NORMA MacMILLAN
2021 Inductee
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Norma MacMillan (September 15, 1921 – March 16, 2001) was a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was there that she met, worked with and married her producer/manager husband Thor Arngrim. Arngrim had started the now-legendary, but short-lived Totem Theatre company in 1951. Upon its demise in 1954, he, his partner Stuart Baker, and MacMillan set out for Toronto where Norma landed children-voice roles for CBC. Her versatility in doing a variety of children's voices manifested itself in the roles she played. On the morning radio she played the more saccharine roles while in the evening her talents were employed for playing, as she described them, the "disturbed children" roles. Later on, after she and her husband moved to New York, MacMillan culled from the cartoon industry the voice of Casper the Friendly Ghost.

 

She also lent her voice to characters on the "Gumby Show." In addition to these famous roles, MacMillan was the voice of John-John and Caroline Kennedy in the perhaps infamous recordings of the "First Family" records in the early 1960's. Perhaps her most visible acting role was the part she played in the 1980's as the sweet, demure, naive Aunt Martha opposite Ruth Manning's Aunt Harriet for Kraft Foods mayonnaise commercials.

 

Though she died at the age of 79, she never quite stopped working. Even upon returning to Vancouver with her husband in the mid-1990's, MacMillan joined the Co-Op's Radio's Sunday show for senior citizens and was a board member of the local 411 Seniors Centre. Interestingly, both her children enjoyed the limelight as children: her daughter, Alison Arngrim, played Nellie in Little House on the Prairie (1974); and her son, Stefan Arngrim, played Barry Lockridge on the short-lived 1968 television show Land of the Giants (1968).