Nov 15, 2015

New York Mets Manager: Terry Collins (2011- 2016)


Terry Lee Collins was born on May 27, 1949 in Midland, Michigan. He attended Eastern Michigan University from 1968-1971 playing short stop.

Collins was a quick base runner who led his team in stolen bases during his time there.

In 1971 his team won the NAIA National Championship, with Collins being named the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Tournament. He was later named to the Michigan's University's Hall of Fame.

Collins began playing in the minor leagues in 1971 as an infielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

He was later traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers system, and would play ten years of minor league base ball. Collins batted a career .255 never making it to the major leagues as a player. 

He began to coach, as well as mange in the minor leagues for the same two organizations (Dodgers & Pirates) into the nineties.

He began managing with the A ball Lodi Dodger affiliate in 1981 taking the team to a championship. By 1983 he was managing at AAA with the Albuquerque Dukes. In 1987 his Dukes won the Pacific Coast League Championship. 

After that he moved on the Pittsburgh Pirates AAA Buffalo team for three season winning 246 games (246-186) in that time. In 1992 he was voted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. He spent two years as the Pirates big league bullpen coach (1992-1993) under his pal, Jim Leyland.

He got his first managerial job in the major leagues with the Houston Astros in the 1994 strike shortened season, replacing Art Howe who had been fired after the 1993 season.

In Collins’ first season at the helm, he posted his best winning percentage of .574 (66-49). He managed in Houston for three seasons, finishing in second place every year, while posting winning records each time.

The Astros fell off at the end of the 1996 season, finishing at 82-80 and Collins was dismissed. He was criticized by some for putting too much pressure on the team & not being relaxed enough.

In less than a month he was hired to manage the Anaheim Angels. The previous year the Angels had finished fourth and went through three different managers; Marcel Lachemann, John McNamara and Joe Maddon.

Collins led the Angels to two straight second place finishes, & seemed more relaxed as the skipper than with Houston.

In 1999 his injury ridden team finished in fourth place, Collins stepped down. He had lost the confidence of his players although the front office wanted him to stay.
In 2001 he coached with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, first as their bull pen coach & then moving on to being the teams third base coach.

In 2005, Collins was in line to be the next LA Dodgers manager under then GM Paul DePodesta. But when Depodesta was fired, Collins wasn't offered the job. Later, as Depodesta became the Mets, VP of Player Development, had some positive things to say to the Mets General Manager; Sandy Alderson about Collins. Alderson & the Wilpon's agreed.

In 2004 Collins was one of three finalists for the Mets managerial job, but the job went to Willie Randolph instead. From there Collins went on to manage in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes, for a one full year but then resigned during the following season.



In 2009 he was the manager for the China national baseball team, in the World Baseball Classic.

In 2010 he came to the New York Mets organization as a Minor League Field Coordinator overseeing all on-field aspects of the Mets' Minor League Spring Training, mini camps, and Fall Instructional League.

He was responsible for all phases of the Mets' minor league operations, including instruction, discipline, and player and staff evaluations.

 After the dismissal of Jerry Manuel, Collins won the job as the team’s manager in 2011. Collins is the 20th manager in New York Mets history and tried to bring a new culture to the team. He wears the uniform number 10 in honor of his friend & mentor Jim Leyland.

In his first year as Manager the Mets went 77-85 finishing fourth. On August 6th, 2011 he won his 500th game as manager.  Collins team played an impressive first half of the 2012 season, getting as close as second place. That season he was named to the NL All Star team coaching staff by NL Manager; Tony LaRussa. 

After the All Star break, the club went on a horrible six game losing streak, dropping twelve of thirteen games & they never recovered. They finished fourth at 74-88, twenty four games out of first place.

If anything he seemed to have mellowed out on the bench, since his earlier managerial days. With the Mets he has also gained respect in the clubhouse from his players. Overall he has been considered as doing a fine job with the talents he has had.

