Stuart portrayed “Miss Bunny”, the girlfriend of Sergeant Vincent Carter, played by Frank Sutton, on three seasons of CBS’s Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. In 1969, Stuart was cast as “Wilma Winslow” on CBS’s The Queen and I. In 1985, she was cast as Marianne Danzig, the wife of a Mafia godfather in the ABC’s crime drama Our Family Honor, both in the television movie and the short-lived series of the same name. Between 1959 and 1961, she appeared in four episodes of the NBC crime drama The Lawless Years, starring James Gregory and Robert Karnes (“The Marie Walters Story”, “The Maxey Gorman Story”, “The Billy Boy ‘Rockabye’ Creel Story”, and “Ginny”). She also appeared as “Alice” in nine episodes of the another CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams. In 1976 she played McLean Stevenson’s wife on the short-lived NBC sitcom, The McLean Stevenson Show. Stuart was born in Paris, the seat of Edgar County in eastern Illinois. She attended the Schuster-Martin School of Drama in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was founded by an aunt of the actor Tyrone Power. Thereafter she studied in New York City under Stella Adler, having modeled to pay for her acting lessons. She was invited to join the national tour of Zero Mostel’s Lunatics and Lovers. Her first television role was as Bessie, the secretary, on the 1955 syndicated series The Great Gildersleeve, starring Willard Waterman and based on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program. She guest starred in numerous television series, including two Rod Cameron syndicated crime dramas, State Trooper and COronado 9. She appeared in three episodes of the television crime drama Peter Gunn. She appeared as Mrs. Bugsy McKenna in the episode “Bugsy” of the CBS crime drama Mr. Lucky, with John Vivyan, who had also appeared on The Lawless Years.
In 1959, she appeared as Belle in “The Magic Box” of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston. She appeared in the episode with Vaughn Taylor as Oliver Pate and Dan Sheridan as Babcock. In 1960, Stuart was cast as the legendary gambler Poker Alice, the mother of seven children, in three episodes of the CBS-Desilu western series The Texan, starring Rory Calhoun as Bill Longley, a kind gunfighter who assists the downtrodden as he roams across the American West. The real Longley, however, was a desperado who was hanged for his crimes. Stuart appeared in two other ABC/WB series, Sugarfoot and Lawman. Her other western roles were on Sheriff of Cochise, Jefferson Drum, Outlaws, Riverboat, Frontier Circus, Two Faces West, Rawhide (1963 episode “Incident of the Wild Deuces”), The Wide Country, Alias Smith and Jones, Destry, Kung Fu, and Tales of Wells Fargo. She later appeared as Lil Kane in the 1967 episode “Sister Death” of the ABC television series The Iron Horse. Stuart guest starred as Edith in Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone in the 1960 episode A Thing About Machines. In 1961 she made two appearances on Perry Mason: Violet Ryder in “The Case of the Guilty Clients,” and Maizie Freitag in “The Case of the Brazen Bequest.” She appeared in various other dramatic series, including M Squad, The Untouchables, Markham, The Blue Angels, 87th Precinct, Adventures in Paradise, The Eleventh Hour, Sam Benedict, Arrest and Trial, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6, Banyon, Banacek, The Rookies, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, Batman, T.H.E. Cat, Starsky and Hutch, Trapper John, M.D., and Quincy M.E.. Later years saw her appear in guest roles on Hotel, Simon and Simon, Highway to Heaven, L.A. Law, and Nash Bridges. Stuart’s last role was as “Alice” in five episodes of Showtime’s Huff. She appeared in such motion picture feature films as Airplane!, Dreamer, Marines, Let’s Go and Hellfighters. She played Tom Hanks’ character’s increasingly appalled mother-in-law-to-be in 1984’s Bachelor Party.
- January, 03, 1930
- Paris, Illinois
- May, 15, 2011
- St. George, Utah