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Mystery Photos #6: Small Screen Obscurities

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This week, in the Library’s ongoing series of unknown publicity stills, we look at a set of photps that seem to be television-related, perhaps local or national.  As always, clicking on any of the photos below will increase their size.  We welcome any information on program or performers in the comments section below.  If a particular still is positively ID-ed, we’ll update the blog to keep everyone abreast of our progress and success.


1. This is probably a local children’s program.  While we won’t worry about the names of each of the kids in the photo, we would like to know the name of the man in the middle and the show he is on.

UPDATE:  We believe this to be Paul Tripp.

512. Almost everyone that looks at this photo says the people in it “look British.”  Beyond that, however, we don’t know any of them or why they are gathered together in this photo–a cast of a sitcom? a comedy troupe?

SOLVED!:  This is a New York based comedy/improve troupe by the name of Captive Audience.  The photo is circa 1982.  Georgia Harrell is the woman on the far right; tall guys in back in Brendan Elliot and Philip Ruskin.–Thanks to Carl, Celia, Will, Paul and Georgia for solving this big mystery.


3. This unknown man’s playful bowtie seems to suggest he’s hosting a children’s show or a game show.  The photo may be from television or, perhaps, from radio, since radio programs were often performed to live audiences with their hosts dressing up for the occasion.

SOLVED!:  Bil and Cora Baird!


4. This photo arrived with to us with the “X” already in place and a cryptic note written on the back.  On the back, someone has written “The Apprentice with Mr. McGrath.”  The print is further dated July 31, 1968.  But confirming this information has proved elusive.

SOLVED:  This is Paul McGrath and the lady with him is Dorothy Singleton.


5. Speaking as we were of game shows, this still may too be from some sort of TV quiz program.  Is the man in the middle a lucky winner?  And who are the women on each side of him?  And what show is this?

SOLVED!:   The man in the middle is Alan Hamel.  The belief is that this is the show “Wedding Party” and the women are Mary Anne Ellis (left) and Elaine Fulkerson (on the right).  Thanks to all!


6.  Based upon clues in the photo,  this is some sort of TV holiday special.  But who this group of singers is is so far unknown.

SOLVED!:  The Burke Family Singers.  Thanks to all!

Thank you for your help.

To see our previous mystery photo blogs, please click on the links below.

Photo Blog #1:  Who’s That Lady?

Photo Blog #2:  Who’s That Gent?

Photo Blog #3:  Name That Movie!

Photo Blog #4:  Musical Mysteries

Photo Blog #5:  Unknown Horrors



Comments (18)

  1. #4 – Even though the message on the back hints that his name is McGrath, I’m probably not alone in thinking he looks a lot like Marlin Perkins.

  2. In number 2, the guy with the spotted pants and colorful tie looks a bit like a young Lee Mack, a British comedian.

  3. Perhaps number 6 is from an early King Family holiday show.

  4. I believe the woman on the far left in #2 is probably Sheila Steafel, a South African actress who’s had a long career in UK theatre, TV, radio and films, largely in comic roles. I don’t recognise the others but it could well be a publicity shot for a radio show, possibly her own ‘Steafel Plus’ from 1982.

  5. Any chance that photo number 6 is the (non movie/stage) von Trapp family?

  6. The other woman with Alan Hamel is Mary Anne Ellis. She and Elaine Fulkerson were the models on “Wedding Party.” Getty Images has a photo of Ellis that looks very much like the blonde woman in the photo.

  7. Don’t agree with Sheila Steafel. The lady far left is a very young Pauline Mclynn

  8. The doll being held by the gentleman in photo number 1 might be Bozo the Clown?

    Also, following the lead of Tom Hatten, Hi there boy’s and girls! by Hollis has an entry on page 47 that might relate.


    Our library has a print copy and entries are listed for Mr. Hatten on pages 47 and 128.

  9. Photo Number 6 looks like the entire LENNON FAMILY, from the Lawrence Welk Show.

  10. Re photo #6: but who is the pianist? A camera shot with him and the piano so prominently displayed suggests he is a significant personality. To me the rear view of the pianist’s head plus his mannerisms in conducting the chorale suggest an early 1950s Victor Borge Christmas tv special. Von Trapp family singers is an intriguing possibility for the chorale. I tried, but was unsuccessful in locating a copy of Mr. Borge’s couple of early Christmas shows to verify this and will keep trying. Regards.

  11. #6: Regarding the picture posted by Jim Bell: Rosemarie is the third to youngest von Trapp and Johanness is the youngest- they are 2 of the three children Maria had after the movie ends. The woman standing next to Maria von Trapp in the photo posted by Jim Bell is not Rosemarie, the woman in the white headband and Austrian garb is. The man in the very back with the glasses is Johannes. The rest of the group is definitely the same group in picture #6, but they are not von Trapps. If they are actors playing the von Trapps then they are the wrong sexes (should be 7 girls and 3 boys instead of 5 and 5), so they may be a group visiting the von Trapps in the Trapp Family Lodge at Stowe.

  12. I think #1 is Hal Fryar in the old Indianapolis show Harlow Hickenlooper. I suspect its from 1955-56 because I think I know a couple of the kids – although I could easily be mistaken…

  13. No. 1 reminds me of a young Bob Baker, of the famed Marionette Theatre in Los Angeles.

  14. Might the woman to the front, right in #2 be Hermoine Gingold?

  15. #4 looks like Paul McGrath to me. I recently saw him in a rerun of the old soap opera, “The Doctors.” The episode originally aired in January 1968, and he looked the same as in this photo, which apparently was taken a few months later.

  16. I think no. 2 might be Canadian, not British – the woman looks extremely familiar, and two of the others appear to be an extremely young Jim Carrey and Joe Flaherty. This might be a promo photo for one of the Toronto improv comedy clubs in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

  17. #2 The woman on the far left makes me think of Laraine Newman, who was active with “The Groundlings,” and the woman far right looks like Elayne Boosler.

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