Joyce Bulifant

Joyce Bulifant

Bulifant (rear) with Gavin McLeod (left) and Michael Higa in a promotional still from The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Born Joyce Caroline Bulifant
(1937-12-16) December 16, 1937
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1959–2005
Spouse(s) James MacArthur (m. 1958–1967; divorced) (2 children)
Edward Mallory (m. 1969–1974; divorced) (1 child)
William Asher (m. 1976–1993; divorced) (1 child)
Glade Bruce Hansen (m. 2000–2001; divorced)
Roger Perry (m. 2002)
Children 4; including John Asher

Joyce Caroline Bulifant (born December 16, 1937) is an American television actress, notable for her sunny "little girl"-like Southern lilt of a voice. She was a frequent panelist on the television game shows Chain Reaction and Match Game, in which she often gave bizarre answers that seldom matched the contestants.

Life and career

Bulifant was born in Newport News, Virginia.[1] In the 1940s, after appearing on Broadway,[1] she appeared in numerous television programs, including Channing, Empire, and The Virginian.[2] She played an intended murder victim in a 1961 episode ("An Attractive Family") of Thriller. She played innocent defendant "Nancy Banks" in the Perry Mason 1963 episode "The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands", the second of her two appearances on that show.[2]

In 1963, she appeared in an episode of The Real McCoys. Bulifant, who has been described as "naturally funny", was the original choice for the role of Carol Brady on ABC's The Brady Bunch, but the part ultimately went to Florence Henderson. She accepted the role of Marsha Patterson in The Bill Cosby Show (196971). From 1971 to 1977, she played the wife of Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, making 11 appearances over seven seasons.[2]

She later had a role as Miriam Willoughby on Flo, appeared in the movie Airplane!, and as the mother of David Spade's character on Just Shoot Me!, as well as guest roles and as a guest panelist on game shows.[2]

In 2014 Bulifant and her husband Roger Perry were honored with a Golden Palm Star on the Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, California.[3]

Personal life

Bulifant has been married five times.[2] She married James MacArthur (November 2, 1958 until 1967; divorced) and had two children with him – Mary MacArthur and Charles MacArthur.[2] Bulifant next married Edward Mallory (September 19, 1969 until 1974; divorced) and had one child with him, John Mallory Asher.[2] She then married William Asher (August 28, 1976 until 1993; divorced) and had one child with him.[2] John was adopted by producer/director Asher. Bulifant next married Glade Bruce Hansen (2000–01; divorced).[2] She then married Roger Perry (2002 until the present).[2] Bulifant has for many years been actively involved with the child abuse prevention non-profit Childhelp, including serving as a Celebrity Ambassador and as a Vice-President on the National Board of Directors.[4][5] She has 1 grandchild named Evan Joseph Asher, his parents being John and Jenny McCarthy.



Year Title Character Notes ref
1959 Tall Story Nancy
1967 The Paisley Convertible Amy Rodgers Understudies: Richard Hoffman (Charlie Rodgers, Ralph Keppleman), Jen Nelson (Meg Tynan) and Mary Rausch (Amy Rodgers, Sylvia Greer) [1]


Year Title Character Notes ref
1967 The Happiest Millionaire Rosemary Musical film starring Fred MacMurray and based upon the true story of Philadelphia millionaire Anthony J. Drexel Biddle. [6]
1980 Airplane! Mrs. Davis Titled as Flying High! in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and the Philippines [7]
1999 Diamonds June American comedy film directed by her son, Asher and written by Allan Aaron Katz.
2005 Dirty Love Mary Written by and starring Jenny McCarthy and directed by her son, Asher.


