Actress Phyllis Avery, who played the TV wives of Ray Milland in the CBS laffer “Meet Mr. McNutley” and of George Gobel on his variety show, both in the 1950s, died Thursday, May 19, of heart failure in Los Angeles. She was 88.
She was also a series regular on CBS sudser “The Clear Horizon” in the early ’60s.
The busy actress found frequent work on the episodic anthology series of the era, such as “Studio One in Hollywood,” “G.E. True Theater” and “Schlitz Playhouse,” and was steadily employed in guest roles through the late 1960s.
Avery began selling real estate but still found time to appear in “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Baretta” during the 1970s and even had a few acting roles in the 1990s, last appearing in “The Secret Life of Girls” in 1999.
Avery was born in New York; her father was screenwriter Stephen Morehouse Avery. She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and made her Broadway debut in “Orchids Preferred” in 1937. She met her husband, Don Taylor, when they appeared on the Rialto in “Winged Victory.” They married in 1944 but later divorced.
Avery made her feature debut in 1951’s “Queen for a Day” and also appeared in “Ruby Gentry” and the 1956 tuner “The Best Things in Life Are Free.”
She is survived by two daughters.