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Susan Saint James

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Susan Saint James
Susan Saint James 1966.jpg
Saint James in 1966
Susan Jane Miller

1946 (age 76–77)
Alma materConnecticut College
Occupation(s)Actress, activist
Years active1966–2011
Known forKate & Allie
Richard Neubert
(m. 1967; div. 1968)
Tom Lucas
(m. 1971; div. 1977)
(m. 1981)
Children5, including Charlie Ebersol

Susan Saint James (born Susan Jane Miller; 1946) is an American actress and activist, most widely known for her work in television during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s,[1] especially the detective series McMillan & Wife (1971–1976) and the sitcom Kate & Allie (1984–1989).

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  • The Tragic Moment that Inspired Charlie Ebersol to Follow His Dream


Early life

Saint James was born Susan Jane Miller in Los Angeles, California, to a Connecticut family, the daughter of Constance (Geiger) Miller, a teacher, and Charles Daniel Miller, who worked for Mitchell Camera and later became the president of the Testor Corporation.[2] Saint James was raised in Rockford, Illinois, where she began modeling as a teenager.[1] In her younger school years she attended the Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois. She later attended Connecticut College.[1]


Saint James's first screen role was in the TV movie Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) with Tony Franciosa, launching her career when it became a series two years later. Among her other early television appearances were two episodes of the first season of Ironside ("Girl in the Night", December 1967 and two months later, playing a different role in the episode "Something for Nothing"). She also had a supporting role in Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968), the sequel to The Trouble with Angels.[citation needed]

From 1968 to 1971, as a result of her first role in Fame Is the Name of the Game, Saint James had a regular part in the series The Name of the Game, winning an Emmy Award for her role as research assistant Peggy Maxwell in 1969 and establishing her as a popular young actress. The series format, set at a large media company, featured rotating lead characters played by Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack – generally only one of their characters seen each week. Saint James provided a measure of series continuity by appearing as a research assistant at various times to all three. She appeared in approximately half the episodes, usually in a supporting role, although her Peggy Maxwell was the primary character in the second-season episode "The King of Denmark," alongside Franciosa's "Jeff Dillon". As well, in the first-season story "Pineapple Rose" (a Gene Barry segment), Saint James was prominently featured when her character was kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity.[citation needed]

Saint James as Peggy Maxwell in the television series The Name of the Game, 1969
Saint James as Peggy Maxwell in the television series The Name of the Game, 1969

In 1967, Saint James had a small part in the pilot episode of the Robert Wagner crime-caper series It Takes a Thief. This led to a recurring role playing a new character, Charlene "Chuck" Brown, Alexander Mundy's fellow thief and "casual" love interest. She was featured in four episodes of the series from 1968 to 1970. She went on to appear in the pilot episode of the western series Alias Smith and Jones (1971).[citation needed]

Then came her first starring role as Rock Hudson's younger supportive wife, Sally McMillan, in the popular, light-hearted crime series, McMillan & Wife (1971–1976), for which she received four Emmy Award nominations.[citation needed]

Saint James left the show due to a contract dispute but went on to further her career as an actress in feature films, such as co-starring with Peter Fonda in the film Outlaw Blues (1977). She achieved significant success in the vampire comedy Love at First Bite (1979) and followed up with a role in the comedy How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980), co-starring Jessica Lange and Jane Curtin. Between films, she made a guest appearance in the March 3, 1980, episode of M*A*S*H (episode 192: "War Co-Respondent"). After other film ventures failed to establish her, she returned to television, starring in the comedy series Kate & Allie opposite Jane Curtin from 1984 until 1989. She received three more Emmy Award nominations for this role.[citation needed]

Saint James was a celebrity guest commentator for the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania 2 event in 1986 along with Vince McMahon.[citation needed]

Susan Saint James's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.
Susan Saint James's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

In her mid-40s, Saint James retired after Kate & Allie ended.[1][3] In addition to motherhood (her second-youngest son was born during the fourth season of Kate & Allie), she has been an active volunteer with the Special Olympics (an organization she began actively supporting in 1972)[4][5] She has served on the Special Olympics board[3] and was Civitan International's celebrity chairperson for their Special Olympics involvement.[6] She also is a board member of the Telluride Foundation.[7]

In 1998, Saint James, her sister Mercedes Dewey and friend Barrie Johnson founded "Seedling and Pip", a baby gift basket business. Saint James occasionally has emerged from retirement to appear in television series guest roles, such as the mother of (her real-life niece) Christa Miller in the first season of The Drew Carey Show, and ten years later, as a defense attorney on the February 28, 2006, episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She also starred in a Warner Theatre (Torrington, Connecticut) 1999 production of The Miracle Worker.[3] On June 11, 2008, Saint James was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[8]

Personal life

Saint James in 1970
Saint James in 1970

Saint James married aspiring writer-director Richard Neubert at age 21, but the marriage lasted only a year. She was married a second time in 1971, to Thomas Lucas, a makeup artist. They had a daughter, Sunshine Lucas (born 1972), and a son, Harmony Lucas (born 1974). The marriage ended after six years.[citation needed]

