Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
Mary Davies Orfield
Inducted 2004Mary Davies began her career at age four as "Little Trouble" in the Chicago Opera Company's production of Madame Butterfly. She grew up to become one of the most popular entertainers in the history of local radio and television.
Mary’s professional work started on radio, singing on the Dayton Soda Set Show. A winning effort on Stairway to Stardom secured a week's engagement on WCCO Radio. Over the next three years, her enchanting voice and unbridled charm made her a star. In 1950 she began appearing on WCCO TV with programs like The John Salisbury Variety Show and Country Holiday, the first locally produced color television broadcast. She even had several appearances with Arthur Godfrey on his talent show. But her most memorable role was as one of the longest running children's television characters in Twin Cities' history, “Carmen the Nurse.” Carmen first appeared with co-star Clellan Card on Axel and His Dog in 1954. She went on to host Carmen’s Cottage from 1966 until 1977. A mother of six children, she was able to combine her many talents as an entertainer with the love and understanding that set the standard for children's programming.
Mary Davies Orfield died peacefully on February 7, 2014, at the age of 88. Preceded in death by husband, Robert, her parents, four siblings and a son-in-law. While entertaining was her love, her family was her passion. Mary raised a blended family of six children and instilled in them a legacy of love, humor, values and traditions. No one loved harder or lived life more fully than Mary. She lived her faith as a caregiver to family and friends and led by example through her many volunteer commitments. Mary will be deeply missed by her children: Mary Kennedy, Jennifer Anders, Elizabeth Dahlen (Bruce), Julie Bentz (Bill), Pam Liimatainen, Robert Orfield Jr. (Patsy), 8 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, beloved sister, Diane Rosewall and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and fans. A gathering will be held at the Cremation Society of Minnesota 4343 Nicollet Ave So, Mpls. Monday, February 10 from 5-8 p.m. Memorial service at Union Congregational UCC Church 3700 Alabama Ave, St. Louis Park, Tuesday February 11 @ 2:00 p.m. Memorials preferred to The Animal Humane Society or donor's choice. The family would like to thank her caregivers at Cottagewood Senior Living and St. Croix Hospice in Rochester. (startribune.com)