Dody Goodman (Dolores Goodman)

Dody Goodman

Dody Goodman was born Dolores Goodman in Columbus, Ohio, she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dexter Y. Goodman. She had one sister, Rose, and one brother, Dexter Jr. She attended Columbus North High School and is a member of the Hall of Fame at Columbus North High School. She attended Northwestern University, where she studied dramatics, and two ballet schools—the School of American Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School. Dody Goodman was notoriously secretive about her age, successfully shaving off 15 years (giving a birth year of 1929) for many years before the discrepancy became publicly debunked. Dody Goodman’s Broadway came in 1941. She gained a measure of newspaper column space for her dancing solos in such Broadway musicals as High Button Shoes (1947), and Wonderful Town (1953). In 1955, she stopped the show in Off Broadway’s Shoestring Revue with the novelty song “Someone’s Been Sending Me Flowers.” She also headlined Off-Broadway in the Jerry Herman musical revue Parade in 1960 with Charles Nelson Reilly. She played the role of Dora in the 1962 revival of Fiorello!. She returned to Broadway in 1974 to appear in Lorelei with Carol Channing. Goodman was described as “the darling of dinner theaters, regional theaters, summer stock, you name it.” In 1976, she toured in a revival of George Washington Slept Here.

Adopting the guise of a fey airhead, Dody Goodman was good for a few off-the-wall quotes whenever she submitted to an interview. She came to the attention of nighttime talkshow host Jack Paar who, after becoming enchanted with her ditzy persona and seemingly spontaneous malaprops, invited her to become a semi-regular on The Tonight Show. As Dody Goodman’s fame grew, she became difficult to handle on the show, and Paar was not happy with her upstaging habits. Commenting on another guest one evening, Paar quipped “Give them enough rope.” “And they’ll skip!” ad-libbed Goodman brightly. Dropped summarily by Paar in 1958, Goodman spent the next decade showing up on other talk programs, game shows and summer stock as a “professional celebrity.” Following Mary Hartman, Dody Goodman’s career gained momentum with regular appearances on TV’s Diff’rent Strokes, Search for Tomorrow, Punky Brewster, and as aunt Mavis in 1982 on Texas, movie roles in Grease, Grease 2 and Splash, and cartoon voiceover work on Alvin and the Chipmunks and its movie The Chipmunk Adventure. Her distinctive voice was once described as sounding like “a tweetie pie cartoon bird strangling on peanut butter”. Her last television role was a cameo in the talk show satire, “Jim Davison’s Broadway Party” on the local NYC Manhattan Neighborhood Network channel in 2007.

Dody Goodman posed for photographs by Cris Alexander in the Patrick Dennis mock-biography First Lady, as Martha Dinwiddie’s sister Clytie, who in the story married a European Count Przyzplätcki (pron. “splatsky”) and perished on the RMS Titanic. She also helped produce another book with Alexander’s photography entitled Women, Women, Women! In 1958, Dody Goodman was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Continuing Performance (Female) in a Series by a Comedienne, Singer, Hostess, Dancer, M.C., Announcer, Narrator, Panelist, or any Person who Essentially Plays Herself. Her work in a revival of Ah, Wilderness! in 1984 earned her a nomination for a Drama Desk Award. She died on June 22, 2008, at the Englewood, New Jersey, Hospital and Medical Center, after having lived at the Lillian Booth Actors Home since October 2007.

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Born

  • October, 28, 1914
  • USA
  • Columbus, Ohio

Died

  • June, 22, 2008
  • USA
  • Englewood, New Jersey

Cemetery

  • Brookside Cemetery
  • Englewood, New Jersey
  • USA

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