I Love Lucy actress Doris Singleton played Lucy Ricardo’s snooty, class-conscious neighbor in the highly popular 1950s sitcom. She died at age 92 on June 26.
Initially, Singleton was a big-band singer and radio actress. In the early 1950s, she started appearing on the new medium of (commercial) television. She is best remembered as I Love Lucy‘s pretty, smartly dressed, meticulously coiffed Carolyn Appleby, always doing her best to appear above her two frumpier, lower-middle-class, bourgeois neighbors: Lucille Ball’s aforementioned Lucy Ricardo and Vivian Vance’s Ethel Mertz.
Doris Singleton: Busy TV actress
In addition to I Love Lucy, Doris Singleton guested in dozens of television shows from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s. Those included The Loretta Young Show, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Debbie Reynolds Show, Hogan’s Heroes, The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Three Sons, Hazel, Phyllis, All in the Family, Dynasty, the soap opera Days of Our Lives, The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy. The last two also starred Lucille Ball.
Doris Singleton’s handful of TV movie roles included those in Michael Caffey’s The Boy Who Stole the Elephant (1970), featuring veterans David Wayne and June Havoc; George Schaefer’s biopic Amelia Earhart (1976), with Susan Clark in the title role and John Forsythe; and Jack Bender’s Deadly Messages (1985), a thriller starring Kathleen Beller and Michael Brandon, and Singleton’s last appearance in front of the camera.
Only three Doris Singleton movies
According to the IMDb, Doris Singleton could be spotted in only three feature films: an uncredited part in Franklin Adreon’s crime drama Terror at Midnight (1956), toplining Scott Brady; as John Lund’s romantic interest – and a judo-expert investigator – in R.G. Springsteen’s low-budget comedy Affair in Reno (1957); and a supporting role in Harry Keller’s Voice in the Mirror (1958), a drama about alcoholism featuring Richard Egan, Julie London, Walter Matthau, and Troy Donahue.