Dr. Joyce Brothers dies - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Dr. Joyce Brothers dies

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Joyce Brothers in 1987. (AP Photo/Nick Ut) Dr. Joyce Brothers in 1987. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

By ULA ILNYTZKY | AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joyce Brothers, the pop psychologist who pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s and enjoyed a long and prolific career as a syndicated columnist, author, and television and film personality, has died. She was 85.

Brothers died Monday in New York City, according to her longtime publicist, Sanford Brokaw. The cause of death was not immediately made public.

Brothers first gained fame on a game show and went on to publish 15 books and make cameo appearances on popular shows including "Happy Days" and "The Simpsons." She visited Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" nearly 100 times.

The way Brothers liked to tell it, her multimedia career came about "because we were hungry."

It was 1955. Her husband, Milton Brothers, was still in medical school and Brothers had just given up her teaching positions at Hunter College and Columbia University to be home with her newborn, firmly believing a child's development depended on it.

But the young family found itself struggling on her husband's residency income. So Brothers came up with the idea of entering a television quiz show as a contestant.

"The $64,000 Question" quizzed contestants in their chosen area of expertise. She memorized 20 volumes of a boxing encyclopedia — and, with that as her subject, became the only woman and the second person to ever win the show's top prize.

Brothers tried her luck again on the superseding "$64,000 Challenge," answering each question correctly and earning the dubious distinction as one of the biggest winners in the history of television quiz shows. She later denied any knowledge of cheating, and during a 1959 hearing in the quiz show scandal, a producer exonerated her of involvement.

Her celebrity opened up doors. In 1956, she became co-host of "Sports Showcast" and frequently appeared on talk shows.

Two years later, NBC offered her a trial on an afternoon television program in which she advised on love, marriage, sex and child-rearing. Its success led to a nationally telecast program, and subsequent late-night shows that addressed such taboo subjects as menopause, frigidity, impotence and sexual enjoyment.

She also dispensed advice on several phone-in radio programs, sometimes going live. She was criticized by some for giving out advice without knowing her callers' histories. But Brothers responded that she was not practicing therapy on the air and that she advised callers to seek professional help when needed.

Despite criticism of the format, the call-in show took off, and by 1985, the Association of Media Psychologists was created to monitor for abuses.

For almost four decades, Brothers was a columnist for Good Housekeeping. She also wrote a daily syndicated advice column that appeared in more than 350 newspapers. Briefly, in 1961, she was host of her own television program.

Later, Brothers branched out into film, playing herself in more than a dozen movies, including "Analyze That" (2002), "Beethoven's 4th" (2001), "Lover's Knot" (1996) and "Dear God" (1996).

She was also an advocate for women. In the 1970s, Brothers called for changing textbooks to remove sexist bias, noting that nonsexist cultures tend to be less warlike.

The quiz show scandal of 1958-59 was one of the biggest scandals in the history of television. It erupted in 1958 when it was revealed that quiz show producers had been rigging the outcome of some shows, including "The $64,000 Question," by giving favored contestants the answers in advance.

Brothers was one of a number of big winners who told an Associated Press survey in November 1959 that they knew nothing of any cheating.

At a House hearing that month, associate producer Mort Koplin also said Brothers was among those not involved in cheating. But he also described how contestants, who were carefully interviewed in advance, could be affected unknowingly as producers tried to manipulate the outcome of shows by tailoring questions to benefit favored ones and oust less-favored ones.

According to the testimony, Brothers applied to be a "64,000 Question" contestant as an expert in home economics and psychology. The producers, looking for an audience-pleasing oddity, suggested the pretty young woman try boxing as her specialty. She learned the subject so well, Koplin said, she kept on winning even after the producers "threw the book" at her with tough questions aimed at eliminating her.

Born Joyce Diane Bauer in New York, Brothers earned her bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia.

She wrote numerous advice books, including "Ten Days To A Successful Memory" (1964), "Positive Plus: The Practical Plan for Liking Yourself Better" (1995) and "Widowed" (1992), a guide to dealing with grief written after the death of her husband in 1990.

Brothers is survived by sister Elaine Goldsmith, daughter Lisa Brothers Arbisser, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.

  • HealthMore>>

  • Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver

    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver

    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver Diabetes and heart disease risk drops in prediabetes patients who regain normal blood sugar (dailyRx News) Blood sugar levels that are high but not high...
    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver Diabetes and heart disease risk drops in prediabetes patients who regain normal blood sugar (dailyRx News) Blood sugar levels that are high but not high enough to...
  • FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes blood test detects unique autoantibody (dailyRx News) While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share some traits, treatments for each condition...
    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes blood test detects unique autoantibody (dailyRx News) While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share some traits, treatments for each...
  • Study: Coffee helps you nap better

    Study: Coffee helps you nap better

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:19:02 GMT
    Drink a cup of coffee and you'll sleep better? It sounds confusing but there's actual science behind this. Researchers now say that having a cup of coffee and then sleeping for 20 minutes is an effective way to nap and feel refreshed. Here is why.
    Drink a cup of coffee and you'll sleep better? It sounds confusing but there's actual science behind this. Researchers now say that having a cup of coffee and then sleeping for 20 minutes is an effective way to nap and feel refreshed. Here is why.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices