“A Family Affair” was a wildly popular show that began in the 1960s and went on to air over 100 episodes. It was one of the first sitcoms to feature a mismatched family, and some credit it as the “original Full House.” Since its run, it has proved that there is no doubt that audiences love watching hodge-podge families come together and live out unorthodox lives.
Throughout its long run and multiple episodes, there were bound to be some secrets and interesting facts that even the most dedicated fans might not know. Here are some awesome things you might not have known about “A Family Affair.”
A Doll Was Made For The Show
Buffy was often seen throughout the series with her Mrs. Beasley doll. It became a staple to her character, and she was seldom seen without it. The doll gained so much popularity, that one was eventually made as a replica of Buffy’s doll, and sold in stores around the country!
Buffy Wasn’t Supposed To Age
Buffy started the show at six years old and the producers wanted her to stay that way. The show ran for five years, which means that Buffy eventually had to grow into a teenager. The producers did everything they could, however, to make her appear young, such as bind her chest and make sure she always had her doll on her.
Giles Was Switched In The First Season
Originally, Sebastian Cabot played the role of Giles. He became unexpectedly ill in the first season, so they wrote his character out by saying he was summoned to England. He was replaced by John Williams, who played Giles’ brother, but only for a part of that season. Sebastian eventually returned to his role.
The Writer’s Wrote A Script In One Day
One episode features the aftermath of Buffy breaking her leg. The actress who plays her, Anissa Jones, actually had broken her leg. It happened unexpectedly, so the writers created the script for that episode in just one day.
The Children’s Parents Died Too Soon
In the beginning of the series, the children were bouncing around different family members before they ended up at their uncle’s. Their parents had died one year before they moved in with their uncle, and no one else had wanted to keep them.
The Show Almost Ran Longer
After the show was canceled, ABC was going to pick it up and continue making more episodes. They decided against it, as they already had a show with a similar theme, “The Brady Bunch.” The show quietly disappeared after a very long and successful series run.
The Show Was Cancelled Unfairly
The show was successful up until its cancellation, which is why ABC supported it for so long. However, they still cancelled the show along with many others in their “rural purge,” as they wanted to have edgier shows with less plots revolving around family values.
A Engineer Helped With The Script
Bill played a very wealthy and successful engineer on the show, which is why he was able to afford such a nice place while taking care of all the kids. In order to keep an element of realism in the show, the writers hired the president of the National Society of Professional Engineers as a consultant.
Mrs. Beasley Didn’t Have Eyeglasses
If you go back to the very first episode of the series, the Mrs. Beasley doll didn’t originally have eyeglasses. From the second episode to the rest of the entire series, she did, and her glasses became a staple to her image. A last minute and very smart decision on the part of the show’s producers.
A French Version Featuring Different Names
As the show was very popular, a French version was eventually created. All of the characters had different names except for Uncle Bill. Mr. French became Mr. Felix, Buffy was named Fanfan, Jody was Jacky, and Cissy was Cecile. Even Mrs. Beasley had a different name and was known as Mademoiselle Pétronille.
The Children Had A Different Last Name
The children were the son and daughter of Bill’s brother, meaning that they should technically all have the same last name. The children all had a different last name than Bill with the surname of Patterson. That was a small detail, but still one that was noticed by many fans of the show.
Anissa Jones Died Of An Overdose
Unfortunately, Anissa Jones, who played the role of Buffy, died five years after the show was cancelled. She was only 18 years old and had struggled with drug addiction, causing her to die of an overdose in 1976.
Uncle Bill Committed Suicide
Another unfortunate incident to take the life of another cast member was the passing of the beloved Uncle Bill. Brian Keith took his own life at the age of 75. This occurred in 1997, 26 years after the show’s cancellation. It was a surprising moment for many fans of the once-popular TV show.
Cissy And Jody Are Now Stage Actors
Unlike their co-stars, the actors who played Cissy and Jody are still alive today and tour the country as stage actors for various productions. Johnnie Whitaker, who played Jody, was hospitalized at one point for drug dependency, but they overcame the struggle and are still performing today.
A Season Was Shot In 60 Days
Each season of the series was on a strict, 60-day schedule. This allowed for movie actors to be available, since they had so much extra time for various roles. Having movie actors was a better quality overall and attracted fans of the show’s various guest stars.
Each Season Had A Different Director
Because of this quick shooting schedule, each season of the show had a different director. This was because it was hard to find a TV director who was able to work the extremely long hours, but then not work for months at a time. Instead, it was easier to just hire a new director each season.
There Was A Revival
Between 2002 and 2003, there was a revival of the series, featuring a completely different cast. The role of Mr. French was played by Tim Curry. Despite not being very successful, the show did receive rather positive reviews before it was suddenly cancelled.
The Kid’s Names In The Show Were Nicknames
The names that the children go by are not actually their real names. Instead, all three children go by nicknames they’ve received throughout the years. Buffy’s real name was Ava, Jody’s was Jonathan, and Cissy’s was Catherine.
Buffy Always Had Pigtails
Just like her Mrs. Beasley doll, Buffy was rarely ever seen without her signature hairstyle of two curly pigtails. The only time she was seen out of her signature style was when the script demanded it, or when an episode’s plot revolved around her having different hair.
Mr. French Died Of A Stroke
The actor who played Mr. French, Sebastian Cabot, was the second to die out of his co-stars. Unfortunately, he died in 1977 unexpectedly of a stroke. His death came just six years after the show’s cancellation, and only one year and four days after Anissa’s death.
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