route 66", Ben Casey", etc.
    Her last appearances were as a young teen on "My Three Sons" in the late '60s, then she disappeared.
    I always wondered what happened to her; years later I found out.
    After acting, Susan Gordon decided on higher education; she enrolled in a school program that sent her to live all over the world, and she wound up in Japan.
    Susan reached adulthood, becoming a teacher of American kids living in Japan. She also got married, ultimately raising six kids of her own.
    Susan came back to the USA, where she discovered that her old TV appearances had built a "fan base" for her, and she began appearing at fan conventions with considerable success.
    I learned much of the above info - from Susan Gordon's obituary.
    She died at the end of 2011, aged 62 (what I am now), leaving her husband, kids, and grandkids, and a lot of TV fans who remember her well.
    So Susan Gordon lived Happily Ever After.
    And my ass is bitten anyway, because I learned it all after the fact.

    If I think about it at all, I could probably come up with many more such experiences of vicarious mourning, as much for my own youth as for the performers involved.
    That's the REAL Curse - just plain gettin' old.

  4. Tammy Marihugh was the niece of a friend of my father's, Carl Marihugh. Carl was a hair stylist. I believe the Marihugh family was from Tonganoxie, KS. There is a brief announcement in an old Tonganoxie newspaper that says Malcolm Marihugh, Tammy's father, appeared in the movie "The Last Outpost". She had two female cousins that I saw from time to time as a teenager. The last time I saw her was at my parents home. "The Last Voyage" was playing at the theater in my home town and my father had arranged for her to appear in a parade. She was traveling with, among other people, Rip Torn. She was such a cute little girl. I've always wondered what happened to her.

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."