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Carol Bruce (November 15, 1919 – October 9, 2007) was an American band singer, Broadway star, and film and television actress. She was born Shirley Levy in Great Neck, New York to Beatrice and Harry Levy.She began her career as a singer in the late 1930s with Larry Clinton and his band. A graduate of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York, she made her Broadway debut in Louisiana Purchase," with songs by Irving Berlin who discovered her at a nightclub in Newark, New Jersey. She was the first actress to play the role of Julie in a Broadway production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Show Boat since the 1932 Broadway revival. Bruce played the role onstage in 1946 and garnered favorable comparisons to Helen Morgan, who had originated the role onstage in 1927 and repeated it in both the 1932 revival and the 1936 film. After a long career as a singer and in films, Bruce is probably best-remembered for her recurring role as the domineering and meddlesome "Mama Carlson" (mother of the station manager played by Gordon Jump) on CBS' WKRP in Cincinnati. Sylvia Sidney played Mr. Carlson's mother in the Pilot episode. Wikipedia

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Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
That's Life2000TV Series
Profiler1999TV SeriesPetra Strauss
Pacific Palisades1997TV SeriesMrs. Fitzpatrick
Diagnosis Murder1997TV SeriesConstance Lockwood
The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists1996VideoOld One (voice)
Party of Five1995TV SeriesSarah's Grandmother
Live Shot1995TV SeriesShirley
The New WKRP in Cincinnati1991-1992TV SeriesMama Carlson
Equal Justice1991TV SeriesMrs. Thomason
Jake and the Fatman1991TV SeriesMrs. Clark
The Golden Girls1991TV SeriesLucille
Doogie Howser, M.D.1990TV SeriesMrs. Beatrice Portmeyer
Hooperman1989TV Series
Perfect Strangers1987-1988TV SeriesMrs. 'Muffy' Endicott / Margaret
Marblehead Manor1988TV SeriesMargaret Stonehill
Planes, Trains & Automobiles1987Joy
Rags to Riches1987TV Series
Our House1986TV SeriesMrs. Findley
The Twilight Zone1985TV SeriesMrs. Whitford (segment "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium")
Too Close for Comfort1984TV SeriesSally Ruth
Diff'rent Strokes1984TV SeriesMiss Gilbert
WKRP in Cincinnati1979-1982TV SeriesLillian 'Mama' Carlson / Mama Carlson
Knots Landing1981TV SeriesAnnette Cunningham / Mrs. Cunningham
Charlie's Angels1980TV SeriesMrs. Pattison
American Gigolo1980Mrs. Sloan
The Girl Who Returned1969voice
General Hospital1963TV SeriesJennifer Talbot #1
The Witness1961TV SeriesMildred Hall
Armstrong Circle Theatre1954-1957TV SeriesHurricane Diane
Curtain Call1952TV Series
Studio One in Hollywood1951TV Series
Love of Life1951TV SeriesAmanda Randolph (1969-1970)
Musical Comedy Time1951TV SeriesMaisie Doll
The Silver Theatre1950TV Series
Behind the Eight Ball1942Joan Barry
Keep 'Em Flying1941Linda Joyce
This Woman Is Mine1941Julie Morgan
Koo Koo Korrespondance Skool1937ShortSinger

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Headline Bands1946Short performer: "Stop and Reconsider" - uncredited
Behind the Eight Ball1942performer: "Riverboat Jamboree", "You Don't Know What Love Is", "Wasn't It Wonderful?", "Golden Wedding Day"
Keep 'Em Flying1941"Let's Keep 'Em Flying" 1941 / performer: "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" uncredited, "The Boy With the Wistful Eyes" 1941
This Woman Is Mine1941performer: "Crossing the Bar in the Morning", "I'm Too Young To Marry"
Larry Clinton and His Orchestra1938Short performer: "College Humor", "Stop and Reconsider" - uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Merv Griffin Show1965TV SeriesHerself
Girl Talk1963TV SeriesHerself
Texaco Star Theatre1952TV SeriesHerself
Wonderful Town, U.S.A.1951TV SeriesHerself
The Ed Sullivan Show1949-1951TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Singer
Showtime, U.S.A.1950TV SeriesHerself
Cavalcade of Stars1949TV SeriesHerself- Guest Band Vocalist
The Lamb's Gambol1949TV SeriesHerself - Singer
Swing's the Thing1942ShortHerself
Larry Clinton and His Orchestra1938ShortHerself - Vocalist

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Headline Bands1946ShortHerself - 'Larry Clinton and His Orchestra,1938'

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#Fact
1Began her singing career as a Montreal nightclub singer before returning to the states and appearing in "George White's Scandals" in Boston in 1938. The show eventually went to Broadway.
2Won the revered role of Julie in the acclaimed 1946 revival of "Show Boat" opposite Kenneth Spencer and Jan Clayton (of "Lassie" fame). She went on to name her daughter Julie.
3Some references claim Ms. Bruce earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway work in the musical "Do I Hear a Waltz?" in 1965. Despite her outstanding performance, it was another actress Elizabeth Allen who was given a nomination from the show. Ms. Allen subsequently lost to Liza Minnelli of "Flora, the Red Menace" that year.
4Made her film debut in the Frank Lloyd seafaring adventure This Woman is Mine (1941). In her second film, Keep 'Em Flying (1941), she sang "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You." In her third, Behind the Eight Ball (1942), she introduced a Don Raye-Gene DePaul ballad, "You Don't Know What Love Is," which had been dropped from "Keep 'Em Flying" but later became a jazz standard. After these three pictures for Universal, she didn't appear in another film until 1980.
5The Broadway show "Louisiana Purchase" landed her on the cover of Life Magazine (September 9, 1940).
6On July 12, 1951, she was involved in a serious auto accident in Pennsylvania when she collided with a truck. The truck driver died and she was deemed at fault.
7Her last musical stage role was as Madame Armfeldt in a 1994 performance of "A Little Night Music" in San Diego.
8Mother of one daughter, Julie.
9Sang at President Franklin D Roosevelt's Birthday Ball, The White House, Washington, D.C., January 1942
10The role of Mama Carlson was played by Sylvia Sidney in the pilot only and played by Carol Bruce throughout the run of the series WKRP in Cincinnati (1978).


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