(Above: Kathy Garver, then and now. Source: kathygarver.com)
Ever wondered what happened to Cissy, Jody and Buffy’s well-behaved older sister on the classic sitcom Family Affair?
Frankly, neither did we. But now we know. Cissy, perhaps the most non-rebellious teenager of the late 1960s, apparently became a top model and actress after Family Affair’s swan song. Now, 50 years later, she’s retiring from show biz and planning a carefree life roaming the world with her fiancée when guess who shows up at her doorstep: her twin niece and nephew, needing a place to live.
That’s the plot of Aunt Cissy, a planned series still in the fundraising stage and starring the original Cissy herself: Kathy Garver. Aunt Cissy, of course, has a housekeeper named French (Sangre Negra’s Danny Arroyo). The cast also includes Patrika Darbo (Emmy winner for Acting Dead) and Renee Lawless (Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots) as friends of Cissy, Miles Tagtmeyer (Emmy nominee for Broken) as Cissy’s nephew, and newcomer Madison Young as Cissy’s niece.
Family Affair, which ran for five seasons and 138 episodes on CBS from 1966 to 1971 is now available to Amazon Prime subscribers and also over the air, with a pair of episodes airing weekdays at noon ET on Decades.
The series also starred Brian Keith as Uncle Bill, Johnny Whitaker as Jody, Anissa Jones as Buffy, Sebastian Cabot as Mr. French, and a doll named Mrs. Beasley.
No word on whether Aunt Cissy will find a guest spot for Uncle Jody, since Whitaker is still acting, having appeared recently in Amazon Prime’s reboot of his early ‘70s kids series, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
Except for Garver and Whitaker, the other human cast members are long gone, with Jones passing first from a drug overdose at the age of 18 in 1976. We don’t know what became of Mrs. Beasley.
Here, via Whitaker’s YouTube page, are the opening and closing of Family Affair’s first episode:
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