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Given a Break

You know, I was very nearly on Gimme a Break! The youngest daughter, Sam, was actually a son in the pilot script, and I was on the short list of potential Sams. Then they decided (quite correctly I think) that the friction between the gruff old widower and his children made more sense if the kids were all girls. And now you know something you never wanted to know about Gimme a Break!

So since we very nearly worked together, I suppose I should feel particularly bad about Nell Carter's passing. But I really don't. While she was clearly a talented singer and comedienne (as evidenced by her star turn in "Modern Problems"), on Gimme a Break! she always annoyed and somewhat frightened me. Had I been cast on the show, Sam would probably have cried a lot and spent much of his time trying to stay out of Nell's way for fear of being trampled and/or eaten.

In her AP obit, she's quoted as saying "I did have my episode with drugs.... I was able to have a good career while I was doing terrible things to myself." I like that. It's hardly a condemnation of drug use. "Drugs do terrible things to you, but hey, they didn't keep me from starring in an inexplicably successful sitcom. Come to think of it, why did I ever quit?"

I gather her drug of choice was not Dexadrine.


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