R.I.P. Patricia Benoit, the bride in television's first big event wedding

The 'Mister Peepers' star passed away at 91.

Image: The Everett Collection

Rhoda and Joe. Joanie and Chachi. Chandler and Monica. Jim and Pam. Wedding episodes have always led to a boost in viewers and teardrops for sitcoms. Perhaps that was the brilliance of The Brady Bunch — that show began with two lead characters tying the knot.

Typically, though, wedding episodes come late in a show's run, after a long will-they-won't-they romance. Mister Peepers is the overlooked pioneer of this trope. A mid-'50s comedy about an adorably dorky teacher, Mister Peepers is perhaps best remembered today as the early breakthrough for Tony Randall, who portrayed the slick ladies' man Harvey Weskit. Wally Cox, who would later become the voice of Underdog, starred as Robinson J. Peepers. 

The timid and bumbling Peepers falls for a nurse named Nancy Remington, played by Patricia Benoit. Over the course of a few seasons, and with the help of Harvey, Peepers courts Nancy. In 1954, the two finally meet at the altar.

The wedding became one of the first true event episodes of the nascent medium. TV Guide featured Benoit and Cox on its May 21, 1954, cover, sporting their wedding gown and tuxedo. The vows delivered blockbuster ratings.

Like many early TV programs, Mister Peepers was broadcast live from a theater in New York. Unsurprisingly, Benoit found work on Broadway as well. She gained attention on the stage for her work in the comedy Glad Tidings and later starred alongside Edward G. Robinson in Middle of the Night. After Mister Peepers, Benoit shift gears to soap operas, appearing in Today Is Ours and As the World Turns

In the 1960s, she had moved away from the city to focus on her family. Her acting career was left behind. On Monday, August 6, Benoit passed away at the age of 91, according to her family and as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

