Hello, Friends! I’m so happy to be here with you today! I have been working on some research that I hope you will enjoy. Today we are going to briefly go over the life and times of Mrs. Beasley. Grab a cup of coffee/tea and “Let’s Talk Dolls…”
Mrs. Beasley has had a very long and eventful life, especially considering that she was only a toy on a TV show that only aired for 5 years, the last of which was 42 years ago! The TV show was “Family Affair”. It began in 1966 when I was 8 years old. I loved this show and was very faithful to tune in weekly to see the latest adventures of Buffy, Jody, and Mrs. Beasley. Family Affair was an American comedy series that aired on CBS from 1966 to 1971 and Mrs. Beasley doll was the favorite doll of Buffy (played by Anissa Jones). The sitcom explored the trials of the well-to-do engineer and bachelor Bill Davis as he attempted to raise his brother’s orphaned children in his luxury NYC apartment. Davis’ traditional English gentleman’s valet, Mr. Giles French, also had adjustments to make as he became saddled with the responsibility of caring for 15-year-old Cissy and the six-year-old twins, Jody and Buffy.
The Mrs. Beasley doll was Buffy’s security blanket and confidant who listened to all her problems.
A little history on Mrs. Beasley…she began life as a Rushton “Jill” doll (yes as in Jack and Jill). somewhere along the way, the doll changed to the Mrs. Beasley we know and love made by Mattel. In today’s world, Mattel would have to license the look of Rushton’s Jill or find themselves in a law suit. I guess things just weren’t as complicated then.
The full size Mrs. Beasley is 21″ and is a pull string talker. Mrs. Beasley wore a blue dress/pants with white polka-dots, yellow shoes, and a pair of black square-rimmed glasses. She says 11 different phrases, like “Do you want to try on my glasses?” Her voice was by an actress named Georgia Schmidt, who people remember mostly as the first Talosian on Star Trek. The pull string talking doll was produced for several years, beginning in 1967. She actually outlived the show she was from! Mrs. Beasley was so popular that she was sold in several other forms, including paper dolls, a non-talking rag doll version with yarn hair, complete with removable clothing that was fully washable, and finally a smaller Beasley that came with a 10″ talking Buffy doll and a 4″ Mrs. Beasley. (Maureen McCormick of THE BRADY BUNCH fame loaned her voice to the doll’s voice box). There was also a 6″ non-talking , bendable Buffy with a 3″ Mrs. Beasley. By the way, Buffy had the same head as the Mattel Small Talk dolls. [source: Wikipedia]
The phrases of Mrs. Beasley were recorded onto small records and included the following:
- It would be such fun to play jump rope, don’t you think?
- Do you want to hear a secret? I know one.
- Gracious me, you’re getting to be such a big girl.
- Speak a little louder dear, so Mrs. Beasley can hear you.
- I do think you’re the nicest little friend I ever had.
- If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
- If you were a little smaller, I could rock you to sleep.
- You may call me Mrs. Beasley. Would you like to play?
- Long ago I was a little girl just like you!
- Would you like to try on my glasses? You may if you wish.
The smaller Mrs. Beasley dolls that were produced at the time came with removable glasses. That removable factor is why you almost never see one of the small Mrs. Beasley dolls with glasses. The larger ones were hard enough to keep track of, as evidence that they are few and far between too. When I was searching to find my Mrs. Beasley doll to go with my Talking Tandy doll (which resembles Buffy so much that she is also called Buffy), I almost never found a Mrs. Beasley doll with her glasses!
Unfortunately, Mattel never made a doll of Buffy’s twin brother, Jody. I especially liked him because he had RED curly hair. Maybe Mattel just wasn’t up to that yet….?
Even though Family Affair ended in 1971, Mrs. Beasley continued to be produced until 1972. And apparently even longer…..In 2000 Ashton Drake manufactured a new Mrs. Beasley doll based on the original Mattel version. She didn’t have quite the appeal that the Mattel version had. Her voice had even been rerecorded by Cheryl Ladd. She’s a Charlie’s Angel, not an old lady…many a Mrs. Beasley fan from the original show didn’t find quite the warmth and comfort that the original doll had.
After the “success” of the new Beasley, Ashton Drake produced a porcelain and the “Me and Mrs. Beasley” doll set. (I have mine pictured here in this post.). The set contained a cute Buffy doll with a mini Beasley and a tiny reproduction of the Family Affair lunch box! They also made a blown glass character ornament.
A Mrs. Beasley doll value and Price Guide for 2022 just in case you’re interested….
- Original Canadian Mrs. Beasley $349.00
- Barbie Buffy (NRFB) $359.99
- Original Mrs. Beasley 1967 $311.00
So, that’s the story of Mrs. Beasley and her claim to fame. I hope you enjoyed this post. The photos used in this post were taken by me and the dolls belong to me.
Until the next post, stay safe, stay well, and be kind to one another!
Hugs to you all,
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