In 2013 Collins' Mets showed some good signs as Matt Harvey, & Zack Wheeler led the pitching staff performing to their expectations. Collins was named a coach on the NL All Star team for the second straight year. This time the game was played at home in Citi Field & Collins got a nice ovation.

His team finished third this year with an identical 74-88 record. The team finished low in batting- 14th (.237) &13th in hits (1318). They were third in stolen bases with 114. His pitching staff was tenth in wins, eighth in ERA & second in innings. 

The Mets gave him a two year contract extension with a one year option into 2016. He said: "It is a true, true honor to be here. If you're going to manage, this is the place. There's no better stage, no bigger stage than to manage here. I love it here. I've had a great time here. I've probably enjoyed myself here more than anyplace I've ever been. So it's great to be back."

In 2014 Collins Mets finished with five more wins than the previous two seasons at 79-83, four game under .500. The Mets four year plan to make the play offs, under Collins & GM Sandy Alderson did not happen.

But the rebuilding of the minor leagues through trades & drafting as well as the development of the young players at the major league level makes the Mets a bright spot for 2015. Most notable the Mets pitching staff looks to be one of the leagues best. 

At the Winter Meetings, Collins told the press "It's time. I've done nothing for the last four years but preach to our fan base to be patient. We'll I think we've got the pieces. It's time to step up."

The Mets began 2015 in good fashion, thanks to tying a club record eleven wins in a row. The Mets maintained a hold on first place through mid May, then fell to second keeping pace with the Washington Nats.

At that point Collins announced his young staff was to go with a six man rotation, to help keep the innings count down.

After a brief stay at the top of the division, the Nets fell back a far as 4 1/2 games by the Fourth of July. After losing six of eight, falling just above .500 in series against St. Louis, Washington & at home, against the LA Dodgers, it all turned around.

The Mets had trouble scoring runs up until then, but at the trade deadline they added some key players. GM Sandy Alderson got Collins Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, reliever Tyler Clippard & the biggest of Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes had a tremendous August & September and the Mets young pitching now had a solid line up & strong bench to go along with them. The club also brought up youngsters Michael Conforto & Steven Matz.

From August on, the Mets won 36 of their last 58 games going 36-22. In that stretch Collins' Mets put together win streaks of eight, seven & six games. They finished the year at 90-72 winning the Eastern Division by seven solid games. It was their first winning season since 2008, winning the most games & first time making the playoffs since 2006.

There was some controversy when star pitcher Matt Harvey's agent said he should be limited to 180 innings because of his previous years surgery.

Collins stuck up for his pitcher & he as well as the team handled it all well. In the late season subway series Harvey was pitching a strong game, the pitch count went up & Collins yanked him from the game. The bullpen blew the game, Harvey received negative reactions & he started changing his tune. He would earn the win in the clincher at Cincinnati.

At 66 years of age, Collins the oldest manager in baseball made the post season for the first time. He previously was second on the list of most games managed without reaching the playoffs
since divisional play had begun in 1969.

The Mets won the NLDS beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, they then swept the Chicago Cubs in four straight in the NLCS. The dream fell short as the NL Champs lost the World Series to the KC Royals.

Ironically, after Matt Harvey pitched eight strong innings in World Series Game #5, Collins left him after the pitcher said he did not want to come out of the game. Harvey gave up a walk & then a double before being removed. The Mets made errors & blew a two run lead going to extra innings & lost the game. Collins took full responsibility saying he let his heart get in the way of his gut feeling, then he said it was his fault.
Now that certainly was not the reason the Mets lost the series but the critics were still on him.

In his Mets career; Collins has posted a 394-416 record over five seasons(.486%) . He is third all time in club history with wins as a manager, behind Davey Johnson & Bobby Valentine. Overall in a ten year managerial career he is 838- 850 (.496%).

On November 3rd 2015, The New York Mets extended Terry Collins stay as Manager with a two year deal. The announcement was made at a press conference at Citi Field where Mets GM Sandy Alderson, surprised everyone when suddenly passed out for about thirty seconds before coming to. A team official said he hadn't had breakfast & felt light headed under the hot lights.



