Sunday, June 22, 2014

Anissa Jones August 1976

This is the last picture ever taken of Anissa Jones, "Buffy" on Family Affair. It would have driven her crazy that people remember her as the star of "Family Affair", because she never saw herself that way. If you wanted to end a conversation or prevent one from starting at all, all you had to do was call her "Buffy" or bring up the show.
But if you wanted to talk about poetry, Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Anissa named her pet dog, Lynny, after Lenny in the story or just about anything else, and, she was a great listener, then you had a chance of making a new friend. And she was as smart as anyone you ever met.

























Anissa Jones was a star on the hit CBS TV Show Family Affair. Because of logistics problems, Anissa's brother, Paul, would accompany Anissa and their mother to the studio everyday. Paul was about a year younger than Anissa was. One of the most interesting things about Anissa's relationship with her brother was a policy that Anissa adopted concerning gifts. She constantly received gifts. Anissa let it be known:  if you brought her a present and didn't have one for her brother: she would accept the gift; but, the second you left, she would give your gift away.  

 
      Earl Graham was the janitor on the set of the show Family Affair. When he passed away during the third year of the show, the cast and crew attended his funeral. By the following Monday, everyone was ready to get back to work. To Anissa it seemed like everyone was acting like Earl had never existed at all. But to Anissa, Earl was a very special man; for her things would never be the same.  Earl had been a juggler and magician earlier in his career. When things were slow on the set, Earl would juggle and do magic to keep the children entertained. Earl never  differentiated between stars and extras on the set. To him, they were just children: children he loved. 
     Anissa went to her mother and asked if she could take an ad out in Variety saying good-bye to her good friend. The ad cost Anissa $400.00. Anissa's Mom says to this day that was one of her proudest moments as a mother; and one of Anissa's finest moments as a woman. I agree with both assessments 
   


 


















When Anissa turned 18, one of the first things she did was buy a car. Anissa asked Paul, her 16 year old brother, to come with her. They went to a Ford Dealer in Westchester, CA. Anissa bought herself a Ford Pinto, the least expensive car made in America. When she completed the paper work, Anissa told Paul that they were going for a drive. She drove to the nearest Chevrolet  Dealer; where she proceeded to buy Paul a loaded Camaro, a car which cost nearly twice as much as her car did. Paul hadn't seen it coming: he broke down and cried. Even though Paul was 6'2" and Anissa was 4'11", Paul never doubted that Anissa was his big sister, because she earned it. He knew that height is only a measure of altitude, but stature is a measure of character
   







After Anissa quit acting, Brian Keith wrote her a letter in which he offered her a starring adult role as a nurse on The Brian Keith Show. Anissa was only fourteen at the time. He told Anissa that she didn't even have to audition for the part: it was hers if she wanted it. Friends say that Anissa had come to hate acting because Hollywood would never let her grow up; obviously, to Brian, she already had. One of the treasures of my research was discovering  a postcard that Brian mailed Anissa in 1972, over a year after the end of Family Affair. His recent divorce,  his children's reaction to it, and their experimentation with drugs occupied much of his time and thoughts. Given the opportunity to go to China, right after Nixon and Kissinger, he leapt at it. By anyone's analysis, visiting China was the cultural experience of a lifetime;  almost sensory overload. Somehow, during  this experience of a lifetime, Brian had the presence of mind, found the time, and had the thoughtfulness to send Anissa the following postcard:


Dear Babe,
Thinking of You,
Love Bri



A Personal Note: I am reminded of the Hollywood Executive who would have his  secretary type his name on his children's birthday cards. Brian Keith was an Ex-Marine and an all around good guy. If he liked you, you knew it; if he didn't,  you knew that too.  Anissa knew how Brian felt about her. She kept every letter and postcard he ever sent her. In the middle of China, he must have kept her address in his wallet or, quite possibly, memorized it. I think that says it all.


























































Anissa with her Savings Bonds and A real birthday cake at Mom's and Winchell's Donuts where she worked after Anissa turned 18, she went out and got her own apartment. She chose to live in Playa Del Rey, only a few minutes from her Mom's front door.  She could have moved to Hawaii, near Brian. Anissa loved Brian and she loved Hawaii. Anissa spent the happiest  vacation of her life there. She said so herself in a letter to a friend. 
One of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen of Anissa, with  her hair windswept, and comes from a vacation that she spent in Hawaii*.
But she didn't choose to live in Hawaii, when it was her choice; seems rather curious doesn't it?
Anissa was a very interesting woman. She hated publicity and she hated the publicity tours she was forced to go on; but one of the people she loved most in the world was Les Kaufman, the publicist for Fedderson Productions. Even after Family Affair finished its run, he continued to write Anissa and her brother Paul letters expressing the love and concern that he felt for them. The feeling must have been mutual. On a picture of Anissa hugging Les, Anissa has written in her own hand "Les Is More".
Anissa was actually a  very complicated woman, and had very little in common with the  character she portrayed on TV.
Anissa also chose a very interesting person to share her apartment with her: her brother, Paul. Some people were really surprised by that, but I'm not. She could have chosen  any one of several girlfriends, or just about any boy in Playa Del Rey: Anissa was very well liked and she only got more beautiful as she got older: she had grown into a very beautiful woman. She could have chosen anyone; but she chose her brother? Because Paul was not only Anissa's  brother, he was also her best friend.
Anyone who thinks that they knew Anissa and doesn't know that, never knew her at all.
*The photo of Anissa at the window is my second favorite photo because it seems so hopeful. A window
When is a metaphor for the future, and as Anissa is smiling, that, to me, means hope and what might have been.  
 





















