Independent Press-Telegram (Newspaper) - April 6, 1975, Long Beach, California
SUNDAY, APRIL A, 1975 Cloris takes wraps off (See Page 5) TELEVISION LOG OF THE INDEPENDENT-PRESS-TELEGRAM AND THE EVENING NEWS Mitzi Hoag finds comedy stardom in 'We'll Get By' By BOB MARTIN TV-Radio Editor ..'.'Milzi .Hoag, who costars with Paul as the mother of three chil- dren on the CBS comedy series "We'll Get: has an 11-year-old daughter of her own- "I'll bet your daughter's very proud of I suggested while having lunch With Miss Hoag the other day at the Tail o' the Cock in North Hollywood. "Well, let's put it this she responded. "Abbie's last three current events reports at school have been about the series." Then the actress-added: "She tells me, though, 'Mom, all my friends say TV stars are supposed to be rich.'" Miss Hoag isn't in the wealthy cate- gory- not yet. She hasn't been a star long enough for that. But she has been an actress tor quite a while, and, she says, she hasn't had to work at anything, else lor 15 years to make ends meet. For .the last eight _years, she has been on her own, divorced Jrom her husband. Milzi's role as Liz Platt is her first starring parkas a and she has had only-one other recurring role in a TV series, that of Miss Essie, the school- teacher, "Here Come the Brides" a half-dozen years ago. Guest roles in a number of TV series and parts in three theatrical movies "Play It as It "Pieces of breams" and "Devil's Angels" have kept her reasonably other words, she gets by. SHE'LL GET BY even better if "We'll Get By" is renewed for the 1975-76 season. Naturally, she is eagerly await-. ing the'word from CBS. For a while, Mitzi .was .wondering if the series would ever see the light of the TV tube. Originally, it was supposed to start airing last September. Then she thought it would make its bow in Janu: ary. But it wasn't until March 14 that Get By" premiered in the p.m. Friday time slot opposite NBC's and the one of the most popular television. .'.v our said Miss Hoag. The series, which was created by Alan Alda of who also writes some of the scripts and coproduces it with Marc Merson, had been announced for CBS' lineup of last fall. But along came a federal court decision having to do with television's prime-time access rule, and the three major networks had to drop a half-dozen 30-minute shows from their schedules. "We'll Get By" was one of two :shows' taken off the CBS lineup. Nevertheless, the series got the go- ahead to complete 13 episodes, and all concerned figured it would make its bow in January as a midseason replacement. But if which of the Apes" at midseason, hadn't quick- ly gotten the can itself, Miss Hoag and daughter Abbie probably still would'be waiting to see the show on the air. And no telling what Abbie would be making her current 'events reports about. THE 13 EPISODES were completed last September, and Mitzi said she has done only a few commercials including one with Gregory Peck and voice- overs since that time. Fortunately, her pay from the series didn't hinge on its getting on the air 'or she would have' had even more anxious moments about it than she did. "We'll Get By" is a family comedy series, patterned after creator Alda's own family. Like the Aldas, George and' Liz Platt. and their three children are a suburban New Jersey' family. But whereas the Aldas have three daughters, the Platts have two boys and a girl. Jerry Houser plays Muff, the high school sen- Devon Scott (George C. Scott's daughter) is Andrea, the middle child; and Willie Aames is Kenny, the preteener. "How is your series different "from'all the earlier family situation I asked Miss Hoag. "We're not as she replied. "We're more real. And our shows are "more realistic. They deal with situations that all families would recognize Alan calls it 'humor of recognition.' The prob- lems often are serious ones that bring strong differences of opinion." I asked Mitzi if she's a lot.like Liz Platt in real life. "A good she said, "but I'm more emotional! George tends to fly .off the handle more, whereas Liz is more calm. But I'd be more emotional, myself. I believe in getting things out in the open." "Did you have to audition for the part? "I inquired. "Oh, yes a number of actresses said Mitzi, "but 1 think I got it MITZI HOAG her (real) daughter's impressed when Alan said, 'You remind me of a neighbor in New Jersey'." SHE'S FROM Cleveland, '-Ohio, not New however, and often vaca- tioned in the woods of northern Ontario with her parents. She's still the outdoor type, and likes to-go camping, hiking and backpacking. Mitzi acquired a B.A. degree in liberal arts from Shinier College, a small private school at Mt. Carroll, 111., in just two years. "It was affiliated with the University of Chicago and was on the Chicago-plan where you .could advance at your own she explained. She added that she liked Shimer because the classes were very small and because she -could go horseback riding in the country. After gaining her B.A., she studied drama at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, then appeared in stock compa- ny productions of such plays as "The Boy "The Time of the "The Corn Is Green" and "Shadow and Substance." She spent a year or so in .New York, where she continued her act- ing stiidies, .taught, .social dancing and tried to land stage roles-: Broadway didn't beckon, but she did play the title role in "Heloise" in an off-Broadway production. Then off, to California, where she continued her- stage career and got married. Mitzi appeared in the UCLA Theater Group" production of "Heart- break House" with Carroll O'Connor, and her other stage credits include "Joe Egg" with Noel Harrison, "The Miracle "A Taste of-Honey" and "Oh. ..What a Lovely After an interruption in her career with the birth of her daughter, Mitzi started acting in television and movies. Most of her parts have been dramatic ones, but she loves to do comedy. As to her personal life, she says she may get married again before long (her boyfriend is a Well, mother knows best.