Trivia: Collins is now tied for second place (with Joe Torre) on the all time Mets list with most years as Manager. Only Davey Johnson & Bobby Valentine have more years at the helm, both tied at seven.

Family: Terry & his wife Deborah reside in Virginia. together they have four grand children.

Quotes: After signing his new contract Collins said: "I'm going to go have some fun, get up when I want to get up, go play golf, mow the yard, stuff that makes me relaxed."

Nov 12, 2015

ON NOVEMBER 13th................. The Odd Couple Lives

"On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that someday, he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Several years earlier, Madison's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?"



This was the opening dialogue of centerfieldmaz's favorite TV show: "the Odd Couple". This dialogue was used for the first two seasons. It is also featured on the third season of the DVD releases as well. The narration was done by actor Bill Woodson.

The famous Odd Couple theme was written by non other than Neil Hefti, originally for the 1968 Odd Couple movie. Niel Hefti also did the classic Batman 1960's TV series theme song & music for that, another centerfieldmaz favorite TV show.

The Odd Couple"childhood friend" reference was only used during the first season and was later changed to "friend". Also, "sometime earlier" was changed to "several years earlier" followed by Madison's wife throwing him out.

The opening credit sequence consisted of Felix and Oscar in various humorous situations around New York City. The show was very New York oriented and gave a real feel for living in Manhattan, although it was filmed in Hollywood at Paramount Studios #19 where Happy Days would later be filmed. In later seasons, the opening sequence featured highlights from the shows' past episodes mixed with the previous footage.


The apartment building the boys lived in was 1049 Park Avenue, referred to by the boys & shown in the opening credits. However, in the episode "The New Car" Felix and Oscar were living at 74th St. and Central Park West (the San Remo Building). Many short clips were filmed on location outside that apartment for later seasons. Such as Oscar taking a morning walk in his bathrobe, Oscar & Felix hailing taxis, Murray the Cop's police Car, etc.

FELIX UNGER: Felix is a free lance Photographer "Portraits A Specialty", he is a hypocondriac neat freak that always meddles in other peoples buisness. He loves cooking, cleaning, the opera, the ballet, fine wines and heads the "Lexington Avenue Opera Club" If he gets upset his sinuses begin to make a honking sound. He is a pest & he drives anyone he lives with crazy. All he wants in life is to get back with his ex wife Gloria & his kids.


OSCAR MADISON: Oscar is a sloppy, messy, sports writer for the New York Herald. He loves to gamble, chase women, drink beer, smoke cigars and yell at Felix. Under his rough exterior he has a big heart. He is always in debt and behind on his alimony. His clothes never match, his room is a total mess & there is usually food in his bed. Oscar usually wears a Mets cap at home. Through his sports writing he has made many famous friends in the sports & entertainment world. All he wants is to live alone.

 

The Odd Couple TV Show's Beloved Supporting Cast

On this the 45th Anniversary Season of when my favorite television show of all time The Odd Couple first debuted it's time to pay tribute to the great supporting  cast.
Murray Greshler was a big hit with fans as the simple minded bumbling NYPD Officer: Murray the Cop . Murray was a long time friend of Oscar Madison & usually becomes the subject of Oscar's jokes.

Some great lines referenceing Murrays nose are "Nose' Feliciano" / "Tokyo Nose" & "Come inside Murray, your sucking up all the air in the hallway".  Even Felix chimed in asking him if the other army reserve soldiers made fun of him saying "when you look up it looks like a two car garage". Murray would become one of both Felix & Oscars best friends appearing 73 of the 114 Odd Couple episodes.

Murray wouldn't think twice about double parking his patrol car double parked outside the Park Avenue or Central Park West building where Felix & Oscar lived, for a quick hand of poker or just to hang out at Oscar's apartment.  But with that puppy dog face, Al was a loveable character especially when he used his classic line " Oscar I'm a police man...." usually followed by something that made no sense.

