Tag Archives: Leila Ransom

14 November: Shirley Mitchell, RIP—”Awww, Thrawwwk-mawwtinnnnn!”

Shirley Mitchell as Leila Ransom, bewitching and befuddling hapless Harold Peary as Gildersleeve. (Photo: NBC.)

Shirley Mitchell as Leila Ransom, bewitching and befuddling hapless Harold Peary as Gildersleeve. (Photo: NBC.)

Shirley Mitchell was thatclose to giving up on Hollywood entirely when she landed the old-time radio supporting role of a lifetime in the early 1940s.

Aawww, Thrawwwck-mawwtinnnnn!

The Toledo, Ohio native—who died of heart failure on Veteran’s Day, a week after she celebrated her 94th birthday—suddenly found herself a valuable supporting player as Southern widow Leila Ransom, who couldn’t seem to decide whether to marry or mangle The Great Gildersleeve. Indeed, Leila became (in John Dunning’s words) “such a strongly negative character that at one point a California women’s club picketed NBC, urging Gildersleeve with their signs not to marry her.”

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