Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Erin O'Brien Passes On

Singer and actress Erin O'Brien, who appeared in Betty White's early TV series Hollywood on Television and movie Onionhead (1958), died on May 20 2021 at the age of 87.

Erin O'Brien was born January 17 1934 in Los Angeles. She grew up in Long Beach, California. After graduating from St. Anthony High School, she sang with a choir led by Walter Schumann. For three years she was a regular on Hollywood on Television, a daily talk show hosted by Betty White and others. As a singer she appeared on several talk shows and variety shows throughout the Fifties, including Tonight!, The Ray Anthony Show, The George Gobel Show, The Frank Sinatra Show, The Eddie Fisher Show, The Bob Hope Show, The Liberace Show, and Tonight Starring Jack Paar.  She was a regular performer on The Steve Allen Show.

During the Fifties she also guest starred as an actress on several shows, including Colt. 45, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, The Bob Cummings Show, The United States Steel Hour, Five Fingers, Tombstone Territory, Death Valley Days, and Bat Masterson. She made her film debut in Onionhead, starring Andy Griffith, in 1958. She also appeared in the movie Girl on the Run (1958), which served as the pilot for the TV show 77 Sunset Strip. She also appeared in the movie John Paul Jones (1959).

In the Sixties she guest starred on the shows The Aquanauts, Bat Masterson, The Asphalt Jungle, Laramie, King of Diamonds, Perry Mason, and The Danny Kaye Show. She appeared on the talk show The Mike Douglas Show and the game show Truth or Consequences. She had a bit part in the movie In Like Flint (1967) before retiring.

Erin O'Brien also had a recording career, releasing singles an album on the label Coral Records.

Erin O'Brien was a very talented singer, gifted with a dulcet voice. She was also a very good actress, playing a wide variety of roles. She played a young missionary in the first episode of Colt .45, a night club singer in Girl on the Run, and a woman whose husband had struck gold on an episode of Maverick. Although her career was short, it was memorable.

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