Who could forget when he went undercover as a woman in Central Park to catch muggers & Oscar said "And YOUR THE BAIT".  Or when he told Oscar to trick Felix into saving his life by choking on a chicken bone.

When Oscar says he used boneless chicken he replies "wont work without a bone Oscar". In his spare time Murray plays poker,  the ukulele & likes female roller derby. He was married to his wife Mimi

At one point when Murray & Mimi had marriage troubles and he moved in with Felix & Oscar driving them crazy. He tried to set the boys up with a team of Roller Derby girls but that didn’t go over to well. He once arrested his friends for gambling in a poker game at Felix & Oscar's apartment, because he needed some arrests under his belt. Murray also plays the ukulele and is a member of Felix's band "the Sofisticatos".

Whether it be about his big nose or about being dumb, Murray always got laughs & helped the flow of a scene. Murray is probably the closest of all friends to both Felix & Oscar through out the series.

Umberto Francesa Molinaro was born on June 24th 1919 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In English his name translates to Francis Albert Molinaro which he became known as Al. He was one of ten children born to Italian immigrants, who were prominent in the Italian Community of Kenosha. His father owned a restaurant / tavern & helped fund hundreds of Italian immigrants in coming legally over to America.

After getting married he moved to California & worked as a collection agent as well as a realtor. A real estate investment that became a large retail shopping mall made him wealthy enough to peruse his dream as an actor.

In the sixties he had minor roles on Bewitched (1971 episode- Bewitched, Bothered & Baldoni. where he plays a guide in Rome), Green Acres (1969-1970 / three episodes), Get Smart (1969 as agent 44 / two episodes) That Girl (1971 as Marv in Chef's Night Out) Love American Style (1972-1974 three episodes) & in the short lived series: Name of the Game (1969 where he played the owner of a head shop).

In 1970 he met Penny Marshall at an improv class which led him to her brother Gary Marshall who was producer of the TV show the Odd Couple. Al landed the part as the classic dim witted but loveable NYPD officer; Murray Greshler, aka- Murray the Cop.






In 1976 Garry Marshall had another big hit with Happy Days & he hired Molinaro to replace Pat Morita, as Al owner of Arnold's Malt Shop (later renamed Big Al's). Al played on Happy Days for seven more seasons (1976-1982) where his classic lines were "yup yup yup" & "did I ever tell you about Rosa Colleti?"

Everyone liked Al, the Fonz & Ritchie would confide in him as well as the teens who hung at Arnolds. Al was always welcome into the Cunningham Family & was an extended member.

Quote's: Molinaro once said: "Molinaro said, "I spent twenty years here before I got anything going, and from that I got lucky. It takes a lot of luck in show business. You've just got to be lucky and in the right place at the right time."

He would also play roles in Laverne & Shirley (1976) as Father Delvecchio, a role he also played on Happy Days when he Baptized the Fonz.

He also appeared on Love Boat (1977) Fantasy Island (1979 & 1982) Freaky Friday (1976) Gridlock (1980)  Joanie Loves Chachi (1982) Punky Brewster (1985) Family Man (1990-1991 a regular role in the short lived series) Step by Step (1992) & the Weezer video Buddy Holly (1994).

Molinaro also did a series of commercials from the late eighties to the early 2000's for Mr. Big, Cortaid  & On Cor products.

Passing: He retired from the business in the nineties & passed up roles offered to him by Marshall because he didn't want to be in anything with curse words in it.

He passed away in Glendale, California at age 96 in October 2015.



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Myrna Turner played by actress Penny Marshall. Myrna was Oscar’s slow nasal talking secretary with the classic slow nasal laugh “henh henh henh”. Myrna is very shy and meek, and has been to group therapy for a nervous condition. 

