Per The Hollywood Reporter, actress Noreen Corcoran has died of cardiopulmonary disease, at 72. Corcoran starred in Bachelor Father as Kelly Gregg, niece of John Forsythe‘s character, Bentley Gregg. Corcoran died Friday, January 15, 2016, in Van Nuys, California.
The Bachelor Father TV series premiered on CBS in 1957. NBC picked it up in 1959, and the show ran on that network through 1961. ABC picked up Bachelor Father for its final season, concluding in the spring of 1962. Reportedly, Ronald Reagan suggested Corcoran for the role.
From Corcoran’s obituary at Legacy.com:
Noreen Corcoran, the actress who starred as Kelly Gregg, a teenager adopted by her uncle on the popular sitcom “Bachelor Father,” has died. She was 72.
Noreen and her siblings studied acting as children. During the 1950s, Noreen’s younger brother Kevin Corcoran gained fame in the role of Moochie on Walt Disney’s “The Adventures of Spin and Marty.” Noreen appeared in movie and television roles before she was cast on “Bachelor Father.” She played the role of Anna in the movie “Tusitala” which starred David Niven. She also appeared on the television series “Circus Boy” which starred future Monkee Mickey Dolenz.
She was recommended for the role of Kelly Gregg on “Bachelor Father” by Ronald Reagan. In the show, Kelly becomes an orphan at thirteen when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. She is then adopted and raised by her bachelor Uncle Bentley who was played by John Forsythe. She was very popular during her run on the series and was featured frequently on magazine covers.
After the series ended, she had a supporting role in “Gidget Goes to Rome” and also appeared on many television series including “Mr. Novak” and “The Big Valley.” She left acting for a career behind the scenes in theatre arts and dance.
Here is more from The Hollywood Reporter:
Corcoran made her movie debut in Apache Drums (1951) and appeared in such films as Hans Christian Andersen (1952), I Love Melvin (1953), Young Bess (1953) and the biopic So This Is Love (1953) before being recommended for the part of Kelly by actor Ronald Reagan, who had seen her screen tests.
After the series ended, she was in Gidget Goes to Rome (1963) and starred in The Girls on the Beach (1965); showed up on such TV shows as Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, Gunsmoke and The Big Valley; and recorded a version of the song “Love Kitten.”
A native of Quincy, Mass., Corcoran was the third of eight children, many of whom acted (in addition to Kevin, their sister, Donna Corcoran, appeared in the 1951 film Angels in the Outfield). The family moved to Santa Monica, and her father worked in maintenance on the MGM lot.
Brian Corcoran, another brother and child actor, died in February 2014.
In addition to her niece [author Mell Corcoran] and sister Donna, Noreen’s survivors include another sister, Kerry.
Here is the announcement of Corcoran’s passing from a Facebook tribute page:
You are invited to share your memories of Ms. Corcoran, below.