I have been very busy lately so I apologize for my lack of new posts. I did notice that there is a character actor blogathon. I found a blog I wrote three years for TCM's Claasic Film Union and decided to reprint it since it fits in with the theme.
If ever a tv or movie fan took an actress for granted, it was definitely Mary Wickes. Think about it. How many CFU members love Bette Davis? Well, check out the fact that Mary Wickes was in 3 Davis flicks: Now, Voyager, The Man Who Came To Dinner, and June Bride. I have always loved her contribution to Now, Voyager as the wise-cracking but lovable Dora, Gladys Cooper's nurse. But you don't have to limit yourself to those films. If you get a chance to watch The Music Man, How To Murder Your Wife, White Christmas, Who Done It?, or The Actress; you'll see Mary Wickes in the supporting cast.
Mary Wickes was an actress who managed to work continuously because she was so adept at working within ensemble cast. I loved her as Sister Clarissa in The Trouble With Angels & its sequel Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. Who could forget her as the bus driving nun in the latter movie? The part where she drives into the cowboys and indians movie is pretty funny. However, her portrayal of Sister Mary Lazarus in the Sister Act movies has to be my absolute favorite. It was a part that truly reflected and showcased her comedic style. I always thought that it was great that she got such a plum role near the end of her career. I must also say that if you missed her as Meryl Streep's grandmother in Postcards From The Edge, then try to see her at your earliest convenience. She's a hoot!
Mary Wickes could also been seen by tv fans in a number of shows throughout the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. I remember watching her in reruns of The Lucy Show and Dennis the Menace. For those in my age group(40 somethings), she was on NBC's Saturday morning show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. In the 1980's, she was the housekeeper on The Father Dowling Mysteries. However, I think Classic TV fans will forever remember her as Madame Lamont, Lucy's ballet instructor on I Love Lucy.
There is a scene in Now, Voyager where Charlotte(Bette Davis) tells Dora(Mary Wickes), "Dora, I suspect you're a treasure." Little did film fans in 1942 realize how true those words. Time has shown that Mary Wickes truly was a treasure!