Year Title Character Notes ref
1961 The Play of the Week Guest Episode: "Therese Raquin" (S 2:Ep 24)
Naked City Connie Hacker Episode: "Take and Put" (S 2:Ep 32)
1962 Thriller Jinny Willis Episode: "An Attractive Family" (S 2: Ep15)
General Electric Theater Connie Duncan Episode: "The First Hundred Years" (S 10:Ep 34)
Alcoa Premiere Jenny Logan Episode: "Mr. Lucifer" (S 2:Ep 5)
Gunsmoke Ellie Episode: "Uncle Sunday" (S 8:Ep 14)
1963 My Three Sons Rebecca Holly Episode: "Flashback" (S 3:Ep 19)
Empire Betty Wormser Episode: "The Tiger Inside" (S 1:Ep 20)
Perry Mason Hollis Wilburn Episode: "The Case of the Surplus Suitor" (S 6:ep 19)
The Real McCoys Barbara Episode: "The Peacemakers" (S 6:Ep 36)
McHale's Navy Lt. Georgianna Comstock Episode: "Today I Am a Man!" (S 2:Ep 7)
1964 The Virginian Nancy Mayhew Episode: "Roar from the Mountain" (S 2:Ep 16)
Perry Mason Nancy Banks Episode: "The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands" (S 7:Ep 16)
Arrest and Trial Alice Episode: "A Roll Of The Dice" (S 1:Ep 22)
Destry Sheba Hannibal Episode: "Go Away, Little Sheba" (S 1:Ep 7)
1964–65 Tom, Dick and Mary Mary Gentry Part of the umbrella title of a short-lived NBC experiment comprising three situation comedies set in a Southern California apartment complex located at the 90 Bristol Court address.
1966 Dr. Kildare Judy Cannon Recurring
1968 The Woody Woodbury Show Herself Episodes:
  • "February 20, 1968" (S 1:Ep 127)
  • "July 2, 1968" (S 1:Ep 223)
1969 Lancer Cassie Episode: "Angel Day And Her Sunshine Girls" (S 1:Ep 19)
1969–71 The Bill Cosby Show Mrs. Patterson Main cast [8]
1970 Bonanza Bonnie Episode: "Return Engagement" (S 11:Ep 22)
1971–77 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Marie Slaughter Recurring
1973 Love Thy Neighbor Peggy Wilson
Love, American Style Guest Episode: "Love and the Awkward Age" {S 5:Ep 49)
1973–82 Match Game Herself Semi-Regular Panelist
1974 Tattletales Herself Episode: "March 18, 1974" (S 1:Ep 5)
The Michele Lee Show Gladys Gooch
  • Pilot (S 1:Ep 1)
  • Only the pilot episode was aired and the series did not proceed on CBS.
Sierra Shirley Episode: "Taking Cody Winslow" (S 1:Ep 3)
Police Woman Peggy Lakes Episode: "Warning: All Wives..." (S 1:Ep 3)
1975–77 Match Game PM Herself Semi-Regular Panelist
1976 Police Story Katie Pardnales Episode: "Monster Manor" (S 4:Ep 8)
1976 Big John, Little John Marjorie Martin Recurring
1977 $20,000 Pyramid Herself Episode: "Joyce Bulifant & David Doyle" (S 6:Ep 11)
Three's Company Mrs. Cross Episode: "Chrissy's Date" (S 2:Ep 5)
1978 $20,000 Pyramid Herself Episode: "Joyce Bulifant & Ron Glass" (S 6:Ep 26)
Alice Connie Raymond Episode: "Who Ordered the Hot Turkey?" (S 3:Ep 9)
1979 Turnabout 9 month's expectant mother Episode: "We're a Little Late, Folks" (S 1:Ep 3)
The Bad News Bears Alice Episodes:
  • "Three's a Crowd" (S 1:Ep 9)
  • "Wedding Bells, part 1" (S 2: Ep 2)
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Guest Episode: "Disco Fever Comes To Orly" (S 1:Ep 4)
1979–80 Sport Billy Sport Lilly/Queen Vanda
1979–81 Password Plus Herself Recurring
1980 Chain Reaction Herself Celebrity guest
1980–81 Flo Miriam Willoughby Spin-off of Alice. [9]
1982 Harper Valley PTA Guest Episode: "The Return Of Charlie's Chow Palace" (S 2:Ep 16}
1985 The Facts of Life Margaret Episode: "Teacher, Teacher" (S 7:Ep 4)
1987 American Playhouse Miss Delahay Episode: "Charley's Aunt" (S 6:Ep 14)
1994–97 Weird Science Emily Wallace Recurring
1999 E! True Hollywood Story Herself Episode: "The Brady Bunch" (S 3:Ep 21)
2001 Just Shoot Me! Fantasia 'Fanny' Olivia Finch Episode: "Fanny Finch" (S 5:Ep19)


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Joyce Bulifant". IBDB. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Joyce Bulifant at the Internet Movie Database
  3. Palm Springs Walk of Stars official website
  4. "Celebrity Ambassadors". Childhelp.
  5. "Childhelp, Inc.".
  6. Holliss, Richard; Brian Sibley (1988). The Disney Studio Story. London: Octopus Books Limited. p. 202. ISBN 0-517-57078-5.
  7. "Life of Brian named best comedy". BBC News. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  8. Lambert, David. "The Bill Cosby Show - Budget-Priced 2-DVD Set with 'The Best of Season 1'". Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  9. Lambert, David. "Flo - Warner Archive Kisses Your Grits; Schedules Complete Series for Tuesday!". Retrieved November 4, 2015.

External links

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