Anissa at home in her room, not quite what you expected, is it? Connie, one of Anissa and Paul's babysitters, is pictured with her.

Anissa Jones once described her brother, Paul, as one of the smartest people she had ever met. His friends described him as a "Surfing Einstein". But far too many people see Paul the same way they see his sister Anissa: "drugs, drugs, drugs". I think those people are "wrong, wrong, wrong".  To remember someone only on the basis of their problems, seems to be a horribly unjust thing to do. 
Not everyone thought that: Steve Lodge was  a member of the crew on Family Affair and subsequently became very close to the family. He was Uncle Steve  to Anissa and Paul and a real friend to their Mother. You can read in the letters that  he wrote to the kids(and he did write a lot of letters and cards to them), but most especially to Paul, showing how wonderful he considered them and how much he loved them. He cherishes their memory and misses them to this day.
















Les Kaufman was the Publicist for Family Affair and would accompany Anissa and her Mother on the Publicity trips that Fedderson Productions sent Anissa on 39 weeks a year. The second shooting was done for the week Anissa would have some publicity event to do. I have always objected that this was an  incredible amount of time to take a child away from their friends. Anissa's first duty was to be a normal child and enjoy life. Not to be a product marketed by a Hollywood Production Company.
Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the producers of  Leave It To Beaver, would only let Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow  go on one publicity trip a year to New York. They always said they treated Jerry and Tony like they were their own kids. The truly great thing is that that is the way Jerry and Tony saw it too. Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsly have said that everyone on that show considered themselves one big family. I think it shows. Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher  got it right. 
The one saving grace for Anissa was the man that Les Kaufman was. He was a wonderful human being. I will give you an example of what kind of man he was.  He had a firm rule: when he, Paula and Anissa returned from a trip, they didn't consider the trip over until they threw down their luggage and sent someone to find Paul. Paul  almost never went on these trips himself. He would stay home with the housekeeper. He preferred it that way. He considered the trips boring. When they found him, Paul got to choose the place where  they went to eat. Among his favorites were Shakey's Pizza on Jefferson at Sepulveda and an Armenian Restaurant. Paul loved food. Anissa used to complain that he ate like a pig and never put on a pound, she could look at food and put on weight.  One night they went to the Armenian Restaurant and Paul was ravenous: he started with ten stuffed grape leaves and went on from there.  The bill skyrocketed past $100.00 and all Les could do was laugh his head off; all the time Paul's Mom was dying of embarrassment. Oh, by the way, the dinners weren't on the company's dime either; they were coming out of Les' pocket. Like Steve, Les loved Anissa and her family: he didn't mind. 
He would write Paul letters and cards long after Family Affair, and long after Anissa died. I saw a card from only a weeks before Paul died. Just like Steve. Their love was real.
I like Paul as much as I like Anissa. Paul wrote a wonderfully "unique", clever  Christmas Card. He sent it to someone who has in turn given it to me; I consider it hilarious and will always treasure it. I would have loved to have a brother like Paul.  And I know that I would have been the lucky one. 
For the last six years of his life Paul had a very beautiful, intelligent girlfriend. This woman stuck with Paul through his darkest hours, and his brightest days. She was with him until the very end, because she loved him. She saw Paul as a kind, gentle soul. This woman is now a very successful professional. A few years ago she did the most extraordinary thing: she took a month off from her highly paid professional career and went to Machu Picchu. She lived in a peasant hut for a month and sought the solace and enlightenment at this Shangri-La of the America's. To understand Paul Jones, you have to understand that. And if you don't, then you are like most people...Paul Jones was never like most people. 





Anissa Jones had a special nickname for Brian Keith: Anissa called him "Bri, Bri, The French Fry": 

 Anissa and Paul had their own managerie of Pets. When one of their cats(Tiger, a gift from Brian) had kittens, they named two of the kittens  after Sebastian Cabot. One was called "Sabby", which was Sebastian's nickname, and a female kitten was named Sabrina. After the kittens were weaned, Anissa wrote up a wonderful questionaire for anyone seeking to adopt one of her kittens. Anissa was a very thoughtful child, and she always kept the welfare of others close to her heart, even when it came to her pets..   

 During the height of Anissa's career, Anissa's Mom remembers being at a shopping center in Los Angeles when they were swamped with autograph seekers. She remembers looking at Anissa who was signing autographs, but only recalls that she had a frown on her face. Following Anissa's gaze, she saw that Anissa was staring at her brother Paul who been shunted aside by the autograph seekers, and who had obviously had his feelings hurt. She understood: when someone hurt Anissa's brother, they hurt Anissa.  

 In 1971 during the last season of Family Affair, Brian Keith told Anissa told Anissa to be very gentle when she sat in his lap for a scene that day because he had just had surgery. Anissa asked what kind of operation he had. Brian paused for a second and then told Anissa that he had had a vasectomy. Anissa told Brian not to worry, she knew what that was and that she would be especially careful. Brian always treated Anissa with respect and like an adult, and she never failed to act like one around him.

