Mary Jane Croft Lewis, an actress who worked opposite Lucille Ball on the TV series “I Love Lucy,” “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy,” died Aug. 24 of natural causes at her home in Century City. She was 83.
Lewis played Lucy’s neighbor Betty Ramsey on the 1957 season of “I Love Lucy.” She went on to portray Mary Jane Lewis, a character with her own name that helped outwit Lucy’s boss Gale Gordon on both “The Lucy Show” (1962-68) and “Here’s Lucy” (1968-74). She also appeared on Ball’s final TV special in 1979.
Lewis first began acting on radio in the late 1930s, working on dramas such as “Lux Radio Theatre,” “One Man’s Family” and “I Love a Mystery.” She was also heard on the radio version of “Ozzie and Harriet.”
In the 1950s she entered into TV acting, and from 1956 to 1966, she played Clara Randolph on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
Her late husband was Elliott Lewis, a producer of “The Lucy Show” who was also a mystery novelist and an actor. Her only son, Eric Zoller, was killed in the Vietnam War.