Nanny's Magical Relatives on NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR


Phoebe Figalilly - most often referred to as Nanny on the TV show Nanny And The Professor - descends upon the Everett family without warning. Played by Juliet Mills, Nanny has an immediate impact on widower Professor Everett (Richard Long) and his three young children. It doesn’t take long before the Professor and the kids are enchanted by Nanny’s Mary Poppins-style magic. As the Everetts learn, Nanny is equally adept at managing a household as she is at using powers that include talking to animals and solving problems before they happen. We watch Nanny work her magic, which we know is happening thanks to little bells we hear at every instance, and we are as flummoxed as the Professor. 

How does she do it and where does she get those powers?  Well, wonder no more. Here’s a look at Phoebe Figalilly’s relatives proving that her pedigree predisposes her to make fantastic things happen.

1.     Aunt Henrietta is an eccentric psychic who owns a circus.

Aunt Henrietta makes more appearances on Nanny And The Professor than Nanny’s other relatives and her story is as interesting on-screen as it is off. Choosing a career in the circus, Aunt Henrietta is a magical jack-of-all-trades. In one episode of Nanny And The Professor, Henrietta battles a ghost. In another episode, the superstitious aunt thinks she’s jinxed and struggles to make sense of it all. In yet another, we see her in a panic because she’s had a premonition that Nanny will be carried off by a mustachioed stranger. The memorable Aunt Henrietta is played by two-time Oscar nominee Elsa Lanchester. In a career that spanned six decades, Lanchester made a name for herself by delivering memorable turns as quirky eccentrics and Aunt Henrietta fits the bill perfectly.

2.     Aunts Justine and Agatha fit gravitas into a balloon.

Aunts Justine and Agatha land five hours ahead of schedule onto the Everett backyard in a balloon in an episode aptly titled “The Balloon Ladies.” Naturally their landing causes a ruckus with the neighbors and the kooky aunts soon become the center of everyone’s lives. If you’re not as impressed by Aunt Justine’s and Aunt Agatha’s accomplishments, which include becoming role models for women’s fight for equality, then you will certainly be impressed by the resumes of the two actors who play them. Aunt Justine is portrayed by pioneering actor, writer, director Ida Lupino and Aunt Agatha is played by acting veteran Marjorie Bennett.  Both are as charming as you’d expect in Nanny And The Professor.

3.     Uncle Horace the Rainmaker is also a great dancer.

You may have heard of Ray Bolger in connection to classic movie musicals. If the name still doesn’t sound familiar, then you might want to rewind all the way back to 1939 and a little Technicolor movie called The Wizard Of Oz in which a young girl, her little dog, and three fantastic characters travel along a yellow brick road. One of those characters, the Scarecrow, is played by Bolger. Six decades later he showed us he could not only dance, but make rain as Nanny’s Uncle Horace. Horace’s extraordinary gift saves the day when he arrives during a drought.

4.     Uncle Alfred is a Human Fly and a veteran actor.

The Everett kids (played by David Doremus, Trent Lehman, and Kim Richards) arrive home one day with stories of a man they met in the park.  “He sings and dances, does a puppet act, wears funny clothes and…makes wishes come true.” Nanny immediately recognizes the man by the kids’ description as her Uncle Alfred. He’s soon to be a favorite in the Everett household because one of his talents is the ability to fly.  Well, sort of. The charming old gent who plays Nanny’s uncle in this case is none other than John Mills whose distinguished career spanned over seven decades. John Mills also happened to be the father of Juliet Mills, the star of Nanny And The Professor.


Nanny And The Professor featured several other famous faces from classic Hollywood throughout its two-year run. Be sure to tune in to see them all on getTV each weekday at 7:00 am ET/4:00 am PT.