In the late 1970s, during an interview, she stated: "About eight and a half years ago, my husband and I decided to stop eating meat and then about six months later we stopped eating fish. … I had two beautiful births as a vegetarian; they were great labors—no bleeding, no complications, no problems. The diet worked perfectly for me."[9]

While guest-hosting Saturday Night Live in 1981, Saint James met her third husband, then-SNL executive producer Dick Ebersol. They married within the year and had three sons, Charles, William, and Edward (Teddy). In March 2002, Saint James filed for divorce from Ebersol, but the couple reconciled later that summer.[3]

On November 28, 2004, a private plane carrying Ebersol and two of their sons crashed during an attempted takeoff from Montrose Regional Airport in Colorado. Ebersol and son Charles survived, but son Teddy, age 14, died, as did the pilot Luis Alberto Polanco Espaillet and flight attendant Warren T. Richardson III.[10] Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park in Boston is named in memory of Saint James's son, and an episode of the television series Scrubs was dedicated to him.[citation needed]

Saint James is the aunt of actress Christa Miller. She holds honorary degrees from six Connecticut institutions: the University of Connecticut, the University of Bridgeport, Southern Connecticut State University, Albertus Magnus College, the University of New Haven,[1] and Goodwin College.[11] She was a featured speaker at The Women's Conference in 2007, at a session called "Beyond Courage: Overcoming the Unimaginable."[5]

As of 2021, Saint James is now retired and living a much quieter life in Connecticut, saying she never got the “bug to go back” into the business. In June of that year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she reunited with her Kate & Allie co-stars Jane Curtin, Frederick Koehler, Allison Smith, Ari Meyers and director Bill Persky for a live virtual event on Stars in the House.[12]


Susan Saint James in a Civitan International public service announcement in 1986
Susan Saint James in a Civitan International public service announcement in 1986


Year Film Role Notes
1968 P.J. Linette Orbison
1968 Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows Rosabelle
1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? Aida
1968 Jigsaw Ida
1970 The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County Mrs. Martha Kid
1977 Outlaw Blues Tina Waters
1979 Love at First Bite Cindy Sondheim Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1980 How to Beat the High Cost of Living Jane
1981 Carbon Copy Vivian Whitney
1982 Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder Katherine Cross

Television films

Year Film Role Notes
1966 Fame Is the Name of the Game Peggy Chan
1967 Ready and Willing Julia Preston
1972 Magic Carpet Timothea Lamb
1976 Scott Free Holly
1978 Night Cries Jeannie Haskins
1978 Desperate Women Esther Winters
1979 The Girls in the Office Rita Massaro
1979 Sex and the Single Parent Sally
1979 S.O.S. Titanic Leigh Goodwin
1982 The Kid from Nowhere Samantha 'Sam' Kandal
1983 I Take These Men Carol Sherwood
1983 After George Susan Roberts

Television series

Year Film Role Notes
1967 Ironside Elaine Moreau Episode: "Girl in the Night"
1968 Ironside Verna Cusack Episode: "Something for Nothing"
1968 It Takes a Thief Stewardess Anne Edwards Episode: "A Thief Is a Thief"
1968–70 It Takes a Thief Charlene "Charlie" Brown 4 episodes
1968–71 The Name of the Game Peggy Maxwell 36 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1970–71)
1970 McCloud Officer Keach Episode: "Walk in the Dark"
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Miss Porter Episode: "Alias Smith and Jones"
1971–76 McMillan & Wife Sally McMillan 34 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1972–74)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1972–73)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
1980 M*A*S*H Aggie O'Shea Episode: "War Co-Respondent"
1984–89 Kate & Allie Katherine "Kate" McArdle 122 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1983–84)
1989 Tattingers Susan Episode: "Broken Windows"
1996 The Drew Carey Show Lynn O'Brien Episode: "Drew and Kate and Kate's Mom"
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Monica Bradshaw Episode: "Gone"
2011 Suits Joy McAfferty Episode: "Bail Out"


  1. ^ a b c d e "Susan Saint James". Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  2. ^ "Mother of actress Susan Saint James dies at 95 in Litchfield". The Register Citizen.
  3. ^ a b c d "Where Are They Now? — Susan St. James uses her mom-sense". People. November 26, 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  4. ^ "Special Olympics Announces Official Launch of Urban Strategy in New York City" (Press release). Special Olympics. November 2006.
  5. ^ a b Speaker Spotlight: Susan Saint James Archived 2007-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, The Women's Conference.
  6. ^ Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. p. 149.
  7. ^ Board of Directors, Telluride Foundation.
  8. ^[bare URL]
  9. ^ Berry, Rynn (1979). "Susan Saint James". The Vegetarians. Brookline, MA: Autumn Press. pp. 46–47. ISBN 0-394-73633-8.
  10. ^ [1], The Today Show, 2004-12-03.
  11. ^ "2016 Graduates Urged to Make an Impact - Goodwin College". 10 June 2016.
  12. ^ [2], 2022-09-16.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 May 2023, at 02:30
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