08 August 2011

1960s Commercial Stills: God Save The Clean!

Uncredited, unknown actress in a 1960s Windex commercial.  
She coulda been HUGE if she hadn't been upstaged by that blasted Ammonia-D.

Veteran actor Paul Dooley (Molly Ringwald's distracted and world-weary Dad in 
Sixteen Candles) whistles at the sharp, grime-figthing scent of Top Job household cleaner. 

Nancy Walker (born Anna Myrtle Smoyer) was a stage and screen actress who ran 
concurrent TV stints as Rosie, The Bounty Paper Towel Lady and (most memorably) Rhoda Morgenstern's cloying, interfering mother Ida on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.

FUN FACT:  In 1979, she would go on to direct one of the ABSOLUTE WORST (and most entertaining) feature films of all time:  An over-the-top disco musical called Can't Stop The Music
which starred Bruce Jenner, The Village People, Steve Guttenberg and Valerie Perrine.

These two stills come from an Ivory Soap ad that has always befuddled and vexed me.  

In this commercial, an attractive young woman talks about getting back to basics... healthy food, fresh air and the simplicity of soap and water as she takes a walk with her boyfriend.  She then (self-effacingly) compares herself to another woman the couple knows by saying (and I will paraphrase) that she may not be beautiful like this other woman, but at least she's healthy and clean-looking thanks to Ivory.  

Who the hell wrote this idiotic treatment... and why did this woman agree to star in it? 

Richard Herd (who would later have roles in the film The China Syndrome as well as TV 
shows Kojak, Dallas and T.J. Hooker) as Mister Purdy, the appliance store owner who helps 
harried housewives compensate for inferior detergent's diminished capacities.  As many men in 
suits and ties seem to be, Mr. Purdy was adept at solving "nice white lady problems" with a box 
of detergent... in this case one called Dash.  It seems that when poured into the rotating belly of 
the larger, more cavernous modern washing machines that are sold at his establishment, Dash 
could roust and rinse the filth that other "Brand X" boxes of flakes couldn't reach.  

Josephine The Plumber, who extolled the virtues of Comet Cleanser, was an actress named 
Jane Withers.  A child actress since age eight, she played Shirley Temple's on-screen movie 
nemesis in a film called Bright Eyes and later had a run of successful children's films of her own.  
In the late 1930s, she was known to radio listeners by the character name "Dixie's Dainty Dew Drop".

This is a foil package of Dial Soap. It only starred in this commercial and no others. Still, I think it's pretty.