It wasn't "The Caine Mutiny", but it was about strawberries: Anissa had had a long day at the studio and was looking forward to eating some strawberries that were in the refrigerator. When she got home, she found out that Paul had eaten two pints of strawberries all by himself and there weren't any left for her. Just then Paul walked in and Anissa started screaming at him about how selfish he was. Paul started to cry and ran into his room.  Anissa followed him. A while later, their Mom checked on them: they were in Paul's room hugging each other and crying. Anissa knew Paul was just hungry and ate what was available. One day Anissa came home from the studio and found her doll Victoria hanging from a noose connected to a rafter in the kitchen. Anissa screamed when she saw it, proceeded to rescue her doll and then went hunting for Paul. When she found him, she beat the hell out of him.
Anissa Jones was like every other kid growing up in the 1960's, she had her crushes and unrequited romances. One of the great memories of her childhood was the 1966 Emmys. Anissa asked Jimmy Durante to introduce her to The Monkees, so she could meet Davy Jones. Jimmy Durante was a sweet guy. They had met sometime earlier on "The Hollywood Palace" and liked each other immediately. Jimmy took Anissa back stage after the show ended and introduced her to Davy.  Anissa had a very serious crush on him and was thrilled to finally get a chance to meet him. There were/are a million other girls who know exactly how she felt.  
With the focus on Anissa career while she was on Family Affair, and the fact that their father had made little effort to stay in touch with his children during his second marriage; Anissa and Paul's Mom made a concerted effort to make sure that Paul wasn't overlooked and got the attention he needed. She and Les Kaufman, got Paul a "Big Brother" from Big Brothers of America.  One day Paul's "Big Brother" was late coming to the house, and Paul's Mom asked Paul if he wanted her to call to see what was holding him up. Paul said "no, he didn't care if he came or not, because all he ever does is dumps me on the beach and goes to pick up girls". Paul's Mom called Les and said that we need to get Paul a new "Big Brother". The new "Big Brother" was named Fred Peitri and he worked for Wells Fargo. He would take Paul camping, motorbike riding and to sporting events. One time Paul came home with a ferocious sun burn, after a day motorbike riding in the desert with Fred. Worried that Paul was in pain from his sun burn, his Mom asked if she could put some lotion on it; Paul said he didn't care, he had had the most fun he had ever had in his life and he hadn't even noticed the sun burn.
When Paul's Dad died, his Mom called Fred, who came immediately. He went for a walk with Paul: when they came back Paul's eyes were red from crying. For a boy of those times, you would never cry in front of anyone except someone you trusted implicitly. In an address book Paul kept in his wallet until the day he died are listed the names, addresses and phone numbers for Fred Peitri, Les Kaufman, Steve Lodge, and Brian Keith.   







 When Paul and Anissa's friend Tony Macchado was killed in a surfing accident, Paul and his Mom took a hundred dollars and donated it to Big Brothers of America in Tony's Memory.
When Paul died, two of his neighbors sent Paula a prayer card which showed that they had had Masses and Rosary's said in his memory. They also included a very beautiful note in which they said while fate is sometimes very cruel, especially when we lose a child; in the end, all we can do for a child with a drug problem, is hug them, hold them and let them know that they are loved. Anissa and Paul always knew that they were loved.  Vy and Bernie loved Paul and Anissa. Many neighbors remember seeing Paul walking around town with 70 year old Bernie; everyone believed he was Paul's grandfather. For a surfer like Paul, that was an eloquent statement of love. I think that is the coolest thing Paul ever did. When Vy was very ill a couple of years ago, Paul's Mom went to see her. Vy's first question was "how is Paul?" She was over 90 at the time and died shortly after that. Paul was in her heart until the day she died. When Anissa died,  Paul  moved back in with his mother from the apartment he had shared with Anissa. His Mom remembers hearing him cry himself to sleep for months after Anissa died. Everyone I have ever talked to has said that Anissa's death broke Paul's heart. Paul Jones died of a heart attack at age 24 in March of 1984, brought on by an overdose of speed. By that time, he had lost everything to his drug habit, except the house he lived in,  in Marina del Rey, which he jointly owned with his mother, and  a two ounce gold ring that his Mom had made for him. Inside the ring  were his initials PJ. You can see it in the photo above taken only a few weeks before his death. There is no greater evidence of how Paul felt about his Mom: Paul wore that ring until the day he died. No matter how bad things got, he would never part with that ring. And there are no words eloquent enough to express the love that it represented. When Anissa died, her Mom used Anissa's money to buy Paul a house so he would always have a place to live, and I believe that is exactly what Anissa would have wanted.


