JOYCE BULIFANT's extensive credits on stage, television and film have made her a familiar face and popular personality. After early days in summer stock and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City led to regional and Broadway roles in Tall story with Glad Tidings with Diana Barrymore, Auntie Mame with Gypsy Rose Lee, Gentlemen, The Queens with Helen Hayes (Joyce's former mother-in-law), The Paisley Convertible with Sam Waterston, and Bill Bixby, and Whisper to Me, for which she received the Daniel Blum "Theater World Award." Early television appearances on Boris Karloff s Thriller, Ronald Reagan's General Electric Theater, Play of the Week: Therese Naquin with Eva Le Galliene-, Too Young to Go Steady with Tuesday Weld and Don Ameche, and Alcoa Presents: Mr. Lucifer with Elizabeth Montgomery and Fred Astaire, led to over 100 guest starring roles on TV, including: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, The Virginian, Destry Rides Again, The Real McCoys, McHale 's Navy, Perry Mason, Dr. Kildare, Naked City, Police Woman, My Three Sons, Love American Style, The Facts of Life, Harper Valley P. TA., The Bad News Bears, Alice, Three's Company, The Joey Bishop Shop, The Donald O'Connor Show, and most recently, Just Shoot Me, as David Spade's mother. Alongside friends Betty White, Rita Moreno, and Ethel Merman, Joyce was also a popular celebrity guest on the game shows Name That Tune, Password, Matchgame, Crosswits, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, $25,000 Pyramid, and Decisions, hosted by David Letterman.
lt is from her starring roles on television, however, that audiences most recognize her: The Mary Tyler Moore Show (as Gavin MacLeod's wife and Helen Hunt's mother), The Bill Cosby Show, Love Thy Neighbor, 90 Bristol Court: Tom, Dick, and Mary, Big John, Little John, and Weird Science (as her real-life son's mother). Actually, Joyce's not starring as Mrs. Brady on The Brady Bunch is one of Hollywood's greatest "near miss" stories.
Her television movies include Hanging by a Thread with Patty Duke, Darn You, Harry Landers with Tyne Daly, Little Women with Meredith Baxter and William Shatner, Charley's Aunt with Charles Grodin and Victor Barber, The Shining wit Rebecca de Mornay and Elliot Gould, and The Haircut opposite John Cassavetes (acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival). Film credits include Disney's The Happiest Millionaire, Airplane! (voted one of AFI's "100 Funniest Films of All Time,") and Diamonds with Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Dan Aykroyd, directed by her son, John Asher.
In addition, Joyce has written, produced, and directed two educational films about learning
differences: Gifts of Greatness, starring Julie Harris, Ed. Asner, Danny Thomas, and Patty Duke, and Different Heroes, Different Dreams starring Helen Hayes, Tony Danza, Barbara Eden, July Collins, and Greg Louganis, among others. Recipients of the Hans Christian Anderson awardwhich Joyce founded to recognize dyslexics who've made a positive contribution to society include prolific writer-producer Stephen J. Cannell, and Oscar winner Whoppi Goldberg.
Joyce's roles as an actress, however, are not less dramatic than her real life ones as a foster child, mother, step-mother, and grandmother-and as a Hollywood wife to Hawaii Five-O's James MacArthur (Danno) and William Asher (Emmy-winning director of I Love Lucy and Bewitched). She is married to actor-composer Roger Perry, her friend and co-star of 40 years. In addition, Joyce's relationships with Helen Hayes ("The First Lady of the American Theater" and the grandmother of two of her children) and Lillian Gish (her "Fairy Godmother") provide rare glimpses of two of the most respected legends in the world of entertainment. Joyce has devoted much of her life to campaign for children's rights as Executive Vice President of The Dyslexia Foundation, a former trustee of the Orton Dyslexia Foundation Board and founder of The Dyslexia Awareness program. Joyce has lectured on learning differences throughout the United States and before the Spanish Royal Family, and when she was President of the Carbondale-Aspen Glen Rotary club, she enlisted club members and the local community to help create an advocacy center for abused children.