The Delightful Expressions of Alice Pearce

By Paul

Up until her unexpected death from ovarian cancer in March of 1966, Alice Pearce delighted viewers as Morning Glory Circle's nosiest neighbor, Gladys Kravitz. Along with George Tobias, who played Gladys's hen-pecked husband, Abner, the Kravitz's were a true comedic high on Bewitched and attributed to much of the success in seasons 1 and 2. Although Pearce was only 48 when she passed away, she achieved a highly successful acting career and even won an Emmy for her final role as Gladys Kravitz in 1966 just a few months after her death.

This page examines some of Pearce's priceless scenes that made Bewitched the top-notch classic TV show that it is today. Hover over the picture to see the custom Harpies Bizarre freak-o-meter ratings system.

 

    

 Episode # 2 - Picture 1 is the first time we see Gladys. She is, of course, indulging in her favorite pastime of peeking out of her living room window. In picture 2, we see Gladys peeking into 1164's window for the first time of the many to come. Picture 3 is of Darrin hugging Gladys, thinking she is Endora.

 


  

 Episode # 3 - The Stephens have just moved into 1164. Gladys is part of a welcoming committee to greet the new arrivals. The Picture 1 shows Gladys calling Abner on an unconnected telephone to tell him that strange things are happening at 1164. Picture 2 is the double take she does when she suddenly realizes that the telephone was not connected.

 


 Episode # 6 - Gladys is always dragging Abner to some place he does not want to go; in this case a youth baseball game. This picture shows Abnerís usual behavior; he brings a crossword puzzle or his portable radio and pays no attention to what is going on while Gladys continually tries to engage him.

 


 Episode # 15 - The Stephens' and Kravitz's both take orphan boys home for Christmas. The Kravitz boy believes in Santa, while the Stephens boy does not. Samantha takes her boy to see the real Santa to make a believer out of him. Gladys overhears the boys talking about the North Pole trip. Gladys fetches Abner, so he can hear what is being said, but by the time they get outside, the Stephens boy has gone. The boys made a solemn promise not to tell about the trip. This picture is Gladysís expression when the boy denies having talked about going to see Santa.

 


 Episode # 16 - The neighborhood is putting on a hospital benefit. Gladys is allowed in the kissing booth only on coffee breaks. As the picture shows, she almost gets a kiss from Darrin, but at the last second Samantha steps in to give Darrin the kiss. When the crowd sees Samantha in the kissing booth, a long line forms. Gladys goes down the line taking money, and announces as Samantha leaves that "There are no refunds."

 


 Episode # 21 - When Gladys tells one of her tales to Abner and wants him to look at what she has seen, things are always back to normal when Abner looks. Then, Abner will often make her take her medicine. In this picture, Gladys has told Abner that she has seen a woman (Ling Ling) lapping milk like a cat. Of course, when Abner looks, there is a cat there. So, Gladys willingly takes her medicine.

 


 Episode # 25 - Pleasure OíRiley moves into the neighborhood and is visited by her jealous boyfriend, Thunderbolt, whom Pleasure is trying to avoid. In looking for Pleasure, Thunderbolt mistakenly assumes that she is in the Kravitz house and clobbers Abner. The picture is the result of this foul up--Gladys's picture is in the local news with the headline "Passion's Plaything."

 


 Episode # 28 - Samantha and the Kravitzís are at the supermarket. One door is out of order, but Samantha twitches and goes out the door. Gladys sees Samantha go out the door, so she tries to go through the same door. The picture shows the results.

 


 Episode # 29 - Gladys catches Samantha arranging pictures by magic. To cover up, Samantha convinces her that it is Gladys herself who has "the Power," and is responsible for the pictures moving around on the wall. Gladys believes this and holds a seance to show her powers. Finally, in desperation to undo what she has done, Samantha turns Abner to dust as Gladys tells him to "dry up." Samantha convinces Gladys that her powers are dangerous and that she should not use them again. Samantha convinces Gladys that Abner will return if Gladys agrees not to use her powers again and tells Abner that she loves him. For a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of this episode, click here.

 


 Episode # 31 - Samantha and Darrin are planning to spend the weekend at a hotel in the city. Samantha tells Gladys that she and Darrin occasionally do different things to reacquaint themselves with one another. Gladys tries to rekindle Abnerís interest in her with new outfits and hairdos. The picture is her first attempt at getting Abnerís attention.

 


 Episode # 32 - Gladys and Abner quarrel and she locks him out of the house. Both want to go back, but neither will give in and admit fault. Samantha has the idea of putting them into the same dream at the happiest moment of their lives. She picks the time when Abner proposed. The picture is a young Gladys Gruber as she appeared in the flashback to her school days when Abner proposed.

 


 Episode # 33 - Samantha and Endora use witchcraft to change Darrin face while he is sleeping. When Gladys comes to the door, Darrin answers, not knowing his face has been altered. The picture is Gladysís expression (and subsequent scream) when she sees him.

 


  

 Episode # 34 - Gladys is a zealous "Wright Girl" in the election campaign to get a crooked councilman ousted.

 


 Episode # 42 - Samanthaís magic goes haywire in this episode. When she tries to open a window, she creates an outside door in their second floor bedroom wall, instead. Samantha tells Gladys that they are going to expand the house, and made the door as a first step. Later, Gladys peeks through the door and sees that it leads only to the outside. The picture is of Gladys walking away when she suddenly hears a knocking on the door. Gladys screams and runs out as Aunt Clara comes through the door.

 


  Episode # 48 - A strange young boy is staying with the Stephens family, and Gladys is desperate to find out more about him. The picture shows Gladys as she says, "I came over for a snoop of, uh, a scoop of sugar...".

 


  Episode # 57 - The Kravitzís have many arguments. In this case, the argument is about whether or not Abner could protect Gladys if she was accosted. A typical Abner reply about "who would accost her " leads to Gladys telling Abner, "You will be healthy if it kills you!"

 


  

  Episode # 60 - Picture 1 is one of many scenes where Gladys keeps track of what goes on at 1164 with her "opera glasses," which look like binoculars. In the story, Darrinís client, Aubert of Paris, is having trouble getting his line of dresses accepted in the United States. Samantha convinces Aubert that if he would design for the average American woman, instead of rail-thin models, he would be successful. Picture 2 is of Gladys as she models one of Aubertís dresses for the average American woman.

 


 Episode # 62 - Gladys brags excessively about her nephew to Endora. Endora gets fed up and makes Tabatha talk in an attempt one-up Gladys. Of course, Gladys spreads it around that Tabatha can talk at only a few weeks old. This causes many problems, and Endora is forced to cover up for her witchcraft. She does so by claiming that she can throw her voice in baby talk. The picture is where Endora has made Gladys sound like a baby.

 


 Episode # 74 - Sadly, this is the last scene in which Alice Pearce appeared as Gladys Kravitz.

 

- See Also -
The Delicious Gestures of Sandra Gould

 

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