The Night That Anissa Died 
Drugs present in Anissa's system the night she died:
Cocaine: a stimulant which gives you a rush and a feeling of euphoria
Phencyclidine(PCP): mind altering drug and stimulant. On Phil Donahue in the 1970's, Jack Klugman was speaking  of his new series Quincy. He said he intended to make it realistic. One of the writers was a neighbor and friend of Anissa's, and he wrote an episode about PCP and a girl who OD's on it. Jack said the writer wrote this episode in memory of Anissa. Another Quincy episode was about a Doctor catering to the drug market, by prescribing drugs to anyone with the money to buy them. Deja vous all over again.
Quaalude: tranquilizer which gives a feeling of euphoria; clouds judgement.
Seconol: a very powerful barbiturate, or sleeping pill, clouds judgement.
Alcohol: inhibition compromising and judgement impairing drug.
I have spoken to a drug counselor, and a couple of people that I know who have had first hand experience with drugs:                                   
PCP and Cocaine are stimulants, and while they were only present in small amounts in Anissa's system when she died, she probably had already metabolized a great deal of them before she died. While it is unclear exactly how much of these two drugs she took;  Anissa's problem sleeping is readily apparent. You take stimulants and you are going to have trouble sleeping. It is that simple. There were the remnants of six Seconol capsules(><) in her digestive tract. Not a fatal dose by anyone's analysis. Secondly alcohol and PCP impair your judgment and were present in Anissa's system. Quaaludes are tranquilizers, they impair your judgment and give you a feeling of euphoria.  Quaaludes  were the drug of choice for kids who wanted to get stoned in the 1970's.
Seconol also impairs judgment. A lot of the people who OD on Seconol do so because they take some, forget they have already taken some, and take more. These are not suicides, they are accidental overdoses. Just as the coroner said in Anissa's case. Anissa took three drugs which impaired her judgment and she had been drinking alcohol. She took the Seconol to get some sleep. She couldn't sleep because of the PCP and Cocaine. So she took more Seconol. Then someone suggested the idea of opening the capsules and taking the powder straight, because that way the Seconol will take effect much more quickly.
I asked a drug counselor about this. She said that is the dumbest thing she ever heard, and she has heard it quite often. There is no objective way to gauge dosage from a pile of powder. What she took previously, and what she took as powder; and the fact that she was 4'11"/90 lbs is what killed her. What happened August 28 was a tragic accident, no more, no less; and so stupid.
But, remember, without one Doctor from Torrance nothing would have happened that night. Anissa went to him for Quaaludes(tranquilizer), because she wanted to get stoned. This Doctor ran his own dispensary, because he was didn't want any pharmacists questioning his prescriptions. His dispensary was out of Quaaludes; so he substituted Seconol a powerful barbiturate, or sleeping pill.  No Doctor in the practice would even try to justify the substitution of a barbiturate for a tranquilizer. If he had given Anissa what she wanted, all Anissa would have done that night  was get stoned.
To me, this Doctor murdered Anissa, exactly the same way Carroll O'Connor spoke of the man responsible for his son Hugh's death. I call this Doctor "A Merchant Of Death". A Venice policeman told me that this Doctor would sell drugs to anyone, including kids, with enough money to buy them; that is my definition of a pusher. Kids used to line up around the block to buy drugs from him at his medical  office. This policeman also told me that LAPD believes that between 30-35 kids OD'd from drugs that this doctor provided legally; Anissa is just one of his them. LAPD and the FBI had him under surveillance. Kids knew exactly what this Doctor was doing; LAPD knew what he was doing, The Los Angeles Times knew what he was doing, and E! knew who this doctor was and what he had been doing when they made E! True Hollywood Stories/Family Affair: The Anissa Jones Story. And yet they never mentioned him once.
Strange, very strange.
He lost a malpractice suit over Anissa's death(he had no justification for giving Anissa any drugs, much less the powerful sleeping pill Seconol).  After Anissa's death he was indicted for criminal distribution of controlled substances. Only his death before trial saved him from jail. And E! True Hollywood Stories doesn't even mention him? Anissa Mom and Brother were awarded damages against the doctor's estate.
 

A Poem By Anissa Jones

I'll give you my love for a penny,
I'll give you my heart for a song,
I'll give you my hugs and kisses for free,
But my soul belongs to me.

Shooting a TV show or movie in Hollywood involves a lot of sitting and waiting while the crew sets up for the next scene. It may take a couple of hours to set up for a scene that only last 90 seconds. Anissa found this "lag" interval incredibly boring and a waste of her time.  Anissa was the kind of person who would do something about it: She decided to put this "lost" time to good use by volunteering to help one of the secretaries at Fedderson Productions by running errands and doing filing for her.  This secretary always marveled that a TV Star was her gopher, and treasured Anissa for being the sweet, thoughtful, industrious girl that she was: someone who never got caught up in being in being "Hollywood" or thought of herself as a star.
Anissa was loved and treasured by almost everyone that knew her, from Brian and Sebastian, the stars of Family Affair, to the janitor, Earl Graham, who swept the stages and emptied the trash. But the thing almost everyone remembers is how much the crew loved her, from Steve Lodge who was the Assistant Costumer, to Florence Bush, the Hairdresser. She loved to gossip about everyone and anyone with anyone, but it was never mean gossip. When Anissa was bored, she would go to Ms. Bush to find out the latest scoop.
One day Anissa learned that  the child of one  of the crew was very sick. Just before shooting ended for the day, Anissa snuck out to Lucille Ball's flower garden and picked some flowers for this crew member to take home to his daughter. When Anissa presented the flowers to him, this crew member hugged her and said that he didn't ever want to let her go... Whenever this crew member would go fishing after this, and he loved to fish,  he would always bring in some of his catch for Anissa and her family to eat. He never forgot what she did, and treasured Anissa's beautiful sweet nature,  and for just being who she was.