People we have lost in 2018

  • Harry Anderson of 'Night Court' and 'Cheers'
  • David Ogden Stiers, M*A*S*H star and Disney voice actor
  • Steven Bochco, creator of 'Hill Street Blues' and 'NYPD Blue'
  • John Mahoney, the beloved father of 'Frasier'
  • Clint Walker, the towering star of 1950s Western 'Cheyenne'
  • Chuck McCann, children's television host and the voice of
  • Hugh Wilson, creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' 'Frank's Place'
  • Mickey Jones of 'Home Improvement' and 'National Lampoon's Vacation'
  • Harlan Ellison, the sci-fi writer behind the greatest Star Trek episode
  • Margot Kidder, best known as Lois Lane of 'Superman'
  • Vic Damone, legendary singer, popular entertainer and TV host
  • Doreen Tracey, original 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer
  • Peter Wyngarde, British actor who appeared in 'The Prisoner,' 'Flash Gordon' and a Lucy special
  • Robert Dowdell of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'
  • Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning actress and 'Peyton Place' star
  • Deanna Lund, a.k.a. Valerie Scott on 'Land of the Giants,' Anna Gram on 'Batman'
  • Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'
  • Harry Landers, co-star on 'Ben Casey' and many beloved TV shows
  • Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'
  • Joseph Campanella of 'Mannix,' 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and more
  • Greta Thyssen, actress on 'The Three Stooges' and 'Perry Mason'
  • Bradford Dillman, prominent '60s and '70s film and TV actor
  • Tim O'Connor of 'Peyton Place,' 'Buck Rogers' and 'Wonder Woman'
  • Tom Reese, TV and movie actor known for amazing fistfights
  • John Gavin, 'Psycho' actor who was twice almost cast as James Bond
  • Frank Avruch, best known as Boston's Bozo the Clown
  • Ralph Woolsey, the man who gave 'Batman' its bold, distinctive look
  • Soon-Tek Oh, memorable character actor on 'M*A*S*H,' 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Hawaii Five-O'
  • Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist for surf-rock icons The Ventures
  • Georgann Johnson, actress whose career spanned five decades in TV and movies
  • Eunice Gayson, the first Bond girl and guest star on 'The Saint'
  • Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from 'The Wizard of Oz'
  • William Phipps, prolific actor who voiced Prince Charming
  • Frank Doubleday, classic TV bad guy and villain from Escape From New York
  • Allyn Ann McLerie of 'The Tony Randall Show'
  • Bob Dorough, Schoolhouse Rock! composer
  • Barbara Dodd Remsen, classic TV actress and notable casting director
  • Harry Anderson of 'Night Court' and 'Cheers'
  • David Ogden Stiers, M*A*S*H star and Disney voice actor
  • Steven Bochco, creator of 'Hill Street Blues' and 'NYPD Blue'
  • John Mahoney, the beloved father of 'Frasier'
  • Clint Walker, the towering star of 1950s Western 'Cheyenne'
  • Chuck McCann, children's television host and the voice of
  • Hugh Wilson, creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' 'Frank's Place'
  • Mickey Jones of 'Home Improvement' and 'National Lampoon's Vacation'
  • Harlan Ellison, the sci-fi writer behind the greatest Star Trek episode
  • Margot Kidder, best known as Lois Lane of 'Superman'
  • Vic Damone, legendary singer, popular entertainer and TV host
  • Doreen Tracey, original 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer
  • Peter Wyngarde, British actor who appeared in 'The Prisoner,' 'Flash Gordon' and a Lucy special
  • Robert Dowdell of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'
  • Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning actress and 'Peyton Place' star
  • Deanna Lund, a.k.a. Valerie Scott on 'Land of the Giants,' Anna Gram on 'Batman'
  • Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'
  • Harry Landers, co-star on 'Ben Casey' and many beloved TV shows
  • Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'
  • Joseph Campanella of 'Mannix,' 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and more
  • Greta Thyssen, actress on 'The Three Stooges' and 'Perry Mason'
  • Bradford Dillman, prominent '60s and '70s film and TV actor
  • Tim O'Connor of 'Peyton Place,' 'Buck Rogers' and 'Wonder Woman'
  • Tom Reese, TV and movie actor known for amazing fistfights
  • John Gavin, 'Psycho' actor who was twice almost cast as James Bond
  • Frank Avruch, best known as Boston's Bozo the Clown
  • Ralph Woolsey, the man who gave 'Batman' its bold, distinctive look
  • Soon-Tek Oh, memorable character actor on 'M*A*S*H,' 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Hawaii Five-O'
  • Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist for surf-rock icons The Ventures
  • Georgann Johnson, actress whose career spanned five decades in TV and movies
  • Eunice Gayson, the first Bond girl and guest star on 'The Saint'
  • Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from 'The Wizard of Oz'
  • William Phipps, prolific actor who voiced Prince Charming
  • Frank Doubleday, classic TV bad guy and villain from Escape From New York
  • Allyn Ann McLerie of 'The Tony Randall Show'
  • Bob Dorough, Schoolhouse Rock! composer
  • Barbara Dodd Remsen, classic TV actress and notable casting director

Harry Anderson of 'Night Court' and 'Cheers'

He was a magician whose antics earned him the nickname Harry the Hat, a character he later shared with the masses on Cheers. READ MORE

David Ogden Stiers, M*A*S*H star and Disney voice actor

The actor behind "Winchester" died at the age of 75. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Steven Bochco, creator of 'Hill Street Blues' and 'NYPD Blue'

The pioneer of prestige television passed away at 74. READ MORE

Image: AP PHOTO / NICK UT

John Mahoney, the beloved father of 'Frasier'

The veteran stage actor was 77. READ MORE

Image: AP Photo / Reed Saxon

Clint Walker, the towering star of 1950s Western 'Cheyenne'

The cowboy actor was 90 years old. READ MORE

Chuck McCann, children's television host and the voice of "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs"

The 'Far Out Space Nuts' and 'Captain Kangaroo' actor was 83. READ MORE

Hugh Wilson, creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' 'Frank's Place'

The Emmy-winning writer passed away on January 14 at 74. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Mickey Jones of 'Home Improvement' and 'National Lampoon's Vacation'

