Kathy Garver Played Cissy on "Family Affair." See Her Now at 76.
The former child star still celebrates her time on the show.
The 1960s were a big time for family-themed sitcoms, but this one was unconventional. Family Affair followed a wealthy single man (Brian Keith), who took in his late brother's three children and raised them with the help of his English butler (Sebastian Cabot). The eldest child on Family Affair, teenager Cissy, was played by Kathy Garver, who remained on the series throughout its 1966 to 1971 run.
Garver still celebrates Family Affair today, 50 years later, whether it's by attending fan events or writing books inspired by her time on the show. The 76-year-old is still acting and has found success in both TV and film appearances and with voiceover roles. Read on to find out more about Garver's life today.
Garver's acting career spans eight decades.
Garver got her start as a child star in the 1950s, and notably appeared in 1956's The Ten Commandments. After Family Affair, she continued working in the industry and has had particular success as a voice actor. Some of the shows she's provided voice acting for include two Spider-Man series, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, and The New Yogi Bear Show. She has also done voiceover work for commercials and audiobooks.
Garver still does live-action roles, too. In a July 2021 interview with Closer, she explained that she was working on a potential new series based on Family Affair. "We are working on a spin-off called Aunt Cissy," she said. "I am working with the grandson of one of the creators. We have made a Cissy reel and most of the pilot."
She's written several books.
Garver has written four books, all related to her experience as a child star and time on Family Affair. There's The Family Affair Cookbook (2009), Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair of Life in Hollywood (2015), X Child Stars: Where are They Now? (2016), and The Family Affair Scrapbook (2021). Her website notes that she is also planning to release a book called TvDinnersTV, which is also the name of a talkshow series she hosts.
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She still interacts with Family Affair fans.
Garver attends conventions and events celebrating classic TV shows, where she gets to meet fans of Family Affair. For instance, she recently posted on Instagram about attending an event for the 55th anniversary of the show's debut at the Valley Relics Museum in Los Angeles.
She talked about why she thinks fans connected with the series in her interview with Closer.
"Well, back then there were only three stations, so everybody in the entire United States watched it," she said. "And not only were the stories very good, but I think the audience felt comfortable knowing what they were going to see. It's a bite of nostalgia, a bite of comfort. There is so much unsureness, it's nice to go for 22 minutes and just sit and watch something that's simple and about love."
She has fond memories of her co-stars.
During a 2019 interview with Studio 10, Garver talked about the supposed "Family Affair curse," which came about because three out of five members of the main cast died in tragic ways. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, the show was cursed,'" she said. Keith died by suicide in 1997 at age 75, following his daughter's death. Cabot died of a stroke at age 59 in 1977. Anissa Jones, who played younger sister Buffy, died of an accidental drug overdose at age 18 in 1976.
Today, Garver looks back on her late co-stars fondly, "Most of it revolves around the people," she told Closer of her best memories from the show. "Brian Keith was just a wonderful man. So talented and so giving of his time. Sebastian Cabot, the terrific foil, who had a totally different acting style than Brian. That combination served me well because I have cherry-picked all their best aspects."
She started her own family.
As Garver puts on it on her website, "Kathy now has her own family affair." The site continues, "She met her husband of 40 years, business executive David Travis, on a tennis court in Palm Springs—truly a love match. Travis and Garver have a 30-year-old son named Reid.
Of her life today, Garver told Closer, "I feel like I really am in my golden era. I have never been busier. I am excited each day that I'm here. I like being older, and healthy and not feeling so put upon anymore. I can relax and just put out affirmative vibes and good things."
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