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Dannielle Mardi

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Go to "Beauties of the Beverly Hillbillies" Entry For This Actress!

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BiographyDannielle Mardi was quite an enigma before April 2, 2007.  On that date I received a very nice letter with all kinds of information about the actress from, you guessed it, the actress herself!  How wonderful!  I always enjoy hearing directly from the people I discuss, so this was quite a treat.  Now Dannielle Robertson, she lives in Leesburg, Indiana and runs a children's theater.

Dannielle Robertson

    Dannielle Robertson began her career at age four, on the Gene Autry Radio Show as the "warm up" act for the live audience.  She was the daughter of famed guitarist, Noel Boggs.  He would accompany her version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  From those very early years into theater, films, television, and USO tours, Dannielle has had a very busy and interesting life.  When asked, she says glibly, "My life has been my career, all I needed was a series of jobs to support it!"  Jobs, she's had.

    She trained as a ballerina, but wanted to be Dale Evans.  When told the job was taken, she was disappointed, but went on to create a more varied life for herself than even Dale could imagine.

    In television, she has worked with Dean Martin, Carol Burnett, the Laugh-In group, numerous guests on "The Hollywood Palace Show" as well as the recognizable, very British, Helen Thompson character for three years on "The Beverly Hillbillies".  Her stories about how she got these, as well as numerous other "show biz" jobs are just the stuff to make anyone giggle.  Her film credits include "My Fair Lady", "Paint Your Wagon", "Thoroughly Modern Millie", "Oliver" and others.

    She readily talks about the capriciousness of Hollywood and the reality of ageism.  "I've aged out of so many careers," she laughs, "that I am almost back to where I began!"  While she openly laughs about the situation, she is deadly serious about its outcome.  "I grew up in an entertainment family, so I guess it was natural to become part of the 'family business'," she quips.  But in reality, she also listened to her mother and got that good education.  She took a double major of Theater/English with a minor in Journalism at a small Quaker college in Southern California.  While touring with different stage shows she would take courses, some for credit, wherever she was if her stay was long enough.

    "I think the most bizarre classroom experience was at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  I was taking a rather serious Philosophy course in critical thought.  I had to miss a lecture because I was involved in this really insipid contest.  Unfortunately, it was televised.  When I won it and returned to my classroom commitments, the Prof said he would excuse me if I gave him an autographed photo.  I really felt stupid."

    She took her studies seriously, finishing her PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine, in 1975.  As an Associate Professor at Claremont College, in California, she realized her joy in teaching was genuine.  "I loved the classroom and my students, but I hated the collegiate politics and posturing."  Subsequently she began doing documentaries for PBS.  Calling upon the talents of old friends, she did "Nachtwacht" (Nightwatch) for the BBC with Audrey Hepburn, "El Despitar en los Campos" (Desperation in the Fields) with Andy Garcia for WGBH, WNET, and KCET as well as others.  "I love being behind the camera," she admits.  "It's like painting a moving picture that talks.  For me, it was so personally rewarding."

    As if Hollywood and Las Vegas were not enough, Dannielle has also performed live in numerous theatrical performances, including the National Tour of the musical "Company".

    "I loved that show, and my character Amy, the absolute Queen of Neuroses.  A live audience is a new teacher every night, and applause is the ultimate reward."

    And why Indiana?  "Well," she says, thoughtfully, "I wanted a greater quality to my life.  You have it, I wanna get me some!"

    And so she is!



Candid: May 2007

I love this photo!  Comes from May 2007.  She had just finished a play version of "Doctor Dolittle" at the middle school where she teaches.  It was a huge success!  Dannielle is on the far left wearing the green pants and the big, friendly smile that got her places since she started in entertainment at age four!

Dannielle Mardi

Dannielle Mardi

Publicity: Miss Showgirl International (1969, Las Vegas, Nevada)

Regis Philbin is with her as announcer.  Winning this contest actually got Dannielle the attention needed to land the role of Helen Thompson on "The Beverly Hillbillies".

Dannielle Mardi

Danielle Mardi

Dannielle Mardi