Born in August in Eve, Missouri, Alice Ghostley spent most of her childhood in Arkansas and Oklahoma and it was in Henryetta that she had a speech teacher give her the inspiration to take up acting. 
Following graduation from the University of Oklahoma, where she minored in drama, she headed for New Jersey and eventually New York to pursue a career on stage.
alice olderHer big break came singing "The Boston Beguine" in the now legendary Broadway production of Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1952. 
That made her an overnight sensation along with Eartha Kitt and Paul Lynde.
Eventually she starred in a number of Broadway musicals including The Beauty Part opposite Bert Lahr (which earned her a Tony nomination), Shangri-La, Living the Life, Sandhog, Trouble in Tahiti, Annie (in the venerable role of Miss Hannigan), and Nunsense.
She won a Tony Award in 1965 for her Broadway performance in Brustein's Window. She has also received the Saturday Review Award and the New York Critics Circle Award for best actress.
Movie features have included To Kill a Mockingbird, The Flim-Flam Man, The Graduate, Gator, Rabbit Test, Grease, Deathtrap, and B.L. Stryker.
There was also television appearances in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Twelfth Night with Maurice Adams, The Julia Andrews Show, Maude, Big Eddie, What's Happening!, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, The Jackie Gleason Show, and Good Times.Alice Ghostley
It was the role of Esmerelda on Bewitched that endeared her to millions. She played a shy sorceress who faded from sight when she got nervous. "That seems to happen continually", laughed the talented comedienne during the series. "I disappear so regularly, I may end up as only a voice-over".
She lived in the San Fernando Valley area with husband-actor Felice Orlandi for over 50 years. Alice Ghostley passed away on September 21, 2007 at her home in Studio City after a long battle with colon cancer and complications from a series of strokes. She was 81.
The auditorium at Henryetta High School was dedicated in her honor following her death.

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