Some famous female comedy pairs are ignored by modern audiences, except a scattering of film purists, but these five pairs offer talents that modern actresses borrow for current films.
The zany duo stared in a host of comedies from the early 1930s through the '40s. The plot was irrelevant and was used as a simple vehicle for the slap stick action. ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd starred in "Let's Do Things," "Catch as Catch Can," "The Pajama Party," "War Mamas," all in 1931 for the Hal Roach Studios. The teams last film was "One Track Minds" in 1933 for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Ms. Pitts died in 1963, after a long career in films.
Hall Roach Studios knew a good thing when they had it and when ZaSu Pitts left the studio in 1933, Thelma Todd was then paired with Patsy Kelly. Twenty-one movies followed, including "Beauty and the Bus" in 1933, "Soup and Fish" in 1934 and "Three Chumps Ahead," also in 1934. The pair's last film was "All American Toothache" for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in 1935. Ms. Todd died in 1935.
Carrying on the female comedy tradition at Metro, Patsy Kelly was joined by Lyda Roberti for two films in 1936 and a solo offering in 1937 before Kelly was dropped by the studio for what the studio viewed as outspoken behavior. (Kelly made no secret of her lesbianism.). The last film by the duo was "Nobody's Baby" in 1937.
Lucy and Ethel, played by Vivian Vance on television and in the single Lucy and Ricky film, became an early television comedy duo. Lucy and Ethel did everything from attempting to build a barbecue to climbing over the fence of a Hollywood star's home to retrieve an orange.
The comedy team of Laverne DeFazio, played by Penny Marshall, and Shirley Fenney, a role played by Cindy WIlliams, joked their way through six years of shows on ABC network beginning in 1976. The pair were first introduced on the "Happy Days" television show by Fonzie, a major character.
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