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Susan Saint James

Susan Saint James
Susan Saint James in a Civitan International public service announcement.
Born Susan Jane Miller
(1946-08-14) August 14, 1946 (age 69)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1966–present
Spouse(s) Richard Neubert (1967–1968)
Tom Lucas (1971–1977), 2 children
Dick Ebersol (1981–present), 3 children

Susan Saint James (born August 14, 1946) is an American actress and activist, most widely known for her work in television during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.[1]

Early life

Saint James was born Susan Jane Miller in Los Angeles, California, to a Connecticut family, the daughter of Constance (Geiger), a teacher, and Charles Daniel Miller, who worked in business.[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 the Connecticut College for Women.[1]


She moved to California at age 20, when she began her acting career. Her first screen role was in the TV-movie Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) with Tony Franciosa, launching her career when the film 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.

From 1968 to 1971, as a result of her first role in Fame Is the Name of the Game, she 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. She provided series continuity by appearing as a key supporting character in most episodes regardless of whether the lead that week was either of the three regular leads Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, Robert Stack, or special guest leads Peter Falk, Robert Culp, Darren McGavin, or Robert Wagner, all of whom helmed episodes in the revolving "wheel" format (she appeared in all the Tony Franciosa episodes, and once featured as co-lead with him in the second season episode; 'The King of Denmark' where she had the larger featured onscreen role), while the first season story; 'Pineapple Rose' (under Gene Barry's segment) prominently featured her when her character is kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity.

File:Susan Saint James 1969.jpg
Saint James as Peggy Maxwell in the television series The Name of the Game, 1969

In 1967 she 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 sexual relationship 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).

Then came her first starring role as Rock Hudson's younger supportive wife, Sally McMillan, in the popular, light-hearted crime drama, McMillan & Wife (1971–76), for which she received four Emmy Award nominations.

She left the show to further her career as an actress in feature films such as co-starring with Peter Fonda in the film Outlaw Blues. She achieved a significant success in the vampire comedy Love at First Bite (1979). 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, appearing in the comedy series Kate & Allie opposite Jane Curtin from 1984 until 1989. She received three more Emmy Award nominations for this role.

Saint James also was a celebrity and commentator for World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s WrestleMania 2 event in 1986 along with Vince McMahon.

File:Susansaint james.jpg
Susan Saint James Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

In her mid-40s Saint James proclaimed herself 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's been an active volunteer with the Special Olympics (an organization she began actively supporting in 1972);[4][5] she has in the past also served on their board[3] and served as Civitan International's celebrity chairperson for their Special Olympics involvement.[6] In 1998, Saint James, her sister Mercedes Dewey and friend Barrie Johnson founded "Seedling and Pip", a baby gift basket business. She also is a board member of the Telluride Foundation[7]

Saint James occasionally has emerged from retirement to appear in television series guest roles, such as the mother of (her real-life lookalike 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.

Personal life

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 lasted six years. 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. The marriage produced 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] Ebersol was chairman of NBC Sports until May 2011.

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 and flight attendant, Warren T. Richardson III.[8] Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park is named in memory of Saint James's son, and an episode of the television series Scrubs was dedicated to him.

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



Year Film Role Notes
1966 Fame Is the Name of the Game Peggy Maxwell TV movie
1968 P.J. Linette Orbison
Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows Rosabelle
What's So Bad About Feeling Good? Aida
Jigsaw Ida
1970 Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County Mrs. Martha Kidd Uncredited
1972 Magic Carpet Timothea Lamb TV movie
1976 Scott Free Holly TV movie
1977 Outlaw Blues Tina Waters
1978 Night Cries Jeannie Haskins TV movie
Desperate Women Esther Winters TV movie
1979 The Girls in the Office Rita Massaro TV movie
Love at First Bite Cindy Sondheim
Sex and the Single Parent Sally TV movie
S.O.S. Titanic Leigh Goodwin TV movie
1980 How to Beat the High Co$t of Living Jane
1981 Carbon Copy Vivian Whitney
1982 The Kid from Nowhere Samantha 'Sam' Kandal TV movie
Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder Katherine Cross
1983 I Take These Men Carol Sherwood TV movie


Series starring roles
Year Show Role Seasons Notes
1967 Ready and Willing Julia Preston - Unsold TV series pilot
1968–71 The Name of the Game Peggy Maxwell 1–3 23 episodes
1971–76 McMillan & Wife Sally Hull McMillan 1–6 33 episodes
1984–89 Kate & Allie Katherine 'Kate' McArdle 1–6 122 episodes
Guest appearances
Year Show Role Season Episode Notes
1967 Ironside Elaine Moreau 1 14: "Girl in the Night"
1968 Verna Cusack 1 22: "Something for Nothing"
It Takes a Thief Stewardess Anne Edwards 1 1: A Thief Is a Thief
Charlene 'Charlie' Brown 1 2: It Takes One to Know One
1 7: When Thieves Fall In
1969 3 8: Payoff in the Piazza
1970 3 21: The Suzie Simone Caper
McCloud Police Officer Keach 1 5: Walk in the Dark
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Miss Porter 1 1: Alias Smith and Jones
1980 M*A*S*H Aggie O'Shea 8 23: War Co-Respondent
1981 Saturday Night Live Herself-Guest host 7 10/10/81, Musical guest The Kinks. She met future husband Dick Ebersol on this show.
1983 Saturday Night Live Herself-Guest host 8 04/16/83, Musical guest Michael McDonald
1996 The Drew Carey Show Lynn O'Brien 1 20: Drew and Kate and Kate's Mom
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Monica Bradshaw 7 16: Gone
2011 Suits Joy McAfferty 1 4: Dirty Little Secrets
1 5: Bail Out


  1. ^ a b c d e "Susan Saint James". Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "Where Are They Now? — Susan St. James uses her mom-sense". People. November 26, 2002. 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, 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. ^ Interview about Teddy, The Today Show, 2004-12-03.

External links

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