Culture Wikia

Family Affair is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from September 12, 1966 to March 4, 1971 (Repeats were broadcast through September 9.) The series explored the trials of well-to-do engineer and bachelor Bill Davis (Brian Keith) as he attempted to raise his brother's orphaned children in his luxury New York City apartment. Davis' traditional English gentleman's gentleman, Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot), also had adjustments to make as he became saddled with the responsibility of caring for 15-year-old Cissy (Kathy Garver) and the 6-year-old twins, Jody (Johnny Whitaker) and Buffy (Anissa Jones).[1]

Family Affair ran for 138 episodes in five seasons. The show was created and produced by Edmund Hartmann and Don Fedderson, also known for My Three Sons and The Millionaire.

Contents 1 Storyline 2 Production 3 Cast 3.1 Notable guest stars 4 Broadcast history and Ratings 5 Post-series 6 DVD releases 7 Awards and nominations 8 Revival series 8.1 Revival cast 9 Appearances in other media 10 References 11 External links


William "Bill" Davis, originally of Terre Haute, Indiana, is a successful civil engineer who develops major projects all over the world. A wealthy bachelor who often dates socialites, he lives in a large apartment on East 62 Street off Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan, and has a quintessential gentleman's gentleman, Giles French, for a valet. His quiet lifestyle is turned upside-down when his two nieces and nephew move in.

Bill's brother Bob and sister-in-law Mary had died in an automobile accident a year prior to the premiere episode (the DVD collection's notes mistakenly state "tragic plane accident"). Their children—15-year-old Cissy and her young twin siblings, Buffy and Jody—had been dispersed among relatives in Terre Haute for that year, but none of them wanted to continue raising the children, so they all attempted to give the responsibility to Bill. "Uncle Bill" is not keen on the idea at first, but the children endear themselves to him. First, comes Buffy, followed by Jody and, finally, Cissy. Initially mortified by the situation is Mr. French, who effectively becomes the children's nanny, on top of his valet duties. As time passes they all become a family, albeit an accidental one.

When Sebastian Cabot became ill, Giles' brother, Nigel "Niles" French (John Williams) was introduced. He worked for the Davis family for nine episodes in 1967, while Giles was said to be touring with the Queen in the Commonwealth countries. In the last season, Bill hires a part-time housekeeper, Emily Turner (Nancy Walker), to assist Mr. French.

Various other characters were also seen regularly, including several acquaintances of Mr. French's who are in service (most notably Miss Faversham, played by Heather Angel), colleagues of Bill's, and friends of Cissy's.


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) 

Like Don Fedderson's other program, My Three Sons, Family Affair used a 60-day production schedule for Brian Keith. All of his scenes for the season would be shot in two 30-day blocks, while his co-stars would fill in after the actor's work was completed. This enabled Fedderson to harness actors like Keith and Fred MacMurray into television commitments, while still enabling each to make motion pictures. As a result, each season had a single director for each of the 30-odd scripts.

Due to the popularity of the series with girls, Buffy's doll, "Mrs. Beasley" (which she often carried with her), was marketed as a Mattel talking toy in the United States. Mattel went on to produce two additional dolls, as well, patterned after Buffy: the "Tutti"-sized Buffy and larger "Small Talk Buffy" (talking doll), both of which featured accompanying miniature Mrs. Beasley dolls.


Main cast: Kathy Garver (Cissy), Anissa Jones (Buffy), Johnny Whitaker (Jody), Brian Keith (Bill Davis) & Sebastian Cabot (Mr. Giles French)Brian Keith as William Sean Roger "Uncle Bill" Davis

Sebastian Cabot as Giles French Kathy Garver as Catherine Allison Rachael "Cissy" Patterson Davis Johnny Whitaker as Jonathan Joshua "Jody" Patterson Davis Anissa Jones as Ava Elizabeth "Buffy" Patterson Davis Heather Angel as Miss Faversham, Mr. French’s friend (seasons 1–5) John Williams as Nigel "Niles" French (season 1) Nancy Walker as Emily Turner (season 5) John Hubbard as Theodore "Ted" Gaynor, Bill’s business partner (season 1) Betty Lynn as Miss Lee, Bill’s secretary (seasons 1 & 2) Sherry Alberoni as Sharon James, Cissy’s girlfriend (seasons 1–3) Gregg Fedderson (producer Don Fedderson's son) as Gregg Bartlett, Cissy’s boyfriend (seasons 2–5) Karl Lukas as Scott "Scotty" Parker, the doorman (seasons 1–3)