She was a hopeful tap dancer after her half time performance at an Alabama, Mississippi game. Felix tries to make her a tap dance star but it fails. Oscar gives her job back because “she’s the best secretary he ever had” according to his own words. Myrna Turner is single and tries computer dating, until she meets Sheldon (her real life husband Rob Reiner-"Meathead" from All in the Family" played that role), Sheldon strays but eventually returns to marry her. 

In a classic scene she introduces her siblings Werner & Verner Turner played by her real life siblings, Gary Marshall & their sister. They all talked like Myrna & laughed like her as well.

Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall on October 15, 1943. Her father had immigrated from Abruzzo, Italy & his original Italian name was Marscharelli. He was a She grew up on the Grand Concourse's northern end near Mousholu Parkway. Her father immigrated from Abruzzi Italy, and was an industrial film producer. Her mother ran a dance school & named her daughter after actress Carole Lombard.

Penny Marshall's brother was the Odd Couple's television show creator & producer Garry Marshall. In 1967 she moved to California with her brother & got cast in a hair commercial with Farrah Fawcett. Penny played the plain girl before the shampoo & Farrah of course, the pretty girl after shampoo with beautiful hair.  

She tried out for roles as Gloria on All in the Family but lost out to Sally Struthers. Her husband Rob Reiner got the role of Michale Stivic, aka- Meat head. Marshall also tried out for the part of Witchiepoo on H.R. Pufnstuff but lost out to Billie Hayes.
 
She first appeared in “The Danny Thomas Hour," & played bit parts in other TV shows like Love American Style, That Girl & the Bob Newhart Show. Her first big TV role came in 1972, as Myrna Turner. She remained on the show for three years, playing in 27 episodes, until its last season in 1975.

Next, she hit it big with another of her brother Gary Marshall's top television shows, a spin off of his number one rated Happy Days, called -"Laverne and Shirley" . She played the wise cracking Laverne Defazio, the loose girl with the classic big script "L" on her sweaters. She & her roomate Shirley Feenie lived in Milwaukee & worked in a Brewery. 


They first appeared on an episode of Happy Days as Fonzie & Ritchies dates. They made five Happy Days appearances. In later years Penny Marshall actually directed four episodes of the show. 

Since then she became a Hollywood director and owner of her own production company. To her credit she directed the films “A League of their Own”with Tom Hanks & Geena Davis. “Awakenings” with Robert Deniro & Robin Williams. “Big”with Tom Hanks.  "The Preacher's Wife" with Denzel Washington & Whitney Houston & "Jumping Jack Flash".

Penny Marshall & Rob Reiner were married for ten years 1971-1981 they had one daughter together.




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Gloria Unger played by actress Janis Hansen. 
Gloria is Felix Unger's beautiful ex-wife, whom he always tries to get back & finally does in the final episode. Gloria originally divorced Felix on the grounds of pestiness, and even though she still has feelings for him, she can't stand living with him. 

Felix was always insanely jealous, and made her feel inadequate, by re-cooking her meals, re cleaning the house and telling her how to set the table, as well as do the laundry properly. 




Gloria's maiden name was has been said to be either Fleener or Schaefer on different episodes of the show. Since the divorce (and probably when married to Felix) she lives in New Rochelle, New York with their two children Edna & Leonard. 

Gloria was a former Playboy Bunny before marrying Felix, she worked at the Playboy club & had her pictures taken by Felix. The photos were chosed for an upcoming centerfold but Felix managed to get Hugh Hefner himself to not publish the shoot. The Photos disappeared & were never found by Felix, although we learn they were stolen by Oscar.


Janis Hansen was born June 14, 1940 in Celoron, New York, the same town Lucile Ball was born in. Janis was a real life Playboy bunny & stage actress. She is best known for her role as Gloria Unger. 

Hansen has also made guest appearances on television shows like; Gidget, Bonanza, The Big Valley, My Favorite Martian, I Dream of Jeanie, The Rookies, Streets of San Francisco, Vegas, Police Story & TJ Hooker. She was also in the 1970 movie "Airport".

She retired from acting in 1982 & has since run the Hansen Management Company in Los Angles. She coaches, manages & serves as an agent.
 
