Auburn-haired Alice Ghostley is a member of a select group of television "witches" as the recurring character of "Esmerelda" in Screen Gems' popular "Bewitched" comedy series.
"Esmerelda", the baby-sitting maid for the half-mortal, half-witch "Stephens" household, is a shy sorceress who fades from sight when she gets nervous. "That seems to happen continually", laughs the talented comedienne. "I disappear so regularly, I may end up as only a voice-over".
Born In Eve, Missouri, Miss Ghostley spent part of her childhood in Arkansas and Oklahoma. It was in a small Oklahoma town that her high school speech teacher inspired her to pursue a dramatic career. Following graduation from the University of Oklahoma, where she minored in drama, she headed for New Jersey and eventually New York.
To pay for drama and singing lessons, Miss Ghostley worked in a restaurant, cosmetic factory, detective agency and motion picture theater. Her big break came singing "The Boston Beguine" in "New Faces of 1952".
Other Broadway appearances include "The sign in Sidney Brustein's window", for which she received the Tony Award for Best Actress and the Saturday Review Award for Best Performance of 1964-65.
Miss Ghostley is remembered on television for performances in such divergent productions as "Twelfth Night", "The Jackie Gleason Show", a starring role in the "Captain Nice" series, and more recently as a semi-regular on "The Jonathan Winters Show".
Miss Ghostley doesn't like to cook or sew and she doesn't drive. "I'm really happiest when I'm working", she smiles. She admits she's a ham - "I have to be" - and is grateful she has attained success in the only kind of career she has wanted since she can remember.
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