Family Affair is a famous American sitcom. The show premiered on CBS on September 12, 1966. The series is produced by Edmund Hartmann and Don Fedderson. It is directed by Charles Barton and William D. Russell. The story revolves around a bachelor engineer Bill Davis who lives in a New York City apartment with his butler Giles French. Bill enjoys his bachelor freedom until 3 children (Crissy aged 15 and twins Buffy and Jody aged 6) of his deceased brother show up to live with him. Bill and French are forced to become surrogates parents for 3 children. These characters are played by Brian Keith, Sebastian Cabot, Kathy Garver, Anissa Jones and Johnny Whitaker. Family Affair ran for five seasons. The seasons comprise of 138 episodes. Each episode has a running time of 25 minutes. The last episode was aired on March 4, 1971.
10 Fascinating Facts from Family Affair
1- French was Renamed in France
The show was dubbed in French language. It was renamed as ‘Cher Oncle Bill’ in France. The character of Mr. Giles French was renamed as Mr. Felix. Similarly, Crissy, Buffy, Jody and Mrs. Beasley were renamed as Cecile, Fanfan, Jacky and Mademoiselle Pétronille respectively.
2- Beasley’s Glasses
Mrs. Beasley was Buffy’s constant companion in Family Affair. The doll always wore black spectacles. However, she did not wear glasses in first episode.
3- Beasley Became a Hot Cake
Mr. Beasley became very popular among children. It was marketed by Mattel in late 1960s as a talking toy. After the success of first doll, Mattel launched two more variants of Mrs. Beasley.
4- Fedderson: The Generous Producer
Fedderson was immensely generous to Brian Keith. Family Affair used a production schedule of 60 days to accommodate Keith’s other acting engagements. His scenes were shot in 30 day blocks. Other cast members would shoot around Keith’s schedule.
5- Kathy Garver was 5 Years Older than Her Character
Actress Kathy Garver was 20 years old when she played the role of Crissy. That made her 5 years older than her on screen characters. Garver was studying in her third year at UCLA at that time.
6- Kathy Garver Dyed Her Hair for Audition
Kathy Garver was a natural brunette. She used ‘Streaks and Tips’ to spray paint her hair blonde for the audition.
7- Anissa Jones Auditioned for The Exorcist (1973)
Child-star Anissa Jones became a household name with her performance as Buffy. However, the success she acquired from Family Affair led to her typecasting. She auditioned for the lead role in movie The Exorcist (1973). Director William Friedkin thought that Jones was too cute to play a demon possessed child. The role ultimately went to actress Linda Blair.
8- Producer Tried to Hide Anissa Jones’s Aging
The character of Buffy was 6 years old throughout the series. Anissa Jones was growing fast. Producer Don Fedderson tried to make her look like a 6 years during entire series. As Jones matured, her chest was bounded to hide her breasts.
9- Anissa Jones’s Accident Became a Part of the Show
During season 4 of Family Affair, Anissa Jones broke her right leg while playing in a park offset. Her injury became a part of storyline. The cast and crutches Jones wore in episode ‘What’s Funny About a Broken Leg?’ were real.
10- Anissa Jones Died as a Teenager
Anissa Jones passed away in 1976 due to drug overdose. She was merely 18 years old at the time of her death. A Toronto based band ‘The Diodes’ released a song ‘Child Star’ which chronicled Jones’s sad ending. It featured the chorus ‘Uncle Bill Uncle Bill, I Took Some Pills’.