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Bridget Hanley, who starred as the wholesome Candy Pruitt on the 1968-70 ABC series Here Come the Brides, has died. She was 80.
Hanley died Wednesday after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the Edmonds (Washington) Beacon reported. She lived at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills.
The actress also was known for her turn as Wanda Reilly Taylor, the comic nemesis of Barbara Eden’s Stella Johnson character, on the 1981-82 NBC sitcom Harper Valley P.T.A.
Here Come the Brides was loosely based on the Mercer Girls, who were brought to the frontier town of Seattle in the 1860s to work as teachers, and inspired by the classic Stanley Donen musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).
Teen idol Bobby Sherman, as Jeremy Bolt, played Hanley’s love interest on the show, and the cast also included Joan Blondell, David Soul and Robert Brown.
Hanley was born in Minneapolis on Feb. 3, 1941. Her father, Lee Hanley, was an All-America quarterback at Northwestern. She and her family moved to Edmonds, a suburb of Seattle, when she was young.
Hanley attended Edmonds High School, the San Francisco College for Women and the University of Washington, where she acted in plays before graduating in 1962 with a degree in drama.
While in college, she appeared during station breaks on a Seattle TV station to promote shows.
After working onstage in San Francisco in Noël Coward’s Private Lives and as the lead in a touring production of Lawrence Roman’s Under the Yum Yum Tree, Hanley came to Hollywood and was cast in episodes of Hank, Gidget and The Farmer’s Daughter.
Screen Gems signed her, and she was put to work on Bewitched, Love on a Rooftop, Eden’s I Dream of Jeannie and The Flying Nun before landing the lead in Here Come the Brides.
“I was under contract at the time from Screen Gems. I knocked on everybody’s door until they agreed to test me,” she recalled in 2006. “I said, ‘Listen, I’m from Seattle and I bite my nails, what more do you want?’ And Bobby was kind enough to come in and we did the test together, and it was instant chemistry.”
Afterward, she appeared on episodes of The Odd Couple, Nanny and the Professor, Love, American Style, Welcome Back, Kotter, Emergency!, Jake and the Fatman, Simon & Simon Murder, She Wrote, Columbo and, in her final onscreen appearance, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in 1996.
She also was a longtime member of the nonprofit Theatre West company in Los Angeles.
“Bridget was funny, with a sharp sense of humor, and she had a great laugh,” TW artistic board member Dina Morrone said in a statement. “Brilliant onstage and onscreen. A gem of a human being and performer. She brought so much light and energy when she walked into the room. And she was very beautiful, kind and generous. Thank you, Bridget, for gracing us with your presence for so many years, both on and off the stage.”
Hanley was instrumental in raising funds for the restoration of the landmark Edmonds Log Cabin, which had been built in the early 1930s and donated to her hometown by her family in 1975.
She was married to TV director E.W. Swackhamer — they met at Screen Gems — from 1969 until his death in 1994.
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