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Blanche Madison played by actress Brett Somers.

Blanche is Oscar's ex-wife, who since the divorce lives in California. They had no children together. Blanche's maiden name is Jefferson. Oscar & Blanche were married while the boys were on Military Duty, in Connecticut. They spent their wedding night in the barracks being serenaded by Felix & Murray.  

Blanche is either getting late or no alimony payments at all from Oscar. She tries everything from singing telegrams to legal action with jail threats to get Oscars alimony payments. He usually has gambled his money away. The two Madison's are always fighting, never agreeing on anything. Totally different from the Ungers, Blanche & Oscar have no desire to get back together. Blanche made five Odd Couple appearances (1971-1973).

Oscar is always hoping Blanche remarries so he can stop paying alimony. She almost remarried "Roger the Milkman" until Felix buds in & blows that relationship as she realized she doesn't love Roger at all. They divorced on New Year’s Eve duriung a party in the apartment in which there are three sides of the story; Oscar's Blanches & of course Felix's.

Brett Somers was born Audrey Johnson on July 11, 1924 in New Brunswick, Canada. She grew up in Potland, Maine & ran away at age 17 to become an actress, setting in New York City  in Greenwich Village. She soon became a singer, theater actress & comedienne who took the name Brett from the character in Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”. She appeared on Broadway, in television & in movies, most notably “The Seven Year Itch” & The Country Girl with her second husband; Jack Klugman.


Her TV credits include: Barney Miller, Mary Tyler Moore, the Love Boat, Love American Style, the Defenders, Have Gun Will Travel, Ben Casey, The Fugitive, & CHIPS. Her best known roles were on the Odd Couple & a long time run as a panelist on the game show Match Game. 

Klugman was on Match Game early on in 1973 & suggested Brett be a panelist. She got the job & would remainthere for the remainder of it's none year run. She was second to Charles Nelson Riely in the top spot.  She became known for her risque dialonge on the show & was very popular.

Brett Somers married Jack Kugman in 1953, and they had two sons together. The couple separated in 1974 but were never divorced & remained friends their entire lives. Brett passed away in 2007 from cancer at age 83, in Westport Connecticut.
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Miriam Welby played by actress Eleanor Donahue (1972-1975). Miriam was the lovely, elegant love interest & safe to say girl friend of Felix Unger. Miriam lived upstairs, from Felix & Oscar  in the same building.

Miriam would play in 17 episodes, second only to Al Molinaro's Murray the Cop character in a supporting role for most appearances. Welby was a clever choosing of her last name, since at the time Marcus Welby M.D. was a popular show starring Robert Young who played Donahue's father on Father Knows Best n the 1950's.

Mary Eleanor Donahue was born April 19th, 1937 in Tacoma, Washington. She was a child actress starring in Vaudville, as a dancer. She played in many roles in the 1940's as a child in film. 

In the 1950's she landed the role as the eldest daughter of Robert Young & Jane Wyatt on Father Knows Best (1954-1960). Although innocent her role as a teenage girl in the fifties was very important. She also landed the role of Elle Walker a Pharmacist & love interest of Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith show. After one season she was asked to be released from her three year contract.

She would make appearances on "The Flying Nun" "Star Trek" "Have Gun Will Travel" "Dr. Kildare" "The Rookies" "Police Woman" & "SWAT". After the Odd Couple role she landed the part of Jane Mulligan on the short lived series "Mulligan's Stew". 

After that it was "Barnaby Jones" "Mork & Mindy" One Day At a Time" "Fantasy Island" "Hotel" "Happy Days" "Love Boat" "Days of Our Lives" & recurring roles on "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" "Young & Restless" "Eek the Cat" & "Get A Life". She also had a part in the Julia Roberts, Richard Gere 1990 film; "Pretty Woman".

In 1998 she wrote a book about her life in Hollywood & provided more than 150 recipes.



