the original Mr. Belvedere
Mr. Belvedere was
created by Gwen Davenport in her novel " Belvedere".
Mr. Belvedere reached the silver screen in the 1948 film "Sitting Pretty"
directed by Walter Lang for Fox. Lynn Belvedere was played by
talented actor Clifton Webb, who earned an Academy Award nomination
for Best Actor for that movie. "Sitting Pretty" told the story
of an extremely intelligent albeit snotty genius who answers an ad placed
by Harry and Tacey King for a baby sitter for their three bratty kids.
His reason for accepting such employment? He is secretly writing a novel
about the community filled with gossips and busy bodies which becomes a
best seller after being published.
reprised his role as Mr. Belvedere in two more movies, "Mr. Belvedere
Goes to College", 1949, and "Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell" ,1951.
As early as
the 1950's, effort was placed to translate Mr. Belvedere into the small
screen with 3 pilots made during the 50's and 60's. All efforts were however,
unsuccessful, until 1985 when ABC was finally able to get the show up
and running with British actor Christopher Hewett playing Lynn Belvedere,
this time accepting employment as a housekeeper for the Owens Family in
Beaver Falls, PA.
the contemporary television series finds a typical American working couple
with three children desperately in need of a housekeeper, who are overwhelemed
when the urbane, talented, world-wise "Belvedere" shows up at their door.
show features the unique problems in the lives of each family member, and
Mr. Belvedere always managing to come to the rescue with the charm and
biting wit characteristic of the suave, sophisticated English housekeeper.
In the first
5 years it played in ABC Television, Mr. Belvedere has garnered kudos
from many national organizations including the PTA and the NEA, praising
it for its courageous stands on serious subjects that are much more far-reaching
than those found on the typical family-oriented sitcom.
In the second
season, an episode in the series was devoted to the subject of a classmate
of Brice Beckham (Wesley) contracting AIDS and the resultant total banishment
by his classmates--all but Wesley. Photo on the left shows a scene from
that episode where Ian Fried (first from left) played the AIDS stricken
Danny. In the center is Mr Belvedere (Christopher Hewett) and on the right
is Wesley (Brice Beckham).
The show ended
in 1990 in a two parter episode (co directed by Rob Stone) where Mr. Belvedere
finally gets married and moves to Africa with his wife.
Hewett played Mr. Belvedere once again in an episode of Ned and Stacey
in the episode "Saved by Belvedere". Rumors abound about a reunion
episode but nothing concrete has been announced so far.