Marjorie Lord, ‘Make Room for Daddy’ Star, Dead at 97

The actress-turned-L.A. philanthropist was also mother of Oscar-nominated “Fatal Attraction” star Anne Archer

Last Updated: December 12, 2015 @ 6:51 PM

Marjorie Lord, the actress best known for playing Danny Thomas’ sitcom wife on the last seven seasons of “Make Room for Daddy,” has died at age 97.

Lord, who became a philanthropist in L.A. after leaving acting and co-founded the Scripter Award, was found in her Beverly Hills home on November 28, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Lord was the widow of longtime Union Bank of California chairman Harry Volk, who helped establish L.A.’s Music Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

She was also mother of Oscar-nominated “Fatal Attraction” star Anne Archer, her daughter from her marriage to her first husband, actor John Archer. She also had a son, Gregg Archer.

Lord got her start on Broadway in the 1930s when she was still in her teens, then headed West during Hollywood’s Golden Age after signing contracts at RKO and later Universal.

But she became a star on television in the 1950s, first on Danny Thomas’ sketch show and then on his family sitcom “Make Room for Daddy,” replacing Jean Hagen as the wife of Thomas’ character in 1957. The show then ran through 1964.

Other credits include the 1943 movie “Sherlock Holmes in Washington,” the short-lived 1970 sitcom “Make Room for Grandaddy” and the 1988 TV movie “Side by Side.”

For the last several decades, she devoted less time to acting and more to supporting arts endeavors in L.A., including the Joffrey Ballet, the Music Center and the USC libraries — where she helped found the Scripter Award in 1988 to recognize authors and screenwriters for book adaptations.

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated how Long appeared in “Make Room for Daddy.”