Classic TV Moms: Mr. French in Family Affair (1966-71)

Admit it, Sebastian Cabot was a darned fine mom in classic sixties sitcom Family Affair.

With bachelor Uncle Bill (Brian Keith) out and about all the time doing his high-paying engineering-consultant gig, the real work of caring for his three adoptees–six-year-old twins Buffy (Anissa Jones) and Jody (Johnnie Whitaker) and teenage Cissy (Kathy Garver)–got dumped on fastidious English servant Giles French.

A kinder, gentler Mr. Belvedere, Mr. French did all the duties of a traditional TV mom. He kept Uncle Bill’s swanky 5th Avenue apartment perfectly clean, despite three nearly feral kids. Okay, that was his job, but it also seemed to be his life. (Mothers out there can relate.) And nobody made the prim-and-proper Englishman give Cissy dating advice or tell Buffy and Jody bedtime stories as they nodded off in cute, matching pajamas he had just pressed himself.

Even before the women’s movement made a big noise in the ’70s, Mr. French was in touch with his feminine side. And you gotta love the big lug for that.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.