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 Dr. Nancy Cunnigham played by actress Joan Hotchkis. Nancy Cunnigham became the love interest of Oscar Madison after she was filling for Dr. Melnitz. Nancy appeared in 11 episodes of the second season & then was never heard from again.

Joan Hotchkis was born September 21st, 1927 in Los Angeles, California. Hotchkis appeared in television shows; "My World & Welcome To It" "Bewitched" "Charlies Angels" "Medical Center" "Marcus Welby" "Barnaby Jones" "Lou Grant" & "St. Elsewhere". 

Hotchkis did theater work as well as solo performances into the late 1990's. Her second solo work: Elements of Flesh: Or Screwing Saved My Ass (1996) was about aging & sexuality.  Joan is an active activists for the arts & has helped put together many gala events. She is a a life long member of the Actors Studio.



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Edna Unger played by two actresses.Edna Unger is Felix & Gloria Ungers daughter. She loves her father even though he's a pest. Her 11th birthday gets in the way of Oscar's poker game with a bunch of drinking, smoking sportswriters. Even the clown hired for her party gets drunk & gets into Oscars poker game. In the end Uncle Oscar saves the day after a rain out party in Central Park. 

As Edna gets older all she wants to do is meet boys. At one point she dates a reform school kid, that Oscar was a "big brother" too. Later with a Doney Oatman playing the role, she becomes a baseball umpire just to meet boys. 

Finally she falls in love with singer Paul Williams and runs away from home just to follow him. As she gets older she gets closer to Uncle Oscar & thinks he's cooler than her own dad. Edna was played by two actresses, first by Pamelyn Ferdin (the reddish hair girl) and then by Doney Oatman (the blonde).

Pamelyn Ferdin (Edna #1 appeared in three episodes 1971-1972). she was a child star who appeared in countless TV shows: "The Brady Bunch" 'the Monkees" "My Three Sons" 'Star Trek" "Bewitched" "Family Affair" "Mannix" "Chips" "Lassie" 'Andy Griffith" "The Flying Nun" 'Gunsmoke" "Marcus Welby" "Vesa$" "the Streets of San Francisco" & many more. 

She was also in "Andy Williams, Bob Hope & Jerry Lewis" TV specials. She also had a regular spots as Cookie Bumstead in the show "Blondie" (1968-1969), Sally Simms on the "Paul Lynde Show" (1972-1973) & "Lassie" the series in 1973.

She was the voice of Lucy Van Pelt in the 1969 "A boy Named Charlie Brown" & "Play It Again Charlie Brown" . She was also the voice of Sally in 1971's "The Cat In the Hat" & Fern in Charolette's Web (1973).

On top of all this she appeared in Barbie commercials too. She quit acting in the early 80's, became a nurse, married a surgeon & now lives in Connecticut. Ferdin is also a big animal rights activist.
 

Doney Oatman (Edna #2 also in three episodes 1972-1975) had a short acting career appearing in "ABC Afterschool Specials" "Maude" "The Rockford Files" "Eight Is Enough" "The Waltons" & "Charlies Angels" in 1977.  Not much more is known of Doney Oatman beyond this point, as she kind went off into obscurity. This one photo to the left was found, that's about it.



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Leonard Unger played by two different actors.
Felix & Gloria Ungers son is Leonard Unger. Leonard also "honks" like his father, when he gets upset, but unlike his father he loves frogs, & sports. Uncle Oscar coaches his football team & he looks up to him. Just like there were two different Ednas, there were two different Leonards as well. The first Leonard was played first young actor; Willie Aames and the second by a young Leif Garrett.


Willie Aames (Leonard #1 played in one episode in 1971) He was born Albert William Upton in Newport Beach, California. 

He too appeared in many other TV shows such as "Love Boat' "Adam 12" "Medical Center" "ABC After school Specials" "Little House" "Cannon" "Courtship of Eddies Father". He was the voice of Jamie Boyle, on "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" (1972-1974) & had regular parts on "Swiss Family Robinson"(1975-1976)  "We'll Get By" & "Family" (1976-1877). 

