Oldest TV show with a still living actor

Completely random question that came to me, but I was curious what is the oldest television show that still has a currently living former castmember.

For the purposes of this, I think a TV show needs to be a show that was on more than 6 times and the castmember is someone that appeared on a majority of the episodes. And by oldest show, I mean the year in which it first aired.

My first assumption is that the answer might be something that had a kid on it (think Leave it to Beaver which started in 1957 but there has to be a show much older than that one.

Just to get the ball rolling, Carl Reiner is still breathing, and Your Show of Shows first aired in 1950.

Arlene McQuade is still alive from The Goldbergs (1949-1954).

Zev Steinhardt

And so is the 1949 voice actor for Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss. Surely 195 five minute episodes count. Her last TV gig was Miss Bitters in Invader ZIM.

I’ll nominate Mary Kay and Johnny, which aired on the Dumont network beginning in November 1947 (and later moved to NBC and CBS). IMDb does not list death dates for the actress who played Mary Kay or for her real-life son Christopher, who joined the cast at age one month.

Given that the first American TV shows date from the late 1940’s and that several of them had children as regular cast members, it will probably be another thirty years till all the actors from early American TV shows have died.

Eddie Albert was the first TV performer. He appeared in a promotional broadcast which RCA sent out to their radio affiliates back in 1936. And Albert is still alive at the age of 96.

Mary Kay Stearns, star of the domestic comedy Mary Kay and Johnny, which migrated from DuMont to NBC to CBS and back to NBC in 1947-1950, is still living.

Wally Boag, host of NBC’s The Borden Show in 1947, is still living.

George Putnam, one of the hosts of the NBC show Television Screen Magazine in 1948, is still living.

Dayton Allen, the voice of the title puppet on the DuMont series The Adventures of Oky Doky in 1948-1949, is still living.

Ted Steele, host of the music show The Ted Steele Show (1948-1950), is living.

Carl Reiner was on an earlier comedy series, ABC’s The Fashion Story (1948-1949)

Elaine Stritch was in the cast of the DuMont comedy Growing Paynes (1948-1949).

Little Nemo, the first regular television broadcasts in the U.S. were from New York’s W2XB in New York (now WRGB), when television was using a mechanical scanning system. Eddie Albert’s preformance in 1936 was part of NBC’s introduction of an all-electronic television system in New York City.

It’s not quite the same question, but Patrick’s Web ASTRO claims that

I should be more specific: W2XB of Schenectady, New York (home of General Electric), began regular television broadcasts in 1928. Now WRGB, it is the oldest television station in the world.

Special mention to Don Hastings. He was the Video Ranger in Captain Video in 1949, and is currently still a regular on a TV series – As the World Turns.

David Nelson was appearing on Ozzie and Harriet when it was still on radio back in the 1940s.

Studs Terkel was hosting TV shows in Chicago before network television even started. NBC simply picked up his show and carried it. Jonathan Winters was on local TV in Columbus, Ohio.

Jack Larson appeared in the Adventures of Superman. IIRC the first shows were shot in 1950, although they didn’t air until 1952.

Jerry Lewis appeared on the first telecast of the Ed Sullivan Show, I think, in 1948 or 1949.

Since most early network TV originated in New York, I’d wager there are a lot of surviving Broadway performers who appeared in the early days.

Trivia: The above referenced comedy Mary Kay and Johnny (1947-1950) was the first U.S. network television program to show a married couple sharing the same bed – years before The Flintstones, The Munsters, or The Brady Bunch. More from Snopes.

I should have known to be suspicious about any claims for priority made by RCA. But it does appear that so far, that even if he wasn’t the first, Albert’s 1936 broadcast is still the oldest one with a living performer.

Crusader Rabbit is still alive? Damn.

How 'bout Rags?

Along the same lines … actor William Roach has been a regular cast member of UK soap *Coronation Street * (playing Ken Barlow) since the very first episode in December 1960.