Classic Television: Make Room For Daddy

Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord as Danny and Kathy Williams on Make Room For Daddy.


Make Room For Daddy was one of the longer running situation comedies, to be shown on network television. It debuted in 1953 and would run till 1965. Danny Thomas is the only one to appear in all 334 episodes. His first wife on the show was Jean Hagen who played Margaret Williams from 1953-1956. Hagen tired of playing a mother after four seasons and left the show.

She was replaced in 1957 by Marjorie Lord who played Kathy Williams for the last eight years of the show.

Penny Parker would play Terry Williams after Sherry Jackson left the show. Danny Thomas had turned down Mary Tyler Moore, for the role because she didn’t look like she could be his daughter.


Marjorie Lord, Angela Cartwright, Danny Thomas on first row with Rusty Hamer and Sherry Jackson on second row and appeared on Danny Thomas Show  Jackson left the show during 1958..


I checked the schedule for Cozi TV and saw that Make Room For Daddy was on at 3:30 PM Central Time. It had been shown in the early morning hours, so it was good to be able to watch the show yesterday. It brought back a lot of memories, since this show was on television, before we even had a television.

Make Room For Daddy goes back to the golden days of television. Two old-timers Sid Melton and Pat Carroll played Charley and Bunny Halper on the show.

Who can forget Hans Conried playing Uncle Tonoose in 24 episodes of the show? Other well-known actors often seen on the show were Mary Wickes, Sheldon Leonard, Pat Harrington Jr. (later known for playing Schneider on One Day At A Time.

Bill Dana was Jose Jiminez on the show and Gale Gordon appeared in seven episodes.

Other stars appearing on the show included Bob Hope (5 episodes)  and Annette Funicello (5 episodes).

Scrolling down the cast list is like a walk down memory lane, as you see some of the faces (if has them available) and some of the names, of stars who went on to fame on their own.

One of the most famous shows in the series is when Danny travels through Mayberry, North Carolina and encounters a hick sheriff named Andy Taylor. This episode would lead to the Andy Griffith show being shown on CBS.

Danny Thomas was not too fond of Jean Hagen, who played his first TV wife as evidenced by this statement:

Danny Thomas was forced against his will to have Jean Hagen as his TV wife. He could not stand her attitude or what he considered her slovenly appearance. During one rehearsal he is said to have have shouted “For God’s sake, Jean, put on a little lipstick”. She left after the third season and, at the beginning of the fourth season, to assure that she could not come back he had her character die.

Primary Actors

Danny Thomas born as  Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yakhoob   on January 26, 1912 in Deerfield, Michigan. He died February 6, 1991 at the age of in Los Angeles, California.

Jean Hagen who played his first wife Margaret on the television show was born Jean Shirley Verhagen in Chicago, Illinois on August 3, 1923 and died on August 29, 1977 of throat cancer at the age of 54 in Los Angeles, California.

Marjorie Lord was born Marjorie Wollenburg on July 26, 1918 in San Francisco, California. She will be 96 in July.

Rusty Hamer was born as Russell Craig Hamer in Tenafly, New Jersey on February 15, 1947. He would die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in DeRidder, Louisiana on January 18, 1990 at the age of 42.

Sherry Jackson was born coincidentally the same date as Hamer on February 15 of 1942, in Wendell Idaho some five years earlier. She is now 72 years old.

Angela Cartwright was born as Angela Margaret Cartwright on September 9, 1952 in Altrincham, Cheshire England UK and will be 62 in September.


Make Room For Daddy debuted on television 61 years ago and the last show aired 49 years ago.







Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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