Aames became most famous for his role on the TV show "Eight is Enough" (1977-1981) as Tommy Bradford and "Charles In Charge" as Buddy Lembeck (1984-1990). 

Aames battled  drug & alcohol addiction for some twenty years. He eventually went sober became a born again Christian &created as well as starred in the TV show "Bible man". He was married twice & has two children.

 

Leif Garret (Leonard #2- played in two episodes 1974-1975) Leif Per Nervik was born November 8th, 1961 in Hollywood California. 

He is the brother of Dawn Nervik who played Dodie Douglas on My Three Sons. 

Leif would play in the movie "Bob & Carol Ted  &Alice" with Natalie Wood in 1969. He also played the protagonist's son in all three Walking Tall movies & has a recurring role on the show "Family".

Garret became another teen idol with his fame in movies, TV & music when he scored with his 1976 album Leif Garrett. The single "I was Made For Dancin" became a top ten hit. He would also have a small part in the classic film; "The Outsiders" in 1983.

Leif Garret had relationships with lovely ladies such as Nicolett Sheridan, Tatum O'Neil, Kristy McNichol & Justine Bateman. 

In 1979 he crashed his car, while on Qualudes and left his friend a paraplegic. Garrett promised to look after his friend, but the family sued Garret for $25 million. He settled for $7 million & the friendship was done. The two reunited for a VH1 "Behind the Music" special & all was forgiven. Garret was arrested three more times from 1999-2010 for some kind of drug possession.


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Speed was a poker obsessed friend of Oscar Madison. While the crew was arrested by friend Murray the Cop for an illegal poker game, we learn Speed's real name was Homer.

Gary Walberg was born June 10th 1921 in Buffalo New York. His acting career began in the 1950's, he would be a regular on Peyton Place (1965-1968) Odd Couple (13 appearances) Gunsmoke (10 episodes) Lassie (7 episodes) & Quincy with Jack Klugman (1976-1983).

He made notable appearances on the Twilight Zone (1959 episode- Where Is Everybody) Rawhide, the Rifleman, Perry Mason, Ben Casey, Star Trek (1966 episode Balance of Terror as Commander Hansen) & Green Acres (1969 episode Reincarnation of Ed as a Sheriff).

Also appearances on Mod Squad, Medical Center,, SWAT, Police Story , Mannix, Columbo (1971) Kojak (1974) Love American Style (4 times 1971-1973) The Tony Randall Show, Hotel & Murder She Wrote. His last appearance was on the Odd Couple (Together Again) TV Movie in 1993.

Walberg was married three times & passed away in 2012 at age 90.
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Vinny was another one of  Felix & Oscar's poker buddies starting from Season One. 

 Larry Gelman was born November 3rd 1930 in Brooklyn New York. Gelman was a solid character actor with 113 credits to his name, still active into his eighties. He  is best known for being Vinny on the Odd Couple (12 episodes) Dr. Bernie Tupperman on the Bob Newhart Show (13 episodes 1972-1976) , Dr. Binder on Maude (6 episodes 1976-1978)  Officer Bernstein on Eight Is Enough (6 episodes 1977-1981) & four appearances on Barney Miller.

 
He began in the sixties with credits on popular shows like Batman (1968 episode NOra Clavicle & the Ladies Crime Club as a bank manager) . The Monkees (three episodes (Christmas Show 1967 / Captain Crocodile 1967 as a salesman & Ive Got A Little Song Here 1967- as a director).

Also I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, the Flying Nun, Nanny & the Professor, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Kojak, Quincy, Love Boat, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Facts of Life, One Day at a Time, Archie Bunkers Place, CHIPS, Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele, Cagney & Lacey, Mr. Belvedeere, ER & Night Court.

He also was in the  films Mr Saturday Night, Dreamscape, Wholly Moses, Topper, the Frisco Kid, Funny Girl & Weird Science. This year he turned 85.