Joan Davis (June 29, 1912 – May 22, 1961) was an American comedic actress whose career spanned vaudeville, film, radio,
and television. Remembered best for the 1950s television comedy I Married Joan, Davis had a successful earlier career as a B-movie actress and a leading
star of 1940s radio comedy. Born Josephine Davis in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she was the only child of LeRoy Davis and Nina Mae (née Sinks) Davis, who were
married in St. Paul on November 23, 1910. Davis had been a performer since childhood. She appeared with her husband Si Wills in vaudeville. Joan Davis
entered radio with an August 28, 1941, appearance on The Rudy Vallee Show and became a regular on that show four months later. Swan soap ad featuring Davis'
radio show, 1945 Davis then began a series of shows that established her as a top star of radio situation comedy throughout the 1940s. When Vallee left
for the Coast Guard in 1943, Davis and Jack Haley became the co-hosts of the show. With a title change to The Sealtest Village Store, Davis was the owner-operator
of the store from July 8, 1943, to June 28, 1945, when she left to do Joanie's Tea Room on CBS from September 3, 1945, to June 23, 1947. Sponsored by Lever
Brothers on behalf of Swan Soap, the premise had Davis running a tea shop in the little community of Smallville. The supporting cast featured Verna Felton.
Harry von Zell was the announcer, and her head writer was Abe Burrows, formerly the head writer (and co-creator) of Duffy's Tavern and eventually a legendary
Broadway playwright. The tea shop setting continued in Joan Davis Time, a CBS Saturday-night series from October 11, 1947, to July 3, 1948. With Lionel Stander
as the tea shop manager, the cast also included Hans Conried, Mary Jane Croft, Andy Russell, the Choraliers quintet, and John Rarig and his Orchestra. Leave It
to Joan ran from July 4 to August 22, 1949, as a summer replacement for Lux Radio Theater and continued from September 9, 1949, to March 3, 1950. She was also
heard on CBS July 3 through August 28, 1950. She was a frequent and popular performer on Tallulah Bankhead's legendary radio variety show, The Big Show (1950–52).
Davis was also a regular on Eddie Cantor's Time to Smile program.