‘Family Affair’ Star Kathy Garver Revealed How She Landed Role While at UCLA

by Keeli Parkey
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During the late 1960s, the sitcom “Family Affair” introduced viewers to a new family that was formed out of sadness. As fans of the show are aware, the show followed the adventures of the character Bill Davis (Brian Keith) as he took on the responsibility of raising his brother’s children.

Bill lived in an apartment in New York City. Helping him raise his brother’s children was his aid, the Englishman, Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot).

Bill, who worked as an engineer and was unmarried, had to face the challenge of raising not one, not two, but three children. Two of these children were the very young twins, Buffy (Anissa Jones) and Jody (Johnny Whitaker). Their teenage sister was Cissy (Kathy Garver).

During a 2019 interview with Fox News, “Family Affair” star Kathy Garver shared details about the famous sitcom. She also talked about how she landed the role of Cissy. Turns out, Garver, who is now 75 years old, landed the role after appearing in other projects. These included the classic Cecil B. DeMille film “The Ten Commandments,” which also included Charlton Heston. That famous film debuted in 1956. The future “Family Affair” star also appeared in the 1955 film “Night of the Hunter.”

By the time “Family Affair” was being created, Garver was a college student at a famous California school.

“Well, I had been working as a child for a long time, since I was 8 years old. From ‘Ten Commandments’ and ‘Night of the Hunter’ all the way up. When this audition came along, I was at UCLA and Pi Phi in the sorority,” Kathy Garver recalled in 2019.

Kathy Garver star also talked about how even though she was actually that the role she was auditioning to play in “Family Affair,” that actually was an asset for her because at her age she was able to spend more time on the set than an actress who was actually 15 years old.

“My agent says, ‘They are looking for a girl with blonde hair and about your age.’ I was a little older than they were looking, but they always like someone over 18. I was supposed to be 15 on this show, but as an 18-year-old I was looked at as an adult. I could work longer hours,” Kathy Garver also recalled.

While she had a fairly easy time pretending to be someone three years younger than she was in real life in “Family Affair,” Garver physically transforming into the role wasn’t as easy. See, she had to become a blonde for the part.

“So, here I was. I had dark hair at the time, and my mom comes over and she sprays my hair with this streaks and tips kinds of things that they had in the late ’60s. It instantly turns your hair a different color. In this, we were looking for a blonde. Well, it turned out to be gold. …” Garver said.

Later, her hair turned green. But, the producers of the show understood. “That was the beginning of a long affair with the CBS family,” Garver also shared.

Outsider.com