Of course I first knew of Alice Ghostly, who passed away yesterday at 81, as the sassy teacher (what subject did she do again?) in “Grease”, but she had a long and illustrious career before and after this. However it was Mrs. Murdock that first made me notice her, she was a bit player, but had such an ease with line reading…I wished she was one of my teachers.
”The car’s as hot as the parts on it”
Her only foray in the world of the Oscars is when, in 1969, accepted an Oscar on behalf of Maggie Smith who won for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brody”, for the two had starred on Broadway together.
Ghostley made her Broadway debut in "Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1952." She received critical acclaim for singing "The Boston Beguine," which became her signature song. In the 1960s, Ghostley received a Tony nomination for various characterizations in the Broadway comedy "The Beauty Part" and eventually won for best featured actress in "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window."
From 1969 to 1972, she played the good witch and ditzy housekeeper Esmeralda on TV's "Bewitched." She played Bernice Clifton on "Designing Women" from 1987 to 1993, for which she earned an Emmy nomination in 1992.
She was well aware that she would never be the leading lady, and she knew of the types of roles she should pursue.
"I knew I didn't look like an ingenue. My nose was too long. I had crooked teeth. I wasn't blond. I knew I looked like a character actress. But I also knew I'd find a way,".
Aren’t these always the best actors.