Friebus, Florida, 1909-1988

Alternative names
Birth 1909-10-10
Death 1988-05-27

Biographical notes:

Theater and television actress, Florida Friebus (1909-1988), probably best known to modern audiences as Dobie Gillis' mother from THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, a popular TV show of the late 1950s and early 1960s, made her mark and found her first and most enduring love in the theater.

Born to an East Coast theatrical family, Friebus made her Broadway debut in TRIPLE CROSSED in 1927, after studying at New York's Theatre Guild School. She continued to appear in Broadway, summer stock and on tour before joining Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Company where together they brought ALICE IN WONDERLAND to Broadway in 1932 and again in 1947. Friebus worked with the New Stages theater group beginning in the late 1940s and adapted her ALICE script for TV in 1955 and again in 1982 for the stage and 1983 for television.

Throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Friebus worked in theater and television, appearing notably on stage in ABSENCE OF THE CELLO, MORNINGS AT SEVEN, and TEA AND SYMPATHY, and on TV in DOBIE GILLIS, PEYTON PLACE, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW and the children's storytelling show, LOOK AND LISTEN. She was socially and politically active throughout her life, holding several positions with Actors' Equity Association throughout the years, including chair of the committee opposing Senator Joseph McCarthy's blacklist of actors in the 1950s, and was involved with the Dramatists Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

From the description of Florida Friebus papers, 1926-1988. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122570572

Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.


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Ark ID:


  • Actresses
  • Television actors and actresses
  • Theater


not available for this record


  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)