Yes, Georgia Holt Was On I Love Lucy (But She Went By A Different Name Then)

Born Jackie Jean Crouch on June 9, 1926, in the barely-there town of Kensett, Arkansas, to a 17-year-old baker and a 13-year-old girl, Georgia Holt didn’t have it easy. Her parents separated when she was young, and, according to a 1978 People Magazine profile, she mostly stuck with her itinerant, dirt-broke father, who began hitchhiking West from The Natural State in search of any kind of living. As she bounced from town to town (attending, by her estimate, 17 different junior high schools), Holt’s father ultimately hit upon the brilliant notion of exploiting his young daughter’s vocal gifts and striking good looks.

It worked. Kind of. In a situation Holt likened to Peter Bogdanovich’s classic father-daughter comedy “Paper Moon,” the precocious young singer earned the pair enough money to get by and won more than a few beauty pageants. But this life on the road led her to make questionable decisions of her own, one of which was marrying truck-driver John Sarkisian at the age of 20. They divorced after a year, but not without bringing a daughter into the world. They named her Cherilyn. You know her today as Cher.

Holt soon found herself in Los Angeles, where she pursued a career in entertainment as a club singer and an actor. The former became her calling card, but she was proficient enough at the latter to land roles on some of the most popular shows of the era. In fact, she wound up on the definitive sitcom of the 1950s. But when she booked her appearance on “I Love Lucy,” she wasn’t Georgia Holt (at least by name).

The Cher-adjacent I Love Lucy episode

Georgia Holt I Love Lucy

Gather ’round, Cher completists, and I’ll tell you where to find the entertainment dynamo’s mother on one of the series’ funniest episodes. You’ll have to cue up season 5 and hit up episode 20, known as “Lucy Gets a Paris Gown” (which was so popular it spawned an official Barbie doll). This is the one where the Ricardos go to Paris, and Lucy, furious that Ricky won’t buy her an expensive designer dress, goes on a hunger strike. This leads to Ricky and Fred Mertz concocting a scheme to make designer dresses out of burlap potato sacks. Trust me, it makes sense in the episode.

At the end, Ricky owns up to his duplicity and promises to buy Lucy a genuine Jacques Marcel dress. Before heading to the store, they dine al fresco at a Paris cafe and are stunned when a number of Jacques Marcel models parade by the establishment in burlap outfits based on Ricky and Fred’s creation. It’s a blink-and-miss-it walk-on part, but one TikToker can show you where to find her.

Holt is properly credited on IMDb now, but at the time she was acting under the stage name Georgia Pelham. Within a decade or so, she’d be best known as Cher’s Mom. And, fortunately, even when she experienced a career resurgence in the 1970s and ’80s, that never bothered her.

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