R.I.P. Jerry Fogel of The Mothers-in-Law and The White Shadow
Image: The Everett Collection
The Mothers-in-Law remains one of the more underrated comedies of the 1960s. In one of the great rock 'n' roll performances of sitcom history, the influential garage group The Seeds stormed through their hit "Pushin' too Hard" in one episode, under the alias of the Warts. The series also made a brilliant comic pairing of two '50s stars, singer Kaye Ballard and Our Miss Brooks veteran Eve Arden.
And they were just the mothers-in-law. The producers — The Mothers-In-Law was the creation of I Love Lucy writers Bob Carroll and Madelyn Pugh Davis and produced by Desi Arnaz — also made a discovery in Jerry Fogel, the young actor cast to play newlywed opposite Deborah Walley's Suzie. His character was named Jerry, as well.
Before landing that gig, Fogel had few TV appearances to his credit, on The Big Valley and That Girl. He had made his name as a radio DJ, spinning rock records in his hometown of Rochester, New York.
Following that sitcom, Fogel appeared in the war film Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) before finding another recurring role in the gripping basketball drama The White Shadow in 1978. There, he played the brother-in-law to Ken Howard, the star of the show.
That would be his last acting role. Following The White Shadow, Fogel returned to the radio in Kansas, where he co-hosted a talk show.
You can also spot Fogel in series such as Barnaby Jones, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The New Perry Mason and Police Story.
Fogel died on October 21, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 83.