Lucy's Office at Desilu Studios, where some of her
flowers went missing thanks to Anissa.

Anissa Jones was the same person on the set and off. But she  never mixed her two worlds: the second filming was done for the day, down came her pig-tails. There are  no pictures of Anissa in pigtails, when she wasn't shooting Family Affair, after age ten.
Anissa almost died of embarrassment when a script called for a girl scout troop in a scene and, to save money, the producers asked if Anissa's girl scout troop could be used in the episode. Anissa hated the idea. Although Brian and Sebastian worked very hard to make Anissa's friends feel welcome, and even though her troop had a great time, Anissa was miserable and was glad when it was finally over. .
Charles Barton, the director of Family Affair, loved Anissa Jones(the feeling was mutual: Charles Barton stood five feet five; he and Anissa had become friends immediately). Charles Barton  knew that Anissa wasn't someone to suffer fools lightly and not a person to keep her opinions to herself. On more than one occasion Anissa would offer her favorite gripe about how insipid the dialogue written for "Buffy" was. I think the reason Anissa complained so much was that she was almost 13, portraying a 7 year old; she resented the fact that she was never allowed to grow up on the show. Brian exercised some of his prerogative as part owner of the show, and got Anissa into blue jeans once in a while: she hated the little girl dresses she had to wear. On one occasion, Anissa objected particularly strongly to some dialogue between "Buffy" and "Jody". Anissa told Mr. Barton that real brothers and sisters never said anything that stupid to each other. Anissa also told Mr. Barton that she had a real brother, and she knew what was phony and what wasn't. 
Mr. Barton pointed out to Anissa that she was being paid a lot of money to act. People have jobs and they have to be paid to do them, because they wouldn't do them if they weren't paid to do them. If she really wanted to contribute to this script, he would hold up shooting so she could go down to UCLA, take some classes, get a degree in screenwriting, then she should come back and he would give her time to write her version of the script and then they could start filming again. Until then, he was going to let the writers write, and the actors act. Anissa looked at him for a moment with a rather blank expression on her face and then burst out laughing, everyone joined in. Anissa is the one that told that story, on herself. She didn't take herself too seriously, and knew how to laugh at herself.
Almost no one knows this, but Anissa was as blind as a bat, and yet in over 5,000 pictures there is only one picture of Anissa wearing glasses. She needed them, trust me. Anissa used to sit three feet to watch TV. She only  wore glasses at school. Anissa's Grandmother(Mom's Mom) took the picture of Anissa making a spectacle of herself: Anissa  adored her Grandmother and could refuse her nothing, no matter how embarrassing it was, because she knew how much her Grandmother loved her.


On at least one of my birthday's, I know exactly what Anissa was doing, getting her student ID



 Footnotes:
When Anissa would take someone shopping, two quaint personality traits revealed themselves. First, if she was buying something for someone else,  price didn't matter. She wouldn't even look at the price tag. If her friend wanted something, that was good enough for Anissa. She was as generous a friend as anyone could ever have. If she was buying something for herself, however,  Anissa  would spend hours hunting for the best bargain. Going from store to store, looking for the right thing at the right price.
One time her mother went with Anissa to buy  jewelry for a jewelry  box which Brian Keith had given her. They went shopping for hours. As they were getting in the car to go home, Anissa's Mom burst out laughing. After all that time and effort, and about ten full shopping bags, Anissa had bought something for everyone, buy not one thing for herself.   That is who Anissa Jones was....
Anissa went to see Lady Sings The Blues starring Diana Ross with some of her friends. It is a very emotional movie, and Anissa cried, for which her friends teased her unmercifully. Even though she was living with her Dad at the time, Anissa wanted to see the movie again and asked her Mom to take her. She cried unabashedly throughout the movie with the one person that she knew wouldn't tease her. Anissa's favorite movies were Romances, and she loved The Great Gatsby best,  and considered it her favorite movie of all time.
Sometimes the Family Affair cast would have to shoot through lunch or dinner. A member of the crew  would take the cast member's order and get their free food from the cafeteria. Anissa had a standing rule, she wouldn't let anyone get food for her, unless she could order lunch/dinner for them at the same time, and at company expense. She never hid what she did from anyone: she did it because she knew it was right. The crew was forced to work late, or work through their lunch too: if she got a free meal, the crew deserved one too. Walk with Kings and not lose the common touch.  
 
        Anissa hated her freckles. When she turned 18, she went to a plastic surgeon to have them removed from her arms and legs. Her mother and  brother had called the Doctor in advance and begged him to talk her out of it. Fortunately, the Doctor was able to convince Anissa that her freckles were a part of what made her unique, and in his opinion were one of the things that made her so very  beautiful.
     What about the freckles on her face? Anissa's logic about them was sound, too. She said that other people had to see them. As long as she didn't have to look at them, she didn't mind them that much




Anissa's brother Paul would come to the studio with her. He had
nothing to do and was quite bored. Elvis must have noticed,
because one day he brought a football to the set with him and
asked Paul if wanted to catch some passes to help pass the
time between shots. Paul said yes and they had a blast. He
even drafted members of the Memphis Mafia into a game of
flag football. Elvis chose Paul first for his team.  Elvis really
was a terrific guy.


