“I Love Lucy” had a core group of iconic characters that fans knew they’d see in every episode.
That included Lucy as the hilarious and mischievous wife and Ricky as the dynamic other half of the relationship. It also included Ethel and Fred Mertz, which were Lucy and Ricky’s closest friends that lived next door.
Lucy and Ethel were inseparable, ending up in a series of schemes together before their husbands disapprovingly found out.
Besides the core four, the show had countless other smaller characters. This could be anyone from Ricky and Lucy’s son to coworkers to other neighbors. There was one actress who actually played three different guest roles on “I Love Lucy.”
Mary Jane Croft: Her Three Roles
According to IMDb, Mary Jane Croft played three different characters during her time on the show. That included Betty Ramsey, Evelyn Bigsby, and Cynthia Harcourt.
Betty Ramsey was the next-door neighbor of the Ricardos. She was in six episodes of the show. Betty is portrayed as snobby, pretentious, and rich. She is always showing off her money. She grew up in Albuquerque, similar to Ethel, and the two even went to the same elementary school.
Then Croft also played Evelyn Bigsby in “Return Home from Europe.” Bigsby was an airline passenger. During this episode, Lucy is on her way home from Europe. She is trying to get out of paying extra for a huge block of cheese she is trying to bring home. She then disguises the piece of cheese as a newborn baby.
In the process, she annoys the new mother, Bigsby, seated next to her on the plane. Lucy and Ethel scarf down part of the cheese once they find out that babies don’t fly for free. When Lucy goes to sit back down next to Evelyn, the new mom screams thinking the baby was killed.
The last character Croft played was named Cynthia Harcourt. She is a wealthy socialite and the former high school classmate and nemesis of Lucy. She appears in the “I Love Lucy” episode “Lucy Is Envious.”
Lucy exaggerates her wealth after Cynthia asks for a donation to her alma mater. Lucy and Ethel both donate and find themselves $500 dollars poorer. Their solution is to dress up as Martians on the top of the Empire State Building as part of a publicity stunt for a new movie to make some quick money.
Mary Jane Croft Career
Besides her guest roles on “I Love Lucy,” Croft was in a number of different roles during her career.
She was Ms. Daisy Enright on “Our Miss Brooks,” Mary Jane Lewis on “The Lucy Show” as well as “Here’s Lucy.” She also played Clara Randolph on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
Croft worked extensively on the radio first. She was in productions like “Sherlock Holmes,” “Life with Luigi,” and “Blondie.”
She had a long career in both TV and radio, dabbling in a number of guest roles as well as larger roles. Croft had also reunited with Lucille Ball throughout the years for various projects besides “I Love Lucy.”