January 22: Happy Birthday, Ann Sothern
The Adventures of Maisie crackled from radio speakers nationwide from 1945 to '52. It starred the vivacious Ann Sothern, who was born on this day in 1909. Star of film, television, and radio, Sothern may be best known for her Maisie character.
Maisie originated in the 1939 film of the same name. Maisie is a New York dancer who finds herself in adventures in Wyoming. The movie spawned a few sequels and then Sothern got to play the role in a radio adaptation of Maisie Was a Lady, produced by Lux Radio Theatre. A small empire was born, and the comic actress became a radio staple.
Like many talented lookers of the day, Sothern entertained the WWII troops and appeared at military hospitals. Reportedly, a plane was named Sothern Comfort in her honor.
She was a good friend of comedienne Lucille Ball. Ball once remarked, "the best comedienne in this business, bar none, is Ann Sothern."
Late in her life, Sothern retired to whence she had come, Ketchum, Idaho. She died in 2001.