Remember Me
Remember me with smiles and laughter,
Because that is the way I will remember you all.
If you can only remember me with tears,
Then don't remember me at all.
An Irish Poem of Remembrance 



In Memory of:
  Anissa Jones
  Paul Jones
  John Jones
  Brian Keith
  Daisy Keith
  Earl Graham
  Les Kaufman
  Sebastian Cabot
  Kay Cabot
  Rodney Jesse
  Tony Macchado
  Melody Trevino
  Bernie & Vy Geagan
  Connie Mutton
  Sity and Nana 






Anissa and her brother Paul


Paul Jones an avid Skater and Surfer


Anissa's childhood home 100 Rees Street


Dr. Moshos'  Office in Torrance. He was  the doctor who illegally
dispensed drugs to teenagers. Lines of kids would wrap around
the block spilling into the residential area behind the clinic.
LAPD had him under investigation since July, Anissa would
buy Seconol from him at the end of August.

Helen Hennessy. Anissa died at her parent's house who were not at home.



Anissa and a boy who she was in love with on Hawaii. She stopped by
to see Brian Keith while they were there. Brian had offered her a
job on his new show which was filmed in Hawaii.



Anissa's favorite job was babysitting. Kids loved her.




Anissa within weeks of her death.



After the divorce, this was John Jones Apartment in Playa del Rey.


Les Kaufman loved Anissa and Paul. He bought Anissa a guitar for
her 13th birthday. Though it was a struggle, Anissa worked very
hard to learn how to play. When Anissa died in Oceanside, one
of the kids there stole her guitar. Paul begged everyone to find
it for him. He wanted it because it was very important to his sister
and she would have wanted him to have it. Paul would burst
into to tears talking about her guitar after she died.



A picture of Anissa that I remember from my childhood, I thought that it was so
cool that there was a girl who liked snakes.


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27 comments:

jen said...

Did you know her personally? The loss has always made me sad. I did love the show.

Brian Keith O'Hara said...

No, but I knew her mother and a lot of her friends.
Her favorite color was purple, think of her anytime you see anything purple. All you have to do is smile and she will be there with you. Not as a star, but as a friend.

Anonymous said...

Anissa deserved a much better life than what she got. And the end tells me that she was making definite plans to get that better life, but 'that one last night' before getting all-adult and accountable ruined all that. She didn't commit suicide...she just went a little too far. I think she would've left most of that behind, got busy and had a real good life. She would've made a lot of little kids, their parents, her family--and her fans--happy for her.

I wish I'd've gotten the chance to tell her "Thank you" in-person and how much she meant to me when I first saw her on TV around my third birthday. She had a light nobody else had and she won my toddler heart instantly. What kind of person does that?

A very special one, that's who. R.I.P., Anissa, still missing you. Thank you for being a very bright spot in my very early childhood.

P.S. -- Anyone's welcome to check out "Anissa Jones Remembrance Society" on Facebook. We're planning a 40th anniversary memorial for Anissa to happen in August next year.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed how VERY different Anissa looks from her mother Mary Paula Jones and/ or father or, her younger brother Paul? Has anyone ever considered that she was adopted as a money making Lovechild of some famemous stars? Has anyone ever considered that the broken bones she had as a child (seen on or off set) were not accidents? Or that (if) she had suffered from child kidnappings? Maybe she HAD to disappear for her own safety, take some time to discover her birth parents, her real name, birthdate, sort through all the lies.......and then keep her children safe for 20 years, after she figured it out!

Mark .S said...

We don't love and miss you for a part that you played....
It's not little Buffy Davis our heart breaks for today....
It's for one reason and one reason alone....
It's simply because you're a beautiful soul Anissa Jones.
The young girl with her friends just happy to be home....
The sweet and caring sister with brother Paul living on your own....
Brave and resilient, kind to all you've known....
These are only a few of the reasons we love and miss you Anissa Jones.

Anonymous said...

A toast...

To amazing people and amazing memories,
To years and miles, to tears and smiles,
To the precious, to the common,
And to those who can blur the line,
Because to not do so
Would make so much of life
Unappreciable.

Enjoy. Forgive. Live.

fed up said...

Your a fucking moron with your absurd theories, shut the hell up imbecile

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing such a lovely article about Anissa. Truly a tragic loss of both she and her beloved brother. Thank you for sharing their story with such compassion and grace not often seen in this day and age.

Shout out to fed up on 9/19/16: Thank you! Well said!

Sikamikanico said...

The Song "Sister Golden Hair" by America always makes me think of Anissa. I wonder if she liked it? Maybe listened to it as she drove around LA?

Brian Keith O'Hara said...

I watched Family Affair because my name is Brian Keith O'Hara, my Mom would never admit it, but I suspect that she had a crush on Brian Keith. I watched the show and developed a crush on Anissa especially when I heard she had a pet snake, so cool. But of course time passes and what we are looking for does as well. However I remember hearing about Anissa's death in August 1976 and Atlanta Disc Jockeys Gary McKee/Bobby Harper playing Chicago's If You Leave Me Now, that I will remember for the rest of my life. No finer or meaningful way, at least to me, to remember "my" Anissa.