On February 7, Mickey Jones passed away at the age of 76. READ MORE

Harlan Ellison, the sci-fi writer behind the greatest Star Trek episode

The author won a Hugo Award for his script for "City on the Edge of Forever." READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Margot Kidder, best known as Lois Lane of 'Superman'

The actress passed away at the age of 69. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Vic Damone, legendary singer, popular entertainer and TV host

On February 11, the entertainer passed away at the age of 89. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Doreen Tracey, original 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer

Actress Doreen Tracey passed away January 10 at the age of 74. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Peter Wyngarde, British actor who appeared in 'The Prisoner,' 'Flash Gordon' and a Lucy special

He was one of the men who inspired Austin Powers. READ MORE

Robert Dowdell of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'

The Lieutenant Commander Chip Morton died at the age of 85. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning actress and 'Peyton Place' star

On January 18, Dorothy Malone passed away at the age of 93. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Deanna Lund, a.k.a. Valerie Scott on 'Land of the Giants,' Anna Gram on 'Batman'

The actress passed away at the age of 81. READ MORE

Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'

The '40s and '50s starlet passed away at the age of 95 on January 13. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Harry Landers, co-star on 'Ben Casey' and many beloved TV shows

Bette Davis kickstarted an acting career that led to the 'Star Trek' finale. READ MORE

Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'

The multifaceted TV talent passed away on January 2 at the age of 87. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Joseph Campanella of 'Mannix,' 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and more

The accomplished actor passed away at 93. READ MORE

Greta Thyssen, actress on 'The Three Stooges' and 'Perry Mason'

The actress passed away on January 6 at the age of 90. READ MORE

Bradford Dillman, prominent '60s and '70s film and TV actor

We saw Dillman step into top-tier classic shows, like Wagon Train and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and returning for recurring roles on shows like Dr. Kildare and Court Martial. READ MORE

Tim O'Connor of 'Peyton Place,' 'Buck Rogers' and 'Wonder Woman'

The prominent character actor passed away at the age of 90. READ MORE

Tom Reese, TV and movie actor known for amazing fistfights

He famously duked it out with Elvis Presley, Wonder Woman, Mannix and more. READ MORE

John Gavin, 'Psycho' actor who was twice almost cast as James Bond

The actor and diplomat passed away at the age of 86. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Frank Avruch, best known as Boston's Bozo the Clown

The host of Bozo's Big Top died at the age of 89. READ MORE

Image: WHDH-TV / YouTube

Ralph Woolsey, the man who gave 'Batman' its bold, distinctive look

The Emmy-winning cinematographer was 104. READ MORE

Soon-Tek Oh, memorable character actor on 'M*A*S*H,' 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Hawaii Five-O'

The accomplished actor passed away on April 4 at the age of 85. READ MORE

Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist for surf-rock icons The Ventures

His band took the 'Hawaii Five-O' theme song all the way to No. 4 in 1968. READ MORE

Georgann Johnson, actress whose career spanned five decades in TV and movies

The prolific actress passed away on June 4 at the age of 91. READ MORE

Eunice Gayson, the first Bond girl and guest star on 'The Saint'

The English actress also starred in Svengoolie favorite 'Revenge of Frankenstein.' READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from 'The Wizard of Oz'

The actor also played roles on the surreal children's show Lidsville. READ MORE

Image: CBS / The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

William Phipps, prolific actor who voiced Prince Charming

On TV, he was a Batman hood, an eerie presence in The Twilight Zone and much more. READ MORE

Frank Doubleday, classic TV bad guy and villain from Escape From New York

The actor was a master of sinister characters. READ MORE

Allyn Ann McLerie of 'The Tony Randall Show'

The actress starred on Broadway, big screen and on TV. READ MORE

Bob Dorough, Schoolhouse Rock! composer

He wrote "Three Is the Magic Number." READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Barbara Dodd Remsen, classic TV actress and notable casting director

She lit up the screen and lifted up actors like Tom Selleck and Kevin Costner. READ MORE

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