Notable guest stars

John Agar (episode 1.28) Herbert Anderson (episode 4.1) Dana Andrews (episode 4.2) Joan Blondell (episode 2.13) Lynn Borden Richard Bull as the apartment manager Veronica Cartwright (episode 3.27) Jackie Coogan (episode 2.7) Henry Corden (episode 1.8) Brian Donlevy (episode 1.15) Jamie Farr (episode 3.27) as a hippie Paul Fix (episode 4.15) Leif Garrett (episode 5.15) Linda Kaye Henning (episode 5.9) Kathy Hilton (episode 5.20) Sterling Holloway (episode 1.19) as Mr. Frack, the window-washer James Hong Clint Howard (episode 5.10) Martha Hyer (episode 2.14) Kym Karath Andrea King (episode 1.17) Patric Knowles (episode 2.3) Anna Lee (episode 2.3) June Lockhart (episode 3.5) Myrna Loy (episode 1.20) as a maid candidate Keye Luke (episode 1.18) Ida Lupino Ann McCrea Lee Meriwether Erin Moran Butch Patrick (episode 3.2) Eve Plumb (episode 3.7) as Eve, a terminally-ill girl Robert Reed (episode 1.14) as professor Julian Hill Pippa Scott (episode 2.30) Doris Singleton (episode 2.29) Ann Sothern (episode 2.17) Vic Tayback as a police officer Joyce Van Patten (episode 5.11)

Broadcast history and Ratings[]





1966–67 Monday at 9:30-10:00 PM No. 15[2] 22.6 (tied with The Dean Martin Show) 1967–68 No. 5[3] 25.5 (tied with Gunsmoke and Bonanza) 1968–69 No. 5[3] 25.2 1969–70 Thursday at 7:30-8:00 PM No. 5[3] 24.2 1970–71 Not in Top 30[4] N/A


From Monday, September 7, 1970 to Friday, January 12, 1973, The Family Affair Morning Show aired on CBS-TV Daytime at 10:30-11:00 AM Eastern.[citation needed]

From 1969 to 1971, the show aired Thursday nights at 7:30-8:00 PM Eastern. After September 10, 1971 (the day after the nighttime show cancelled), the show aired episodes from the best of the five-season period from 1966 to 1969, on Monday Nights at 9:30-10:00 PM Eastern.[citation needed]

In 1972-1973, the show's last CBS-TV daytime season, the show aired at 4:00-4:30 PM Eastern, and either in the 9:00-9:30 AM or 1:00-1:30 PM time slots on other stations, because of its deadly time slot on CBS-TV, where it was being replaced by the Vin Scully Show.[citation needed]

As discussed by Kathy Garver on the final season’s DVD features, the show’s cast suffered several deaths: Anissa Jones (who played Buffy) died of a drug overdose (of sleeping pills) in 1976, aged 18.[5] Sebastian Cabot (who played Mr. French) died of a stroke in 1977, aged 59.[6] Brian Keith (who played Uncle Bill) committed suicide by gunshot in 1997, aged 75, two months after the suicide of his daughter and having lived with cancer for some time.[7][8]

DVD releases[]

MPI Home Video has released all five seasons of Family Affair on DVD in Region 1 by MPI Home Video (under license from the Don Fedderson estate).

DVD name

Ep No.