Forever 1 said...

Hello Brian, thank you for putting all this wonderful information together about Anissa. I was 13 when she passed and I lost my father two months later . Coincidentally I remember the song "if you leave me now"by Chicago playing on the radio as well and even at 13 thinking how much it spoke to how I was feeling. I never knew Anissa personally but there is something I see in her, a sweetness, gentleness ,a genuineness of soul that I can't completely explain but has touched my heart . She is such a beautiful girl. Some people just have an affect on others that draws people to them and I have found this is true with Anissa and that speaks volumes of her spirit. Thank you again for your insight!

Anonymous said...

My mother babysat Anissa, I believe when Anissa was just a baby, not a toddler. I could not have been born yet, because Anissa was a few years older than I. My mother was friends with Lou, and Harold Blomseth, who lived in a nice house in Hermosa Beach, and later on, sold it, and moved into a mobile home in Manhattan Beach. I do not recall if Lou Blomseth was related to Anissa, or her mother, but I believe so. I remember Lou telling my parents that Anissa (Lou called her Neecee), committed suicide because she was depressed over her parents divorce... A classmate of mine met Anissa at Hinshaws Department Store in Arcadia, California, right before Anissas death, I believe, because my classmate said Anissa was eighteen, and wore too much makeup. She may have mentioned drug use as well. Had I known Anissa was at Hinshaws, close to where I live, I could have met her, and mentioned Lou, and Harold Blomseth, and also that my mother babysat her at least once. Now Burlington (Coat Factory) is in place of Hinshaws, but is the same building, just like the Target Store on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, was the Fedco Store building. The same Fedco employee now works at that Target store, which was once the Fedco building. Life is strange. Also, I married someone with the last name 'Jones'. Such a common name, and sort of strange coincidence. I tend to get off subject, so please excuse me. Anyway, I should have saved my 'Buffy Makeup & Hairstyling mannequin' along with the box it came in. It had a picture of Anissa on it, and would be worth some money now, but I think we sold it in a garage sale. I am not sure if my mother bought it for me, or if Lou Blomseth bought it for me as a Christmas present. I believe Lou bought it.I used to watch 'Family Affair' all the time, and sometimes watch the reruns, but it makes me sad. Anissa should still be alive, but is not, and Lou, and Harold are long dead now.

Brian Keith O'Hara said...

Interesting, I know Anissa hated her freckles. She actually, on her own, consulted a plastic surgeon to have them removed. The Doctor was so upset about how intensely she was determined to do it, that he drafted her brother Paul and mother into talking her out of it. It was a big deal and not easy surgery, so it was for the best when they convinced her not to. But the downside was that she wore a lot of make-up to hide them, made far worse living at the beach in Playa del Rey. Everyone has a Kevin Bacon tie to someone in Anissa's story. Tommy Blair was a neighbor and ex-Navy. When he was unattached, Anissa would go over and cook for him because she worried about him living alone. I remember Bridget was one of Anissa's friends, but hadn't been seen for years by Anissa's Rees Street neighbors. One day in 2002 Tommy was at a Bar by the Marina and in walks Bridget, He knew all the kids from the neighborhood, it was like time travel, they picked up exactly where they left off. Anissa's friends were genuine, unassuming people, most haven't changed in the years which followed.

Debi said...

Does anyone know where her mom, dad and brother are buried, or were they cremated?

Brian Keith O'Hara said...

Dad was cremated, I think. Sent back to Illinois to his Dad's family plot. Anissa and Paul cremated buried at sea. Paula died in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

I have wracked my brain, and believe that Lou Blomseth was the godmother of Anissa Jones. I had a godmother as well, and I am almost positive that she is no longer alive either. I wonder if there would be any church record for Anissa? It would probably be like a needle in a haystack to find, if a record even exists.

Forever 1 said...

Hi, I don't know if this is what you meant by "church record" for Anissa but at the very least it might be a interesting note if you didn't know already. Anissa sang in the Presbyterian church choir according to an article in the Lansing State Journal; dated January 13, 1973 it doesn't say which one but I'd assume in or near Playa Del Rey

Anonymous said...

I mean a church record of Lou Blomseth having been the godmother of Anissa Jones.Perhaps that church you mentioned, may have something on record.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Temple City and remember Hinshaws department store. I had no idea Anissa was there shortly before her death. I spent a lot of time in that area in the 1970s. It's possible my path could have crossed with Anissa. Oddly, one of my closest friends was murdered in 1980 on Duarte Road, right around the corner from Hinshaws. The entire time I was reading this blog I was thinking of my friend...then Hinshaws was mentioned, toward the end of the blog. Strange. And I do love that Target store on Colorado Blvd. I go there at least once a month. Well, these types of coincidences happen to me quite a bit. Perhaps our dearly departed, old-soul, 1970's casualty-friends are trying to communicate with us....

Anonymous said...

it is all very, very, very sad!

Anonymous said...

These posts are a freak show. Get a grip, people.

K. Kaye Clark said...

This is by far the most information I have ever read about Anissa Jones. I loved watching Family Affair as a child and I was the same age as her. My brother and I both had/have red curly hair and were often called Buffy & Jody, I know they had blonde hair though. I only ever seen one picture of her after the show and I believe it was the one on the beach right before she died, she was a really beautiful girl! I couldn't imagine the pain of her family after she died accidentally from those drugs. Anyway, thank you so much for publishing this info on Anissa Jones it is very much appreciated!!

