Kaye Ballard was an American actress, comedian, and singer.
Ballard was discovered in a Detroit nightclub by comedy bandleader Spike Jones. For two years she toured with Jones's troupe, singing, playing the flute and tuba, and engaging in the band's antics. She also sang with bandleaders Vaughn Monroe and Stan Kenton. Throughout the 1940s and ’50s, Ballard worked regularly in nightclubs and on the Broadway stage.
Ballard began working on TV in the early 1950s, on network variety programs including those of Ed Sullivan and Perry Como. She also became a favorite of talk show hosts, making repeat appearances with Jack Paar, Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson.
Ballard was best known in television for her starring role in the 1960s TV sitcom The Mothers-in-Law. She also appeared regularly on The Doris Day Show as restaurant owner Angie Palluci.
Her other TV work includes appearances on episodes of The Patty Duke Show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, All My Children, Here’s Lucy, Love, American Style, Police Story, Alice, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, and Trapper John, M.D.
In 1983, Ballard appeared as the Duchess in a PBS “Great Performances” adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
In 2019, Ballard attended a screening of a documentary about her life, Kaye Ballard: The Show Goes On, at the Palm Springs Film Festival, and became ill soon after.
Ballard died January 21, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, California. She was 93.