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Marjorie Lord, ‘Danny Thomas Show’ Star and L.A. Philanthropist, Dies at 97

Marjorie Lord, the actress who co-starred in “The Danny Thomas Show” and later became a prominent Los Angeles philanthropist, has died. She was 97.

Lord died Nov. 28 at her home in Beverly Hills, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was the mother of actress Anne Archer.

Born in San Francisco in 1918, Lord began her acting career on on Broadway as a teenager in the play “The Old Maid.” She shifted to Hollywood by the late 1930s, signing contracts with RKO and Universal and appearing in a string of B-movies and Westerns. In the early 1950s she appeared in such TV series as “The Adventures of Kit Carson” and “Ramar of the Jungle” as well as dramatic anthology series including “Four Star Playhouse” and “Fireside Theatre.”

In 1957 Lord was tapped to join the cast of Danny Thomas’ ABC domestic comedy “Make Room For Daddy,” which changed its title to “The Danny Thomas Show” after its third season. Lord played a gracious Irish woman, Kathy O’Hara, with a young daughter who was courted by Thomas after he became a widower. By the 1957-58 season, the two were married and the series moved to CBS, where it ended its run in 1964.

Lord also starred opposite Thomas in the 1970 revival “Danny Thomas in Make Room For Granddaddy,” which lasted one season on ABC.

After her long run with Thomas ended, Lord made appearances in movies, including 1966’s “Boy Did I Get a Wrong Number!,” and TV series including “Love, American Style,” “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat.”

As a philanthropist, Lord was a strong supporter of USC, the Music Center and numerous arts organizations. Her third husband, banking executive Harry Volk, was a founder of the Music Center. In 1988, Lord co-founded the USC Libraries Scripter Award that recognizes screenwriters.

In addition to Archer, Lord’s survivors include a son, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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