Janis Paige


Scene-stealing actress Janis Paige has died aged 101. She kicked off her career in the 40s as a Hollywood ingenue in Bob Hope and Doris Day comedies, and hoofed with Fred Astaire. After Warner Bros. panickily ditched her contract during the rise of television, she found a second venue in Broadway including the original Babe in The Pajama Game and an early Mame.

If TV seemed to shunt her career at one point, she later proved a formidable force on the small screen. Her own attempt at a sitcom didn’t last, but she dotted many TV staples with guest roles including Lou Grant’s old flame in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a flirtatious waitress who dalliances with Archie Bunker in All in the Family, and the Fonz’s maybe-maybe-not mother in Happy Days. Her best spot was the magnetic Goldie, the sassy ex-wife of the murder victim, in early Columbo episode “Blueprint for Murder”. She sizzled in every scene she was in, and you can never forget moments like her toweled self, in a session with a Japanese masseuse, telling Columbo to look away so she doesn’t corrupt him!

In recent years, Paige lent her voice to the #MeToo movement, sharing her own story of nearly being raped by business magnate Alfred S. Bloomingdale when she was in her early 20s. After her death, her IMDB page updated to helpfully note “She passed away at age 100 [sic], from natural causes. Coincidentally, her final film appearance was in a film titled Natural Causes (1994), 30 years earlier.” Clearly, this means she owes her longevity to her final film not being named “Freak Paragliding Accident”. A lucky thirteen teams experience a Goldie rush, including joker points for Fiona’s 1922 and Lullabye-bye of Broadway.

Janis Paige
16 September 1922 – 2 June 2024, aged 101
13 TEAMS (💀💀💀💀 4 POINTS, 🃏 (x2) 8 POINTS)