17 May 2014 | redryan64
A Truly Necessary Part Of Every Friday In Our household
THIS WAS A REGULAR part of the Ryan household and weekly schedule. It was grocery shopping at the local A & P and Hi-Low for the folks, then it was MAMA. At the time there were a lot of things that we didn't know. Where was San Francisco? Was Norway a State? Why was "T.R." a nickname for the Ryan boy next door? Ah, how wonderful it was to have a character on a favourite TV show with our family name! (Oh, by the way, "T.R." was short for Theodopre Roosevelt Ryan, in case there's a quiz!)
WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED by this early television comedy/drama easily equaled or surpassed so many different series that were to come. The combination of the writing, live television direction and a real yeoman's job by a cast of actors who are, for the most part, unknown today.
OTHER THAN THE roles of Mama (Peggy Wood) and big brother Nels (Dick Van Patten) the rest of the cast would be quite unfamiliar to most anyone today. Nonetheless, Papa (Judson Laire), older Sister, Katrin (Rosemary Rice), younger Sister, Dagmar (Robin Morgan), Aunt Jenny-pronounced 'Yenny' (Ruth Gates) and neighbor boy T.R. Ryan (Kevin Coughlin) all put in the most memorable portrayals of their lives; lasting all these years.
THE SERIES, WHICH had originated as a stage-play, had also been filmed for the big screen in its original title of I REMEMBER MAMA (1948). Featuring a fine cast, led by Irene Dunne, Oscar Homolka, Barbara Bel Geddes, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Edgar Bergen (without Charlie McCarthy), it was probably the top production for its studio, RKO Radio Pictures, that year.
THE STORY TOLD of the trials and tribulations of a family of immigrants from Norway and their efforts to adjust to life in Big City, USA (San Francisco), circa 1900. It was surely a big hit with all; but particularly with those of us who had family in such similar circumstance. Well, our own Mother's folks came here before World War I as poor German immigrants from Austria; so you know that we had a great affinity for MAMA.