(November 20, 1907–June 13, 1989) was an American television and radio comedian, personality and singer. She is best known for her starring role on the weekday NBC
show Kukla, Fran and Ollie
, which ran from 1947 to 1957, occasionally returning to the air until the mid 1980s. The trio also hosted The CBS Children's Film Festival
, introducing international children's films, from 1967–77.
Allison was born in La Porte City, Iowa
. She was a 1927 graduate of Coe College
and was a teacher before beginning her broadcasting career at WMT
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
. She moved to Chicago, Illinois
in 1937, where she was hired as a staff singer and personality on NBC Radio
. Beginning in 1937, she was a regular performer on The Breakfast Club
, a popular Chicago (and NBC) radio show, and was a fixture for 25 years as "Aunt Fanny," a gossipy small-town spinster. Her Aunt Fanny character also appeared on the ABC-TV series, Ozark Jubilee
, during the late 1950s.
In 1947, the director of WBKB-TV
in Chicago asked Burr Tillstrom
if he could put together a puppet show for children, and he asked Allison, whom he had met during World War II war bond
tour, to join the show. She was the only human to appear on the live series, filling the role of big sister and cheery voice of reason as the puppets, known as the Kuklapolitan Players, engaged each other.
Her television career continued after the initial... Read More