Anonymous said...

Thank You, B.K. O'Hara for putting together such a thoughtful memoir on Anissa Jones. She was a special young lady. I was a fan of Family Affair from back in the 70's ~ loved all the characters! Sometimes I catch the early morning reruns which always remind me of the simpler times... It's amusing to see all of the comments from people who posted earlier about Hinshaws Department Store :) I grew up in Arcadia (Arcadia Ave.) and shopped at Hinshaws often for school clothes. Small World... Anyway, thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

Concerned said...

Well I have been Googling about Anissa while watching Family Affair because she has so many marks and bruises on her face and lips all the time and then the broken leg in real life. I was wondering also if she was abused as a child. It looks like after Family Affair she had such a sad life with a lot of rejection from her mother. This is a really sad story and I just wonder what the details are after she left Family Affair. One of my favorite shows growing up and it's fun to re-watch now that I'm sixty years old. But it saddens me to know that she passed away at the age of 18.

Forever 1 said...

Anissa broke her leg twice actually; the first time was in a playground accident in may when she was 11 while the show was on hiatus. The doctors originally said by June when the show started taping again she should be healed enough so she would have her cast off and not need crutches. Unfortunately it took her a little longer to heal so the producers taped 4 episodes with Anissa in a cast and crutches. As fate would have it while spending a day at the beach on August 2 and playing in the surf she got walloped by a large wave , got flipped over and when she came to the surface she had broken her leg in the same exact spot. Now they had to tape more episodes with her in a cast .When she originally broke her leg back in may the show thought of temporarily replacing her like they did with Mr Cabot when he had fallin ill . The producers felt Anissa was much to popular with the public and didn't want to risk angering her fans so they thankfully decided against it. As far as far as marks on her lips or face , Anissa would get occasional cold sores unfortunately like many people do. Much has been said about Paula and her daughter but I've never seen any credible evidence that her mom physically abused her. Anissa loved her mom . She would use terms of endearment when writing her mom , like "moo" and "sweets"

Anonymous said...

After watching a special on Reels about Anissa this past weekend, my husband and I decided to Google the family. I knew Paul for a few years after my then boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to him. I never knew Anissa but had friends in common. I clearly remember when she passed and heard it through our communities of locals here in L.A. beach cities where I was born and raised. It was very upsetting but unfortunately not that uncommon for overdoses among those we all knew.
I frequented where Paul and Anissa were raised, especially Playa Del Rey "Toes" beach growing up. It was a favorite spot.
My husband Mark knew the family very well and frequented their home, as Paula would invite him in. We were so filled with sorrow when we saw this blog, but are grateful for the memories shared. Paul always called us or we spent the night at his home in the early years of our relationship. The last time we saw him was at The Shack restaurant. We were inside and he was walking by. He was so silly making faces at us and waving. I remember him being so kind but so sad at the same time. We still miss him very much.
Mark remembers Anissa's last boyfriend (who had a bad rep with friends) and other friends and said they all did so many drugs on a regular basis. We feel they didn't seem to really care about her, which was very sad.
She could have been saved if the last girl to see her would have noticed how sick she was and went for help. We also heard they took too long to check on her or call the authorities. He mom was right for feeling concern. It is so tragic that she took the wrong path. I got sober 30 years ago and never looked back but have experienced so many other friends and family members who have taken fatal chances with drugs. I have counseled many to no avail. Thanks for posting. We have often wondered what became of Paula and now we know.

Anonymous said...

I think the saddest part in all of this is that she seemed like a young lady who had a lot of love to give but couldn't find it in return so she turned to drugs and the wrong crowd. Some people say her mother looked at her as her personal bank account and I don't want to say if this is true or not but one thing does seem true is that her "friends" looked at her in the same way and when things got tough for her on the night she died, they all abandoned her and left her to die. Remember, she got roughly $180,000 when she turned 18 and in todays money that is roughly $750K so the "friends" gravitated to her because she could buy them whatever they wanted. These people were users and not friends and I wonder if there was ever a point where Anissa realized this?

I watched the Reelz episode and watching how they pieced things together, the big question I had was if she was in that bad a state after she left her friends bedroom and staggered back into hers, then why was she naked when they found her? What happened there? This could be the saddest part of all.

What I think still makes people think about Anissa is that through the repeats of a Family Affair we saw this cute little girl with the world ahead of her but we don't know what her life was like away from acting and then we don't really know much about what happened to her after the show was over. All that there is are those few grainy photos that have been published of her life as a teen and not much more than that. The father is dead, the brother dies in the early 80's and the mother, while alive, never really was approached or maybe never wanted to do an interview about Anissa or publish any pictures she may have had of her. Also, after Anissa died, she was cremated and her ashes scattered so there is no grave to visit and its as if she's completely disappeared since now there are no other living family members as they have all passed away. At the end, it has people thinking, "what could have been," all these years later. She would be a 59 year old woman now, what would have her life been like? Would she have been a mother? A grandmother? Would she have returned to acting or would she have found another career path that would have suited her...the sad part, none of us will ever know.