Nita Talbot: What A Character!

Continuing the “What a Character” series, today we look at the career of Nita Talbot. Born in 1930 in New York as Anita Sokol, Talbot had an almost fifty-year-long career. She began appearing in films in 1949 with It’s a Great Feeling (and would go on to make another 30), but it was in television that she had her greatest success. It’s a Great Feeling starred Doris Day and Jack Carson in a parody of what goes on behind the scenes of the making of a Hollywood movie.


She was married to Don Gordon from 1954-1958 and to Thomas Geas from 1961 until sometime in the 1970s.  I could not narrow it down to any specific year. Both of her husbands were also actors. Her sister Gloria was the wife of Carl Betz who co-starred as Alex Stone on The Donna Reed Show.

Joe and Mabel

Talbot began her television career in 1950 on Repertory Theater. Appearing in 32 different shows throughout the fifties, many of her appearances were in dramas, primarily shows with different plays weekly. Talbot had a recurring role on Man Against Crime starring Ralph Bellamy, appearing in 9 of the 123 episodes. Later in the decade she was cast in Joe and Mabel in 1956. Nita played the role of Mabel, a manicurist who was dating cab driver Joe. The show only lasted four episodes. At the end of the decade, she would have a recurring role on The Thin Man as Beatrice/Blondie Dane a con artist.

Gomer Pyle

Nita would take on roles in 29 different shows in the sixties. This decade was her “western” season. She did appear in Gomer Pyle and The Monkees, but most of her roles were in westerns, including Gunsmoke, Maverick, The Man from Blackhawk, Rawhide, The Virginian, Daniel Boone, and Bonanza.


During this ten-year period, she would be cast in three shows, one drama, and two comedies. In 1960, she could be seen in Bourbon Street Beat about a New Orleans detective agency where she played Lusti Weather. She co-starred in one sitcom this decade with Jim Backus in The Jim Backus Show. Backus plays Mike O’Toole, who struggles to keep his news service business afloat. Talbot played the role of Dora, one of O’Toole’s reporters. The show only lasted for one season.

At the end of the decade, Talbot was offered the role that she would become best known for. Although she only appeared in seven episodes of Hogan’s Heroes, she earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1967-68 season for her role of Marya, a Russian spy.

Hogan’s Heroes

One of her taglines was “Hogahn darlink.” While Hogan could charm most women, he never was certain when he could or couldn’t trust Marya, but he was often coerced to join forces with her against the Germans.

She continued her thriving television career during the seventies with another 26 shows; four of those would be permanent or recurring roles; however, none of them lasted very long.

In 1971, she was offered the role of Maggie Prescott in Funny Face starring Sandy Duncan. Duncan played a college student who worked part time as an actress and Talbot was her agent. When CBS picked up the pilot, they made several changes which resulted in Talbot’s role being dropped.

Here We Go Again

1973 found her as part of the cast of Here We Go Again. The show portrayed life after divorce for two couples. It should have been renamed, There We Went because the show only lasted for 13 episodes before being canceled.

The Monkees

In 1977 she joined the cast of Soap, playing Sheila Fine, who has an affair with Burt Campbell’s son Peter.

In 1979, Supertrain debuted. It was supposedly the most expensive show ever made. It was a “Love Boat” on the rails.  The supertrain traveled across the country and every week passengers found love and solved life problems on their journeys. The show was derailed after nine episodes.

In between these roles, she tended to appear primarily in crime shows in the 1970s such as Mannix, McCloud, Columbo, Police Story, The Rockford Files, Charlie’s Angels, and Police Woman.

The Partridge Family

Her roles diminished a bit in the eighties with 13 appearances and 9 in the 1990s. She would be cast in one additional sitcom in 1988, Starting from Scratch. This show starred Bill Daily and Connie Stevens as a divorced couple. Stevens leaves her second husband to come back to her ex-spouse and two sons. Talbot played Rose. The show seemed to get good ratings and currently people are rating them 4.5-4.8 out of 5.0, so I’m not sure why it was canceled after a year.


Talbot retired in the late 1990s and is hopefully enjoying a less-busy life. She had a long and successful career and certainly was a character!

11 thoughts on “Nita Talbot: What A Character!

  1. I don’t recognize her name but I recognize a lot of the shows she was on. She had some shows that did not last long. I did not know it was possible for a show to last only 4 episodes! Her tagline in Hogan’s Heroes sounds somewhat familiar. Sounds like she has had a long (and for entertainment standards) a relatively nice and drama free life.


  2. The actor shown in the photo with the forever-lovely and extremely talented Talbot in “Joe and Mabel” was the very talented Larry Blyden, who died too young, tragically, in a car accident whilst in Morocco on vacation. A cross between Ben Mankiewicz and Harold Lloyd, Blyden was an accomplished actor, comedian and excellent game show host “The Movie Game”. It would be informative, at the very least, to i.d. the other people in the photos with Nita Talbot. The Cast pic of “Here We Go Again” includes the very funny and gifted Dick Gautier (Hymie the Robot in GET SMART), the durable and affable Larry Hagman and the lovely Diane Baker! Just thought I’d add that info in!


  3. Did Ma. Talbots ever write a book about her life ? I recently read the autobiography of Cynthia Lynn, and Robert Clary..


  4. I was watching an episode of Perry Mason ‘Case of the Pint Sized Client’, and saw this woman who looked strikingly like a young Lauren Bacall! Down to the hair!
    A softer version of Lauren!

    Seems she was in a kazillion things that I’ve watched but never noticed her. I’m not a Hogans Hero fan, which seems her most noted role!

    Cool to see that she is still living. Wonder how she spends her days and what she thinks of tv today!

    It would nice if someone made a project of interviewing the few remaining actors of those times! Bet they are a wealth of interesting tidbits on Hollywood of old!

    Did her daughter follow in her acting footsteps?


    • I had not noticed so much but you are right, in her younger days she looked like Bacall’s sister. I wish I had the time and funding to interview our surviving television classic actors. They have a very unique story. As far as I could tell, her daughter did not enter show business. Thank you very much for reading.


  5. Nita should have been a big star, excellent actress, superstar face, just seen her in the Fugitive, broodingly erotic, her sexiness grabs you but there’s a feminine detachment, Bacall coolness, that always engages man’s need to rescue, bring her back to traditional comforting womanhood.


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