In This Comedy Classic, Clifton Webb Is “Sitting Pretty”

In 1948, Mr. Belvedere — the outrageous comedy character who debuted in the writing of Gwen Davenport — made his first cinematic appearance in the hilarious feature Sitting Pretty. The film chronicles what happens when lawyer Harry (Robert Young) and his wife Tacey King (Maureen O’Hara) find themselves increasing struggling to find a caretaker for their high-strung three kids. They decide to hire Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb), a somewhat pompous intellectual type who to work as their nanny. As the Kings cope with Mr. Belvedere’s unorthodox methods to helping with their kids, he secretly writes about his experiences for a book on suburban life he is working on…turning the family’s lives upside down in the process.

The film became a box office hit, earning Webb a Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. It spawned the sequels Mr. Belvedere Goes to College and Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell, as well as the popular ABC comedy series Mr. Belvedere that ran from 1985 to 1990, which featured Christopher Hewett in the title role. All in all, a pretty great legacy for an unassuming comedy about an unconventional caretaker!