‘Room 222’ Star Karen Valentine Reflects on Her Friendship With ‘Bewitched’ Actor Paul Lynde

By 1969, comedian Paul Lynde had already struck a chord with the television audience from his appearances as Uncle Arthur on Elizabeth Montgomery’s Bewitched. He’d also been a regular on Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers, an episode of Love American Style and provided the voice for The Hooded Claw in the Saturday morning animated series The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. For her part, actress Karen Valentine appeared on the TV show My Friend Tony and was cast as a series regular in Room 222. In between, however, she found herself performing opposite Paul in the TV movie Gidget Grows Up.

“He played by landlord in that,” Karen tells Closer Weekly in an exclusive interview, “because Gidget was working as a guide at the U.N. and I had two roommates. The three of us lived in his boarding house and he was the landlord. His character was a former child actor now all grown up, obviously, but still stuck in the ‘30s. His name was Louis B. Latimer and there were all these different lines he had that were so funny, and he was very supportive to us. In the plot of it, he saves the day.”

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She considered meeting him a “treat,” because she was certainly aware of who he was and he always made her laugh. “I just fell in love with him,” she says. “I just thought, Oh my God, he’s so much fun, because he was so deeply funny  just sitting around talking and sharing his views on things.”

Gidget Grows Up was actually designed to be the pilot for a new Gidget TV series, following up on the one that had starred Sally Field. ABC, which aired the movie, passed, which was a good thing for Karen in that it freed her up to star in Room 222, for which she would win an Emmy Award for her character, teacher Alice Johnson. Of course, had Gidget gone to series, it meant that she would work with Paul on a regular basis. As luck would have it, however, she would still get that chance.

Please scroll down for more of Karen’s reflections on Paul Lynde.

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