Alice Ghostley: Oooooohhhh!

AliceghostleyThere was a heartfelt “awwwww” at the breakfast table in my house this morning when we read the news of Alice Ghostley’s passing. Ghostley was one of TV’s great character-actress soldiers, known for being a regular on “Bewitched” — her role as housekeeper and good witch Esmeralda on that show cemented her on-screen persona as the ditsy-nervous housefrau type — and “Designing Women,” plus a few thousand one-offs in which she always scored. (Peruse her IMDB listing right here, it’s like a tour of TV from the early 1960s through the present day.)

Ghostley also did her share of supporting turns in movies, some of them classics including “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Graduate,” and plenty of theater in the 1950s and ’60s. (Click here for her AP obit.)

Whatever the forum, Ghostley was one of those actors who was just plain fun to watch, and listen to — the distinctive nervous timbre of her voice was often a feature of her roles. (Even if you haven’t caught a “Bewitched” rerun in 15 years, can’t you just picture Esmeralda saying “Oooooohhhhhhh” and fiddling with her fingers?) R.I.P., Miss Ghostley, we’ll miss you.

(Pictured: Alice Ghostley with her character-actor compadre Charles Nelson Reilly at a 1993 Friars Club event. Pic by Ron Galella/WireImage.)