Release date

Special features / notes

Season One 30 June 27, 2006 Family Affair: Behind the Scenes with Kathy Garver Photo Gallery

Season Two 30 November 21, 2006 "An Affair to Remember" (interview with Kathy Garver) "Memories" (Five-minute piece with Garver showing Family Affair memorabilia)

Season Three 28 March 27, 2007 The Family Affair Reunion Special

Season Four 26 October 30, 2007 A Conversation with Johnny Whitaker "The Child Stars"

Season Five 24 February 26, 2008 A visit by Kathy Garver to the CBS Studio City lot where the series was filmed

The Complete Series 138 November 25, 2008 Repackaging of Seasons 1–5 in a slimmer case

Awards and nominations[]






1967 Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy Edmund L. Hartmann For episode "Buffy" Nominated Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy William D. Russell Nominated Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Brian Keith Nominated 1968 Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Brian Keith Nominated Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Sebastian Cabot Nominated Outstanding Comedy Series Edmund L. Hartmann Nominated 1969 Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Brian Keith Nominated Outstanding Comedy Series Edmund L. Hartmann Nominated 1971 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy —


2004 TV Land Awards Best Broadcast Butler Sebastian Cabot Won 2010 Young Artist Awards Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award Kathy Garver[9] Honored

Revival series[]

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) 

A revival of Family Affair by Sid and Marty Krofft aired on THE WB from September 12, 2002 to March 13, 2003. This version was produced by Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures, Pariah Films, and Turner Television, and lasted for 16 episodes (14 of which were aired). It was filmed in the same CBS Studio City lot as was the original series. Although the one-hour pilot had good ratings, the subsequent episodes declined against competition such as Friends. Johnny Whitaker and Kathy Garver appeared in the Christmas episode.

Revival cast William Lloyd "Uncle Bill" Davis – Gary Cole Mr. Giles French – Tim Curry Sigourney "Cissy" Davis – Caitlin Wachs Jonathan "Jody" Davis – Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak Elizabeth "Buffy" Davis – Sasha Pieterse Jonathan "Jody" Davis (pilot) – Luke Benward

Appearances in other media[]

In the pilot of the television show The Critic, film critic Jay Sherman reviews the (fictional) movie adaption of the show. In the starring role was Marlon Brando, who was "paid 8 million dollars" for the film.

Gold Key Comics, an imprint of Western Publishing, published four issues of a Family Affair comic book series from January to October 1970.[10]

Merchandising efforts centered on Anissa Jones' "Buffy" character. Several books were published, including the 1970 hardback Family Affair: Buffy Finds A Star by Gladys Baker Bond and Buffy's Cookbook. There were dolls (Mattel's "Small Talk Buffy" and Mrs. Beasley, Buffy's doll on the show) and various other toys.[11]

A Mrs. Beasley doll, with her glasses missing, appears in the music video for the song California Tuffy by the Geraldine Fibbers.

In Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, the character of Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait) is seen watching the show in one scene, but ultimately turns it off after stating it's a "re-run".


1.Jump up ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1995). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present Sixth Edition. Ballantine Books. p. 336. ISBN 9780345397362. 2.Jump up ^ Brooks and Marsh, p. 1263 3.^ Jump up to: a b c Brooks and Marsh, p. 1264 4.Jump up ^ Brooks and Marsh, p. 1265 5.Jump up ^ Benoit, Tod (2009). Where Are They Buried?: How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy. Black Dog Publishing. p. 163. ISBN 1-57912-822-X. 6.Jump up ^ Eder, Bruce (2010). "Sebastian Cabot". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. 7.Jump up ^ Simon, Stephanie (June 25, 1997). "Actor Brian Keith Found Dead in Apparent Suicide". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. 8.Jump up ^ Rice, Rice (August 15, 2002). "An Affair to Remember". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. 9.Jump up ^ "31st Annual Young Artist Awards". April 11, 2010. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 10.Jump up ^ Family Affair at the Grand Comics Database 11.Jump up ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 251. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2. Retrieved November 6, 2010.

External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Family Affair. 

Family Affair (1966) at the Internet Movie Database Family Affair (2002) at the Internet Movie Database Family Affair (1966) at Family Affair (2002) at Family Affair – Classic TV website with Episode Guide, Theme and Gallery Apartment 27A – Family Affair Fan Page – Cast bios, collectibles, links and more on the 1960s television series Family Affair Behind-the-scenes production photos Collection of crew member Stephen Lodge.