It's not really a tragedy when a 96-year-old dies, yet when it's an entertainer we had long forgotten and thought was already gone, it allows for a warm bath of nostalgia. Keeping in mind that looking back is all right so long as you don't stare, I find myself back in the 1950s, where everything was in black and white – mostly white – absorbing visions of a world I aspired to but found, when I got there, it never existed.
It was a world of "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father Knows Best" – bland Midwestern families in neat little situations that -- however much we made fun of them -- were actually well written, even for the Golden Age of television.
Anyway, as you have probably heard, Jane Wyatt, who played Margaret Anderson in "FKB" died the other day. We thought of her, maybe, as the mom we wanted to have but not until her death could we learn that she once appeared nude in a movie and was blacklisted from the movie industry – an act that landed her on television and in our memories.
Tom Shales of the Washington Post remembers, too.